Title: Earthly Concerns
Author: Xavier Axelson
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
Pages: 75 pages
Sub-Genre: M/M Paranormal Suspense
Between love and loss, there is obligation…
It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home… then something happened. Something sinister.
Between shadow and light, there is uncertainty…
Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.
If you can see, you have to help.
As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize that he’s not only in a race against time, but in a battle against his own broken heart and the terrifying understanding that whatever has taken Barrett’s child is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered.
And between decision and consequences, there are… Earthly Concerns
This was my first but certainly not last novel by Xavier Axelson. There’s something disjointed about reading an eerie, shadow-filled paranormal under the bright Hawaiian sun, but Axelson did a great job of pulling me in and making me forget that I was reading at the beach.
Anson struggles with the classic gift-is-a-curse trope in a very realistic and understated way. Although his talent and the help he can render are integral to the story, it’s a paranormal after all, it’s his struggle to come to terms with his feelings for Barrett, the ex, that drive the story forward. Barrett needs help, but is beyond saving. Emotionally unavailable, he’s toxic to Anson. Their relationship seems as doomed as the child Barrett lost.
It is loss that finally helps Anson to reconcile his feelings with what he knows about Barrett in a climax that I thought would have worked far better if not written in first-person. My personal preference to generally skip first-person writing notwithstanding, I do think the drama would have been heightened if viewed through the eyes of the man Anson was trying to save.
If you’re looking for a quiet, eerie paranormal with excellent writing, look no further than Xavier Axelson. He does first-person exceptionally well, flawlessly showing us life through the eyes of his character (whose first name I totally fell in love with).
Reviewed By: Nadja