As you all know Mark is a bit of a rebel sometimes and likes to wander off the pure romance path every so often for something a little different. This time he has been side-tracked by The Jesus Injection by Eric Andrews-Katz a gay spy thriller with tongue in cheek humour. Read his review to find out what he thought about this one.
Eric is also at Sinfully HQ today with a personal video guest post. Check it out to meet Eric and hear what he has to say.
THE JESUS INJECTION by Eric Andrews-Katz
Title: The Jesus Injection
Author: Eric Andrews-Katz
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release: 1st November 2012
Genre: M/M (mystery)
After an assassination attempt ruins his vacation, Agent Buck 98 is given a cryptic message by a dying drag queen: 3-1-4. The numbers match the date of Dr. Timothy Shoulwater's death, the noted scientist rumored to have discovered a potential cure for the AIDS virus before his notes mysteriously disappeared. Buck is paired with his former best friend turned rival Agent 49, the lovely Miss Noxia von Tüssëll, to investigate Dr. Shoulwater's ex-wife, the religious zealot and growing political advocate Dr. Raven Evangelista, who sponsors a heavily conservative political platform while secretly pursuing more personal and devious ambitions.
But it's neither an anti-gay political bomber nor the romantic pursuit of Richard, the handsome caterer he just met, that challenges Buck the most. It's that before the end of the mission, Buck must keep Noxia from discovering his own darkest fear.
As you all know Mark likes to take a side-step every so often and read something different and now for something very different. I found this story to be very entertaining and all round fun. For me personally it was like reading a gay James Bond / special agent spoof. I don't know if it was intended that way, but the character names I found hilarious and gave it that sort of feel. The gay take on 007.
Agent Buck 98 is sent on a mission with his rival, agent 46 code name Noxia von Tüssëll which is supposedly a German name. The small problem I had here was that the character ë doesn't exist in German and the letter X is used very rarely in German orthology and especially not in names. However once I managed to gloss over this, it didn't detract from the wonderful dynamic these two MCs have going on. Their relationship is based on one of rivalry but behind the snark and witty dialogues they worked really well as a team and would never let each other down. It was the perfect pairing and made for some extremely humorous moments that had me laughing on numerous occasions. Agent Buck is obnoxious and fancies himself as God’s gift to spies, but I couldn’t help liking him somehow. With all his arrogance there was just something quite sexy about it. Obviously it drives his partner mad.
We also have Agent 69 who is called Muffin and is the boss of Buck and Noxia like a kind of M and Q rolled into one. This is the nickname that Buck has for Agent 69 which shows a close working relationship between them. Agent 69 doesn’t like it but tolerates it as Buck being one of his best spies. Agent Buck is openly gay and is a bit of a man-whore to say the least. Although there are a few M/M escapades on the way as in most James Bond films where he always gets the girl agent Buck ends up with Richard the chef and catering manager for all of Dr Raven Evangelista's events. But does he turn out to be the love of Buck’s life? Is Richard all that he seems to be? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find that one out for yourself.
We have another great name for the bad guy, Dr Evangelista. She is head of the organisation Sisters of The Southern Cross with some seriously radical ideas. This was obviously a dig at many extreme religious / political right groups that exist and who think you can just pray the gay away. She is involved in some very shady deals and Buck with Noxia has to get to the bottom of this. Dr Evangelista also has some personal secrets of her own that she also doesn’t want being public knowledge as it would be very bad for her reputation. So better to hush it up and sweep it under the carpet or even better try to eradicate it all together. I liked the way this character baddy is portrayed and developed. Upper-class, cool as an iceberg on the outside, but you know that something dark and evil is hiding underneath the surface. I always like female baddies as I always feel you can make them so much more evil and Eric does this very well.
I guess that it takes all sorts and everyone has the right to their opinion never mind how extreme they may be. As I said it portrays the extreme Christian right, almost Sarah Palin style. I guess if anyone is inclined that way the book may have the potential to offend, but then I guess they wouldn't or shouldn't be reading books like this anyway. However, if you take the extreme presented here light heartedly then it is quite funny in its own right to use this as a form of "bad guy" like a female version of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Quite satirical in essence. This organisation has an hidden agenda which Noxia and Buck have to discover. They both stumble across a file called The Jesus Injection. The hunt is now on to discover what this exactly is and it would be the kind of radical thing that such a villain as Dr Evangelista would want to research and develop.
There are lots of exciting moments and action as any spy thriller should have which kept me thoroughly entertained. I don't feel as if there is any gay political agenda hidden within the book, but as in any good spy movie it uses extremes between good and bad to make for an entertaining read. The plot is well thought out, well paced and didn't leave me disconnected at any point as to what was happening or where the story was going as everything gradually comes together and all is revealed at the end. A spy story focusing around a gay theme and gay a gay MC. Where the focus is not about Buck’s “gayness” and relationships but about him being a spy and all the adventure that goes with it. Was it enough to make me read the second book in the series Balls and Chain? Well, I have it on my TBR list for sure and no doubt will get to it as soon as I can. All in all a thoroughly entertaining, enthralling read with a twist.
Video Guest Post – Meet Eric Andrews-Katz
About the Author
Eric Andrews-Katz has been writing since he could hold a pen. Originally from New York, Eric was 12 when his family moved to Florida without consulting him. After studying creative writing and journalism at University of South Florida, he attended the Florida School of Massage. He has a successful Licensed Massage Practice (The Massage Guy™) and currently, with his partner Alan, calls Seattle home. In 2003 they were married.
Eric started to work with the Seattle Gay News in December 2007, when asked to write a review of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Not only did he write the review, but he also interviewed the star of the stage show and film, Ted Neeley. Eric was the first person to interview the late Ms. Eartha Kitt in over 10 years, which turned out to be the second-to-last interview she ever gave. He continues to work with the paper writing reviews, interviews, travel pieces, and other articles of interest.
Eric’s first short story, Mr. Grimm’s Faery Tale, was published in So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction. The anthology was nominated in 2008 for the Lambda Literary Award, and the short story was nominated for the 2008 Spectrum Award for Best Short Fiction. Other anthologies include: The Best Date Ever: True Stories That Celebrate Gay Relationships, Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling (nominated for the 2007 Lambda Literary Award), Gay City: Vols 2 & 3 (nominated for 2010 Lambda Literary Award), and Zombiality: A Queer Bent on the Undead (nominated for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award). He co-edited the anthology Gay City vol 4: At Second Glance, and also wrote the introduction and a contributing story.
Eric’s writing has also appeared in Flying House Productions, the official magazine of the Seattle Men’s/Women’s Chorus, The Advocate, and Chelsea Station Journal. Eric was featured in The Advocate (ADV1067_iAdvocate) – June/July 2013.
Connect with the Author
Eric will be giving away one lucky winner an eBook copy of The Jesus Injection. Just enter the Rafflecopter draw below. Good Luck X