Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Release Day Review: Tartarus by Eric Andrews-Katz


Title: Tartarus

Author: Eric Andrews-Katz

Release: 13th December 2016

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Genre: M/M (fantasy)


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Long ago, the Olympian Gods conquered and nearly destroyed an earlier race known as the Titans. Echidna, Mother of Monsters, was imprisoned in Tartarus. Centuries later, she has escaped. Entering the modern world, Echidna finds the old Gods are gone, and vows to destroy every descendant of the Olympians.

In the contemporary Pacific Northwest, Adrian and Annelise have lived comfortably--unaware of their Olympian birthright and its significance. When Adrian is introduced to Zack, sparks fly and their initial contact slowly turns to romance.

Echidna unleashes a brutal attack and Zack reveals his Divine lineage. Now he must teach the twins about their own heritage, and how to wield their unique powers for the battle to come. The final battle between Titans and Olympians will be held in the Underworld. Modern weapons have no place and only magic can prevail.

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Mark’s Review

Now this book was really a surprise for me. Why? Well, I usually don’t read anything on a fantasy basis, however as I like my historical stories then I couldn’t resist the premise of Greek gods, Titans, Olympians and all the myth and magic surrounding this. So yes, historical in the sense we have a super take on the Greek gods, monsters and legends; fantastical in the respect of myth, magic and underworlds.

The imagery the author creates in the first few pages is breath-taking. I was already swept away on my mythical Greek trip but it doesn’t take long before we are pulled back to the present day. This gave the story for me a whole new facet when we think that the DNA of the Greek gods have been passed down through mortals for generations but those who possess the gifts of magic are totally oblivious too it at first.

We meet Adrian and Annelise, two twins and both gay, the other fascinating thing I found that was worked into this book is the empathy that twins share. They almost have a sixth sense for what each other is feeling even when they are apart. Even today it is well reported that twins almost share a kind of empathy or telepathy with each other. Annelise has an art gallery and one of her recent exhibitions was for a local artist, Zack. Zack sees or recognises the latent power in Adrian and becomes integral in introducing him to and getting him to accept his powers. I loved the slow build up to all of this, you just know there is so much more to the eye than you think when you first meet Zack but what or who exactly is he and what does he see in Adrian? So from the offset we have the mysterious Zack but my goodness for a mature man he is certainly hot. This was something else that was very refreshing to read. We have mature gay characters, Adrian and Annelise are both 48 and Zack somewhat older with almost sixty. I love this as I don’t always have to read about buff 25 year olds and there is a certain eroticism from using mature characters that you don’t get from younger ones. I call it the Sean Connery syndrome, some men just get better with age!

Anyway, Zack and Adrian are attracted to each other especially considering both have had a bit of a dry spell on the sex front. But whether this all goes well is up to how Adrian can accept who is when it is revealed to him by Zack and also accept who Zack really is. They don’t have a lot of time for romantic fuss because the Mother of Monsters, Echidna, has escaped from her prison, Tartarus and is now out to wreak havoc among the mortals. Again I loved how all this was juxtaposed, how the author brought Echidna back from the underworld to the present day. How the plot develops until the point is reached where Annelise is abducted by Echidna is brilliantly done. All the way I was left holding my breath about what comes next. Now it’s up to Zack and Adrian to enter the underworld to get her back. Again this is the type of fantasy that I can really get to grips with where past magic and myth is connected with the present day. How this is done I found pure genius and loved the whole idea of it. Then the fight begins in the underworld with all the imagery that the author conjures up makes it a joy to read.

This book is pure entertainment from beginning to end without a single boring moment. It is plot driven and extremely light on the erotic but the few times Zack and Adrian do get it on then it is hot! This story treated me to a wonderful modern day Greek saga with all the legend, myth and magic to accompany it. A real page turner if ever there was one.

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Meet Eric Andrews-Katz

385060_10151303291393516_720408827_nEric 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 Newsin 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.

His first novel The Jesus Injection was released November 2012 from Bold Strokes Books

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.



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Sinfully Santa’s Question: Which Greek mythological figure is your favourite and why?

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  1. I'm not too keen on Greek mythology, but if I had to choose, Hades is the mythological figure that interest me due to his darkness and mysteriousness. I mean, come on, god of the underworld?? He might sound scary, but at least he didn't create havock as Ares did. Right, right? :)

    1. The next in my "Olympian" series will be called "The God of the Dead" and is about Hades.

  2. Cool question! There's quite a few I like or know of but the one who stands out most is Daedalus. Not just for his son and the story of Icarus, but I remember learning about the Labyrinth for the first time and being completely fascinated. Thanks for the review and chance!

  3. Probably Artemis for her fierceness.

  4. I love Greek mythology. One of my favourite characters is Persephone, I find it is a very beautiful explanation of seasons, and why they change. Besides, she was so human, letting Hades tempt her with a Promenade

  5. I'm not into mythology of any type. What little I know about Greek Mythology is from watching Hercules and Xena on tv.

  6. It has honestly been so many years since I read anything at all about Greek Mythology I don't have a clue.

  7. Wow, great review from Mark and one which I would not have picked up without reading the comments. I like when myth and real are mixed together. Off to go get!

    Poseidon - I live in a smallish island so the sea is a constant, its power is immense somthe thought that someone is controlling it all was always intriguing.

  8. I am not very apt in Greek Mythology to be honest, but on top of my head, I love Apollo -- because he's a bisexual, he loves art and poetry, and well, supposedly he's not too bad in the eyes as well *lol*.

  9. I adore Greek mythology. I remember first learning about it in 5th grade. I would have to say Athena was my favorite. Goddess of Wisdom and War- What's not to like! Side note- Hades in the Disney version of Hercules was fabulous!


  10. I like Athena because she embodied wisdom.

  11. Have always been fascinated by Greek Gods and Goddesses and their stories. I'm rather fond of Artemis. Her connection with nature and animals is something that is very personal to me.

  12. I prefer Egyptian mythology. My favorite is Hu - he was the guardian of Re (God of the Sun). He traveled with him on his sunboat and protected him from harm. I like Hu and he is one of my protectors. It is said that Re drew blood from his own penis and created Hu. Hmm. Interesting tidbit, isn't it?

  13. I don't have a favorite from Greek mythology because honestly they all seem like assholes.

  14. Themis the goddess of Justice. She's one of my favorites. Many of her statues grace the tops of courthouses and state capitals.

  15. Nice review, thanks. One god I like is Apollo - for his being the god of knowledge, truth and prophecy, and music and art.
    Purple Reader - TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  16. I LIke Apollo. He is the god of really fine arts and knowledge.

  17. I always liked Echo.

  18. My comment from yesterday isn't showing, so I'll try again. There are a few characters I know of and like, but Daedalus is the one who stands out. Not just because of Icarus, but more for his Labyrinth. I remember hearing it for the first time and being fascinated by it all. Thanks for the review and introducing me to a new book, Mark.


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