Author: Suki Fleet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 274 Pages
At a Glance: I cannot say enough about this stunning novel. I highly recommend it to you.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.
A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.
To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.
Review: I have written many superlatives concerning m/m literature in the past. However, I am fairly certain that I have never done before what I am about to do, and that is to claim that the outstanding element in Suki Fleet’s latest novel, Foxes, is its pure, unflinching honesty. This author takes an admittedly hellish and raw story about homeless youth and makes it a love story beyond compare, while never losing the grit, horrors, fears, brutality and desolation of living moment to moment without a safe place to call your own.
Danny, abandoned at an early age, bears the scars–both externally and inwardly–of a boy who has been failed by the system set up to protect him. Living in an empty shower locker in an abandoned indoor pool, he is the hunter who now watches out for the “sharks” who are preying on the young prostitutes and homeless youth outside London. He tracks them each evening, carefully documenting each sighting in his notebook, hoping one day to find the one who killed the only person who really saw Danny—saw beyond the scars and the painful shyness and his fractured mind–his friend, Dashiel. But Danny has such a hard time being out in the public. He finds much more comfort in the machines he can repair, or the little jobs he can do on the side in order to barter for food or goods. He lives on the very edge of society where so many youth are tossed away, and he makes it his mission to look out for them, to protect them.
Micky is lost in a world of hurt that has trapped him thoroughly. Struggling with anorexia, living on borrowed time in London without a proper visa, and running from an event in his past that shattered him most completely, he turns to selling himself on the street and sometimes drinking to forget. He is utterly alone and scared, until he stumbles across the quiet superhero who never looks him in the eye but rescues him again and again. Danny and Micky meet and their worlds turn upside down. But homelessness, living hand-to-mouth, and simply trying to survive is nipping at their heels every second, and it is uncertain if either boy will survive the very streets that brought them together.
I so wish I had the words to describe this incredible story. Such gritty reality poured off every page of this novel. I could not put this book down. The fate of both Danny and Micky, alongside a secondary cast of characters that ranged from other homeless youth to the compassionate souls who occasionally fed them, watched out for them and helped them as best as they could, all mixed together to create a gut-wrenching tale that held me in its grip from beginning to end. I must repeat that word—honesty. There is no fairytale ending to the incredible journey Micky and Danny take together. At the end of this story, each boy still grapples with their demons, but this time with a sense of hope—a hint at a future that will see them stronger and happier. And, sincerely, this is the strength of this author. Rather than lead us into some unbelievable conclusion, Suki Fleet shows us that some can make it beyond the horrible life one endures in a barely survivable existence.
Danny is transformed—slowly, steadily–and still retains his fears, but learns to master those he needs to in order to be the protector he desires to be for Micky. Micky comes to terms with the fact that he cannot continue to run from a parent that hates him, a disease that is killing him, and a life that is destroying the one thing he wants more than life, his Danny. During this intricate and stunning story, we are allowed to enter into the lives of those whom society has so callously tossed away and who are the hidden castoffs no one wants to discuss. And through it all, the discovery of first love is woven throughout the plot of this tale, giving it some of the most dazzlingly beautiful moments to ever grace the page.
Foxes shows us a world we would rather forget and reminds us that in the darkest of places, light shines and love abounds. I cannot say enough about this stunning novel. I highly recommend it to you.
You can buy Foxes here: