Title: King of the Sea
Author: Nathan Bay
Length: 102 Pages
At a Glance: King of the Sea started off wonderfully but slowly lost believability as more and more outrageous things happened.
Reviewed By: Angel
Blurb: Plunge into the icy dark waters of the San Francisco bay with this gay erotic tale of murder, mutiny, and mermen.
Carlos Santiago is a man on the edge of sanity. After battling cancer, he’s developed an obsession with death, fearful that it’s lurking behind every shadow, waiting to steal his last breath. Then a sexy encounter with an alluring merman turns his world upside down and gives him new hope for the future.
But escaping his former boyfriend, Dr. Tyson Thorne, won’t be so easy. When Carlos discovers shocking medical experiments were taking place behind his back, he embarks on a race against time to unlock the mystery of the doctor’s secrets before he gets caught.
With danger threatening him at every turn, can Carlos escape the hands of death a second time? And can he trust his new merman love interest when everyone around him seems to be hiding a dark secret? Find out in KING OF THE SEA, the tantalizing new gay erotica thriller by Nathan Bay.
Review: King of the Sea is a first book by Nathan Bay, and I had a hard time trying to review and rate it. The blurb, which sounds fantastic, is deceiving, and the execution of the plot was so farfetched, disjointed, and jumbled, that I had several “huh… what?” moments. There is a strong beginning, a happy ending, and it is neatly edited to a T, but those are the few saving graces.
Honestly, I would say the first chapter was the strongest and best. I could really empathize with Carlos. His life had taken a turn for the worse with a diagnosis of cancer, and his lover, who has made certain Carlos had all the physical aspects taken care of, has distanced himself emotionally from Carlos. Carlos is also given the best medical treatment and the cancer is removed, leaving him depressed and both emotionally and physically in pain. All of this happens in less than a year, and Carlos realizes this on their one year anniversary which is unacknowledged by both men and spent separately. In a drugged haze, Carlos encounters a merman in the San Francisco bay that heals him with sex. Here’s where the oddness begins.
After this meeting, I was a little intrigued but also a bit wary. Carlos wanders back home, has a fight with his lover, then leaves to begin what turns out to be a horror trip through modern day Wonderland. Sci-fi and thriller doesn’t even begin to cover the many, many things that happen after the strange sexual encounter.
Carlos’ life takes an entire National Enquirer magazine and makes it come to startling reality. There was just too much, too many crazy, unbelievable and inconceivable things happening all at once, and I was left with a sense of being on a drug addled trip myself.
When a surprise encounter brings Carlos in contact with a pregnant man being held hostage, and horrifying medical/genetic engineering—both perpetuated by his lover—then runs off to the red light district and a BDSM club, I nearly quit reading entirely. I had come this far, though, and soldiered through to the ending.
The tropes that are jumbled into this novella outnumber the word count. Murder, sexual hijinks, mystical creatures, and fantastical powers are just a few of the plot points that could have been saved with some strong writing, but it never returns to that intense level of the first chapter, and I was so disappointed.
The novella is neatly and happily wrapped up with the good guys winning everything, and the bad guys getting their comeuppance, but, wow, definitely a laughable and out of control read. I doubt I will attempt anything else by this author.
You can buy King of the Sea here: