Title: The Pill Bugs of Time
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 62 Pages
At a Glance: The Pill Bugs of Time is a funny little gem!
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle Monroe as a lover, partner, and friend.
But life in Philadelphia’s 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues, and… time travel?
If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries worth…
Review: First off, this is a sequel but can honestly be read as a standalone. Secondly, it is funny, clever, crazy and just the best kind of weird paranormal one has come to expect from this marvelous author, Angel Martinez. The Pill Bugs Of Time carries us back to the 77th Precinct, where life is far from normal and the inhabitants all have a touch of paranormal gifting that cannot always be controlled.
On a routine call (well, routine if you are from this Philadelphia squad), Vikash picks up a bug that has the ability to send him to an alternate reality and put him into a coma-like state. Still struggling with being romantically involved with his partner Kyle, Kash wakes up to realize he was just privy to a future where Kyle is no longer, and this adds to his already heavy laden guilt about being so deeply in the closet he cannot find the door.
As the two of them pursued the source of these weird time travel bugs, Kash and Kyle would face a tougher problem—whether they can realistically stay together when Kash cannot acknowledge in public that they are a couple. Lots of things hang in the balance as these two fight this new paranormal baddie, not the least of which is the potential ending of a relationship that barely had a chance to begin.
There were times in this sweet little story that I laughed till my sides hurt. Such a clever premise combined with fast paced action, unbelievably delightful characters, and a fascinating plot line. The cast of characters was just so eclectic and surreal that they absolutely worked, somehow making them a realistic team of cops in a wacky setting. With Kyle and Kash as the leaders of a hodgepodge of crazy fellow investigators, hilarity ensued as this group somehow managed to work together despite their individual paranormal gifts, which often got them all into trouble.
However, all was not fun and games in this novella. My heart just broke for poor Kash as he struggled to find some way to break through his own fears. He was hyperaware that Kyle deserved so much more than a boyfriend who lived with the irrational worry that he would be outed to colleagues and family. He grappled with the sure thought that Kyle was eventually going to wake up to the fact that Kash himself was sabotaging their floundering relationship. By refusing to even allow Kyle to talk about the fact that they practically lived together, much less physically display any type of affection in public, Kash drove Kyle further and further away, and essentially killed any hope of them remaining lovers. Right up to the end of this clever and witty story, we were uncertain if the two main characters would be together at the end.
The Pill Bugs Of Time by Angel Martinez was just a delightful story of love and friendship. Underlying all the fun was the profound message that we can lose that which we love in a heartbeat, and that reality should remind us to keep what we hold dear close and never take it for granted.
You can buy The Pill Bugs of Time here: