Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences. – Robert Louis Stevenson
Do you remember in the movie Jurassic Park, when Dr. Ian Malcolm is talking to Dr. Alan Grant about Chaos Theory? In science, chaos means something only slightly different than the typical utter confusion, madness, and mayhem we mean when we use it in everyday language, but let me tell you, in this installment of Alec Caldwell’s evolution, chaos and Chaos Theory—the lack of order in a system that nevertheless obeys particular laws or rules—both could apply. There is an underlying order to the Master/slave, Dom/sub relationship, right? Well, what happens, then, when you throw a switch into the stream, especially one who seems more inclined to his submissive tendencies? It seems to me what you get is man who’s struggling against the current of an order and structure of mastery and servitude. And flailing. And maybe is failing at succeeding to be one or the other, let alone both. They say no man can serve two Masters. Well, in this installment, it appears to me Alec isn’t doing such a great job of serving even one.
The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Volume Two, in which a little freedom is a baaaaaad thing?
You know what’s fun? Trying to figure out the motivations of pretend people. You know what’s not fun? Not being able to figure out the motivations of pretend people. Hmph. I don’t mind telling you I was
a little pissed a lot pissed at Alec for a good bit of this book, and I’m just not altogether convinced that he has what it takes to be a Master to his own boys, plural, at least not until he learns how to be a good and honest and devoted boy to his own Master. I may also be rushing to judgment. We’ll see.
In Volume One of the series, I spent a lot of time questioning whether Hamilton loved Alec as much as he professed to. In Volume Two, I spent much of the time questioning whether Alec even knows what love is, or whether he merely equates love with whomever gives him the best orgasm. Mr. Right, a slew of Mr. Right Nows, and the random one-offs that fall somewhere further along the spectrum of temporary bliss keep Alec in a state of post-coital befuddlement. I have to tell you, at this stage of the game, I’m siding with Hamilton (although, after a certain incident, I’m reserving the right to a righteous hate on him. We’ll see what happens) and getting behind that latter theory that Alec is a moment-to-moment kind of guy. Alec… Oh, that boy is becoming a habitual liar by omission, and that grated on me more than a little. And remember that whole loyalty thing? Pfft. ::sigh:: But Hamilton isn’t perfect either. And there’s still time for Alec to mature and to redeem himself, and I’m going to let him because he went a long way at the end of this volume to show me he understood the error of his ways, as well as it becoming clear that Hamilton understands he needs to take a firmer hand with his boy, while at the same time creating new boundaries. A little freedom went a long way. A lot of freedom was, well, blurgh. (That’s the sound I made while I was reading.) Maybe all will be well in Volume Three. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to believe that, though.
There are rules and a certain order, even among the chaotic universal maxim that if something can go wrong, it most definitely will. Casey K. Cox breaks a lot of rules in this series, seemingly penning these stories in a sort of stream-of-consciousness method that goes against the flow of what I’m used to but I’m really enjoying. I’ll be honest, in order to bear with this book, I almost had to convince myself it was an Alt U fantasy, set in a parallel London where a plethora of Augustus Gloops gorged themselves on the chocolate river of unlimited, consequence free, and condom-less sex. (Eek, bad metaphor!) But seriously, this London is a vast urban habitat where the feral and fascinating cockmonster preys. (Eek, bad slang!) No, honestly, this is a city where the men are at least a squillion times hornier and more virile (without the aid of chemical enhancement) than in real life. (Eek! No… that’s not even bad hyperbole. It’s true.) Let’s be for realsies, though, in real life, I don’t think anyone’s pecker or pucker could withstand this much friction. A dude’s gonna chafe sooner or later. But, hey, this is fiction and sometimes the rules of realism just don’t apply.
Good on Ms. Cox for writing a story about people who have made me question everything I thought I knew about love, relationships, sex, aberrant behavior, social norms, and fidelity. Not the monogamous kind of faithfulness but the sort in which a man has the strength of character to tell the truth and not to endanger the men he supposedly loves by having unsafe sex because he’s so driven by his little head that he is incapable of stopping to think of the consequences of his actions with the big one.
Yeah, I said I was pissed, but I’m really more frustrated than anything else. Hamilton just needs to keep his boy bound and gagged for a bit.
On to Volume Three!