Other Reviewers: Goodreads
This is an advance reader copy given to me by the author for an honest review. As with all of my review, these are my own opinions.
I know very little about Adrienne Wilder’s writing, Seven is the first of her books I have read. Yet, the chance to discover a new author or writing style is always exciting to me, so I jumped at the chance. I also don’t get to read much about science-fiction M/M romance, so this was a great opportunity to expand my mind.
Chase Sarim has lost his job, is in a dump of an apartment, and is hiding from his father. In the meantime, he meets his cooky neighbor, Seven, who while attractive is a little few cards short a full deck of cards. But, there is something strangely compelling about Seven and somehow Chase is drawn into his world. Maybe Seven isn’t as crazy as he seems?
Chase Sarim: The first thing I thought about Chase was, that he needs to have better friends and better family. We see through his perspective (1/2 the time), and I just wanted to smack most of the people around him. The author does a brilliant job of building suspense around Chase, we feel how desperate he is for a job and I was constantly on edge about people taking advantage of him.
“I think the only person your grudge is hurting is you.”
But Chase had given in to his dad once, and let the old man bully him into taking a side. Let his dad scare him into saying things he didn’t mean. And not saying things he should have. At that time, Chase was unable to tell the man no. Nowadays, all he had was no.
There is an air around Chase that says he is easily influenced, and that bothers me as a person. So it was hard for me to identify with his character.
I loved how Chase describes Seven early on in the book.
Chase stared at the strange crumpled metal cap Seven wore on his head. It brought to mind Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers. Seven wriggled the cap under Chase’s nose. He took it, not sure if he wanted to know what the white powdery stuff was or not. It couldn’t have been safe. People who wore aluminum hats had to be inherently dangerous.
This quote shows us Wilder’s humorous writing and begins the plot along. Seven is the person that I identified with and who I “rooted” for throughout the book. His good heart and quick mind was something that I wanted to see how the ending would come for him.
I think the theme for me was about how these two men found each other (and themselves) from the isolation of their previous lives when they run into together. Much of their back story, friends, family, and acquaintances used them to get what they wanted. Now these two men tumble together and find something more than they expected.
One of the things I loved about this book is the sense of humor. Early on, Chase has a conversation with his friend Martin about his apartment:
Martin had better score Chase that position with The Tribune. It had only been three days, but the man was known to work greater miracles. Chase took out his cell phone and dialed.
It rang twice before Martin answered. “So, did you get moved in?”
“Please tell me The Tribune is begging for me to start tomorrow.”
Martin laughed. “Aw, c’mon, Chase, it can’t be that bad.”
“The apartment next to mine has no door, the hall smells like a public bathroom in Underground Atlanta, and there’s rat shit on my welcome mat.”
“You could always apologize to your old man and tell him you’ll take a position on the board at his firm.”
“I’d rather sleep with the rats.”
Another part that was compelling was the scenes with the bad guy (Dr. David Stone). When I read the scenes with him, I found him disturbing and scary. It is an example of how visceral the book is at times, in fact, I had to skip parts of his bad guy stuff because I was so nervous.
What could be better?
Not sure if this is more of a comment about my preferences or something that could be improved. In Seven, we get to see both Seven and Chase’s perspectives, which I love. But there are large parts of the novel where we got to see Dr. Stone. Remember how I said that he was disturbing? Well, I think that one of the reasons that I gave this story a 3 star is because the bad guy was just that a “über evil bad guy”. He was what I consider a stereotypical evil doctor. This, in my opinion is a danger an author faces when they allow the reader to get inside a bad guy’s head. For me, that can encourage people to skim your book, which is never a good thing.
I think for me, I would have preferred less scenes with him metaphorically rubbing his hands and cackling with his evilness.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I would not say that this is a character driven novel, but it is an exciting romp. But, the two main characters were interesting and the science-fiction story original and exciting. I think that if you like to read books that have that dramatic “Doctor No” type plot line and villains then you will enjoy this book.