Sparrows and the Hawk

Sparrows and the Hawk coverIt’s 1938. November 9th. Germany.

Erwin needs to flee from the nazi, taking his friend with him. Not on is Daniel jew, but they also love each other — something that is not accepted. They hope to escape Germany and the nazi’s but is that even a possibility?

THOUGHTS
Let’s start with a bit of useless trivia: My older sister’s father (the one I call dad) was born in 1924. He, in fact, would have been almost 15 in November 1938. If he still lived, I would have asked him: “Dad, what was it like in 1938?” and hope he could answer, as he had Alzheimer’s, so you never know.

However, I never asked him that as I was 14 when he passed away, meaning that now that I read something set in Nazi Germany, I feel like I lost a valuable perspective I could have used as I read this book.

All that said, let’s get into breaking this piece of literature.

Much like Clyde Andrew’s novella Meeting the Boyfriend’s Parents, this is gay romance with sexual content. On a scale from 0 to 50 shade of NSFA, this is about 3. Not bad, still a bit discomforting, but also not so bad I’d drop the book. I wouldn’t say the sexy stuff affect my opinion the book itself.

Let’s start with the negative points and then the good stuff.

[Edit: The below couple things have been fixed, and aren’t in the final version, so just skip two paragraphs. I’m leaving them in for future reference though!]

A really tiny thing was that it seemed Andrews got confused while writing the dialogue at times. Without names with two characters, it’s usually
A
B
A
B
and so forth, but there were one or two times when it didn’t match and was unclear who was talking. It could start with Daniel, be an odd number of lines and it technically should end with Daniel, but, instead, it was Erwin and it was completely unclear which of the lines between the mention of Daniel speaking and Erwin speaking who said what. I tried to read the same dialogue several times, but if read, assuming Daniel start it, it sounded like the last line should have been Daniel, and reading assuming it was Erwin, it was as is all line except the first one could be contributed with Erwin saying every other line. There was no line that made me feel “Ah, this is probably Daniel’s/Erwin’s extra line!”

Speaking of which, there was a time when Daniel took Daniel’s hand. That… It was funny but it was pretty obvious an honest mistake. It happens.

The pacing was a bit on an off. It got maybe a third into it with a nice switch between high tension parts and low tension parts, but then it… I was to say crash, but it was the opposite. It just wouldn’t go low tension for very long for a while! It was frustrating that it was dialled up with no time to “rest”, but it got it’s pacing back after the mid-part of the story, so at least it was like it was stuck at high for the rest of the book.

Something that’s not necessarily bad was that I got confused about how much time had passed. At some point, I looked at the date and wondered when it started. *facepalm* I’m 99% certain that was just me overlooking it, but I still mention it since it may be that the text just wasn’t catching enough attention.

So what was good then?

I love the story. Andrews depicted the fear of being caught by nazis very well, and while the structural problems messed pacing, it didn’t take away my enjoyment of the story itself. It showed how, even when the entire world seems to be against you, you have allies by your side. That was a bit of “love conquers all” mixed into it, which was cute.

But while it had cutesy (and sexy) stuff mixed in, there were parts of raw reality; people being sent to work camps, (attempts to) rape, people being shot for no reason, betrayal — all parts of the reality that was at the time, and that we, unfortunately, still go through. The balance of the good, happy moments and the heart-breaking, soul-tearing moments was fantastic.

Then again, we all know I love when my heart is ripped to pieces, don’t we?

I think the characterisation and character dynamics were really well done as well. The back and forth between childhood friends together with the different personalities — Erwin’s shier, more easily embarrassed nature in contrast to Daniel’s more practical and at times straight-forward personality — made it an enjoyable read.

And, to be quite honest, I had some good laughs during the sexier scenes. Whether or not that’s my asexuality finding it ridiculous or if it was actually funny, I can’t tell, but I had some really good laughs. Once I just wheezed because it was so funny I can’t even laugh, though that wasn’t a sexy scene.

There were things that were supposed to be funny as well, and I appreciated the humour mixed into the darker theme always looming over our two mains.

In short, a read I recommend if you don’t mind some shorter, mostly tasteful (lol) scenes in which they explore each other’s body in many ways their sexuality, romance and a mix of dark and light scenes. And a bit of structural mishap. Kindle edition will be out on Friday, but you can preorder the book from Amazon.

I got the book from free again, so no affiliate links (as I remain unaffiliated with Amazon), but a link to order can be found at the normal place at the bottom.

What would you like to see a review of next? Let me know in a comment!

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