Fool’s Errand (Fool’s Odyssey #1)

Title: Fool’s Errand (Fool’s Odyssey #1)
Author: Chris Quinton
Publisher: Manifold Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M futuristic paranormal romance
Length: 158 pdf pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jenre

Summary Review
An interesting paranormal with a futuristic twist and flawed heroes.

THE BLURB

First in the Fool’s Odyssey Trilogy – Xavi is a sometime hooker, sometime gigolo, working the rich pickings of wealthy tourists and bored socialites of Barcelona in 2042. His current meal ticket is Sophia Matas, the wife of a prominent politician. Then Sophia is assassinated and he’s the only witness. Within hours, Xavi finds himself in protective custody and in a safe house. His guardian is Andreas, a vampire liaising with the Barcelona police.

Andreas needs to exert control – of himself, his abilities, and his relationships. Now he must keep Xavi safe. If he can keep Xavi in one place long enough. They embark on an affair that will define who and what they are, played out in an deadly dance of kill-or-be-killed danger.

THE REVIEW

Now here’s an interesting idea, set in Spain in the not too distant future when vampires have made themselves known, this novella takes several different themes and interweaves them with a mystery and romance plot. My only complaint being that I wanted more – but more about that later.

Andreas is a vampire who works as a liaison between the vampire commune and Barcelona. He’s also worked for many years with the FBI and NSA in the USA, but found the pervasive fear in that country to be too unsettling. He is teamed up with a Spanish detective, Aquilar, and his first case is to investigate the murder of the wife of a prominent politician, as well as discover the possible mole in the police department. In the course of the investigation Andreas is called upon to protect a witness to the murder, Xavi, who is a high class prostitute. There’s a strong attraction between the pair, but Xavi’s bad experiences with men is a blockage to Andreas’ increasingly strong feelings of protectiveness.

The book basically follows two plots: that of the investigation and that of the relationship between Andreas and Xavi. Mixed in with these plots is the worldbuilding, which is given to us in bits and pieces as the story progresses. I was in two minds about how this was done. On one hand I appreciated the fact that there wasn’t any info-dump at the beginning, rather an intelligent dispersal of information, but on the other hand the way that the reader is only given bits and pieces is a little frustrating. There was so much more I wanted to know! Given that this is the first part of a trilogy, I’m hoping that I find out more about the fascinating way the world works in this futuristic story, and the different powers of the vampires, in later books.

The mystery plot is very action based, meaning that rather than a slow piecing together of clues, the bad guys basically fall into the laps of the detectives through a series of chases, show downs and set pieces. This was rather entertaining to read, but those of you who look for more serious detective work in their mysteries may find this aspect a little too unrealistic or even low-brow. I didn’t mind it myself because really the main gist of the story is centred around the romantic pairing of Xavi and Andreas.

Like the worldbuilding, I was in two minds about the romance plot. I liked both heroes, especially Xavi, who hovers the line between good guy and criminal. He’s a flawed character which made him perhaps the most interesting of the pair. Andreas isn’t bland by any means but I didn’t feel I knew him as well as Xavi by the end. We learn about how and why he became a vampire and that he very quickly develops possessive feelings for Xavi, but that is all. Hopefully as the trilogy progresses I shall learn more about what makes him tick because he’s still very enigmatic by the end. One niggle I had with the relationship was that it all happens rather quickly – in fact a bit too quickly for the sort of commitment they make at the end of the novella. I know that they spend a couple of intense days in each other’s company, but I think I would have liked more on page time between the heroes before I could wholly believe their commitment. The D/s part of the relationship is important but also low key and led to sensuous sex scenes which I found very appealing.

So, overall I greatly enjoyed this story. The heroes are engaging and there are lots of great ideas which combine to create a vivid world in the future. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy and seeing where the author takes these characters.

OVERALL

23 comments

  • LOL, Jenre, I was hoping Chris would drop the D/S but I guess that won’t happen!!! 😀

    I thought for Xavi to trust someone was a big step in itself, felt a bit weird that the sex had to be soo ritualistic? But I often don’t get the D/S part of romance…

    Reply
  • God, I loved the set-up in this story! Who can resist Spain, Barcelona, Vampires, police/fbi agents and a street kid all in one?

    I was a bit dissapointed by the insta-love though, the relationship felt rushed and I actually didn’t get the D/S part of it, even if it resulted in some sensual sex scenes?

    Why would a vampire with experience from concentration camp be into that stuff? Because he is a predator? But why didnt that change for Xavi once he was turned?

    Reply
    • Hi Saga
      I’m hoping that the sequel to this book will help with some of your questions, especially to iron out some of the insta-love and explore the D/s side of their relationship a bit more thoroughly.

      Reply
  • Hi, Jenre,

    I’ve only just discovered this review, so apologies for not thanking you sooner for a great review of Errand *g*.

    I haven’t been to Barcelona myself, but my son has on several occasions, so I was able to pick his brains for background details.

    Reply
    • Hi Chris

      Thanks for stopping by. I really liked this book and look forward to the next one in the series.

      I’ve not been to Barcelona either but your story made the city seem so vivid :).

      Reply
  • Insightful review as Lilli said Jen.

    I have read a couple of vamp series set in the near future that I really enjoyed, so this one should prove to be very interesting.

    Great cast of characters – ex hooker and vampire detective – innovative. I don’t know that I would mind the worldbuilding being given in bits because so many of these books are an info dump, so this might work for me.

    Reply
    • Hi Wave and thanks :).

      I think you should like this one then. You are right, many books do dump loads of info on you at the beginning, something which the author managed to avoid here, but I did wish for a little more. I felt teased with tiny scraps when I wanted a meal :). Hopefully the next book will satisfy my curiosity!

      Reply
  • I read this too and really liked the world of Andreas & Xavi. I can’t wait to see where the author takes this series and these characters!
    Besides I loved “Aloes & Sea Change” so Chris is a “must buy” for me.

    Reply
    • Hi rdafan7
      Yes, I’m intrigued as to where the author takes these characters too. I’m looking forward to the next book.

      Reply
  • Barcelona is my favorite European city. I’ve been there several times and I’m always planning on when I can go back. Its a fascinating place.

    Also, Chris Quinton is an auto-buy for me, having written some of my all-time favorite books. This one sounds right up my alley, so I’m sure I’ll love it.

    Reply
  • Insightful review, Jenre, thank you!
    I might add this to my TBR although it’s a bit out of the usual for me with the mystery.
    But you make the world building and relationship sound quite intriguing, considering it’s the first in a trilogy.

    Also, I LOVE Barcelona, been there just this last summer, so that’s another plus.

    Reply
    • Hi Lilli
      The Spanish setting is very important and often used to make a comparison with the US of the future.

      The mystery plays only a relatively small part, serving as more of a means to get the men together and a way of showing the reading some of Andreas’ special vamp skills, so I wouldn’t let that part put you off.

      Reply
  • I liked this one Jen and I am looking forward to the next part. ( Which will arrive in May ’11)
    The setting was very original, I don’t think I have ever read an m/m that was set in Spain.

    Reply
    • Ingrid,
      The Game in Spain by Lydia Nyx (Noble Romance Publishing) is another example of a novel set in Spain. And out of curiosity: the cover of Angel Moon by Shayla Kersten (Ellora’s Cave Publishing) features an Spanish setting (The Umbracle in Valencia)

      Jenre,
      Thank you for the review. I´m more that tempted to check this one.

      Reply
      • Hi Helena

        Thanks for the recs! I have The Game in Spain on my TBR pile. Must dig that one out soon. There’s also An American in Seville by Lenore Black which is in the DSP Necking anthology.

        Hope you enjoy it, especially the Spanish setting which I felt worked well and seemed realistic, but I’ve never been to Spain so I’m possibly not the best judge :).

        Reply
    • You’re right, Ingrid. It was great to see an m/m set in a country other than the US/Canada/UK.

      Thanks for the info on when the next book is released. May seems too far away!

      Reply

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