And God Belched

Title: And God Belched
Author: Rob Rosen
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Genre(s): Gay Science Fiction, Humour, Young Adult
Page Count: 204 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


In this riotously funny romantic adventure, Randy and his younger brother, Craig, find themselves in a different universe, on a strange planet, desperately searching for Milo, a handsome stranger in imminent danger, all while being chased by the heavily armed local authorities. And that’s just the start of this epic journey. But what else does fate have in store for our brave heroes? And can one human save two worlds, the handsome alien he’s fallen in love with, his entire family, and a self-aware watch? Read on, dear Earthlings, to find out!

This is an interesting story with some clever, well-crafted ideas. The lead character is portrayed, as being twenty-two but the style of writing and maturity are clearly of teenage years. Written from a first person perspective the book is driven by a youthful naivety that lacks reflection or depth. Once the reader accepts this then you are not constantly left to question what is happening or why consequences are not important. All of the characters have defining characteristics, but could hardly be described as complex. It is the inventiveness of the story that is of interest and keeps the reader motivated to continue throughout. Although there are risky situations throughout there is no tension as everything is positively resolved within a short span of time. The world building is quite clever and offers some potential for plot development. As with the characters there isn’t a lot of depth to this but the environment does provide an effective context. Humour is present throughout, this is not a serious book, even though it is based on a philosophical premise and deals with the collision of worlds.

As the lead character is presented as being twenty-two the author is free to present consensual sex without the need for euphemism. Driven by a sub-plot feature, horniness and sex is a constant feature of the book but does not swamp it. The sex lacks graphic reality and as such is as light as the rest of the story. There are strong feelings between characters presented throughout, but these are pure and unquestioning and as such do not provide any complexity to the tale.

This is an action and novelty driven story and as such there is always a lot going on. With no real sub-plots we follow the characters through a number of adventures that lead towards a simple solution to what should be a complex problem.

That there is a happy ending should not be surprising. In reality this could have ended one of two ways. The author chose the more complex route but it is the one where everyone comes out of this with a positive solution. Whilst there were quite a few loose ends to tie up, this was done simply and neatly. As such the reader can come away from the book without too many ‘what-about…’ questions.

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Galley copy of And God Belched provided by MLR Press in exchange of an honest review.

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