Friday, 31 July 2015

Transmundo by Varian Krylov - ARC review

Transmundo: Escape
Varian Krylov

Book description:

Strange, quiet Luka doesn't live in this world; long ago he took refuge in his art, escaping into surreal mindscapes inspired by his favorite painters. In the beautifully monstrous realms of his imagination, he is safe from the pain of his losses: his family, his friends, his hope. 

Until war breaks out, and he is forced to flee the only home he's known since he was thirteen. 

Captured by an enemy soldier, young Luka is marched across brutal terrain, toward a fate known only by the bearded menace holding him prisoner. Quick with a knife, tireless and strong, Tarik guards the purpose of his mission as he takes Luka deeper and deeper into enemy territory. 

When the soldier discovers the painful secret he has been hiding since childhood, Luka fears he is about to endure a new kind of cruelty, worse than being abandoned, ostracized or beaten. Or is it possible the soldier holding Luka prisoner is the one person who isn't afraid of the truth behind Luka's silence and lies?

My thoughts:

First off, look at that cover! How beautiful is it? Varian used one of her own images for it and it's gorgeous! For those of you who don't know, Varian is also a very talented photographer and owner of Strangeland Photography. If you haven't checked out her photos yet, you really should! The cover was designed by the very talented Bey Deckard - I love how he incorporated the map of Varian's book setting into the image.

It's no secret I love Varian's writing. I fell in love with it after reading Dangerously Happy, and later on the sequel Bad Things. Both books had a strong BDSM undercurrent and even though BDSM is not usually my thing, I enjoyed them immensely.
In Transmundo, Varian takes a step back from the BDSM. It's a sweet, melancholic journey of discovery.

Luka is a 19 year old man born in the wrong country at the wrong time. His country is at war, a senseless, cruel war, that seems to have no meaning or foreseeable end. His gentle soul has been beaten, stomped on and abused all his life. Luka doesn't need much - he just wants to live in peace and be free to express himself through his art.
Unfortunately, vile hatred towards everything Luka is - gay, beautiful, effeminate, talented - crushes all of Luka's dreams, however small and fragile they may be.

Horrible circumstances lead Luka into Tarik's life.
Tarik is a deserted soldier who's refused to be a part of the madness of the war. The two men travel hundreds of kilometres on foot, struggling to survive. Struggling to trust each other.
But when they do - it's beautiful.

Varian's writing is pure magic. I've never read an author who could pull me into the story so fully that I feel it bleeding off the page and surrounding me. I could feel every breath, every exhale, every shiver, hunger pang and gentle caress. 

Luka and Tarik's journey is hard - physically and mentally exhausting, and yet they manage to find their way towards each other; to try and mend whatever is broken inside both of them.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Transmundo to anyone who's looking for a sensual, beautiful book resembling a piece of art rather than a novel. The ending is Happy for Now since this is the first part of a series, and I already can't wait for part 2!

Where to buy:

Transmundo will be released on August 6th. You can preorder it now at Amazon.

Varian's social media links:

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