Coal to Diamonds

CoaltoDiamondsTitle:  Coal to Diamonds

Author:  Augusta Li

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Rating:  B+  Cher   B List

Blurb:  In order to survive high school, Cole, Cam, and Bobby came together as friends and lovers to form a coven to practice magic. Then after graduation, Cam and Bobby escaped the small, backward town where they grew up and went on to success, leaving Cole behind.

Ten years later, a series of tragedies brings Cam and Bobby back to Cole, and leads them to a powerful man named Darius Thorn, who wants to hone—and control—their magical skills. But after being apart so long, the trust and devotion they once felt isn’t as strong as it used to be, and they’ll need to reforge their bond and combine their energies to survive

Review:  This is an intense and dark story of witchcraft and evil.  This is a love story that spans over a decade.  This is a story of betrayal, hate, obsession, abandonment, suffering, enslavement, loyalty, strength, endurance, and hope.  Full of twists, turns and switchbacks, I found myself surprised, nervous, confused, concerned, sad, turned on, anxious and hopeful.  Which is pretty amazing for a 127 page novella, well done, Augusta Li, you have my congratulations and thanks.

I found myself aching for Cole throughout the story.  Abandoned and rejected again and again until that seemed the logical thing to be done to him.  Such loneliness and need and soul deep love.   His devotion to Cam and Bobby was so bittersweet and endless.  I had moments of wanting to smack both of his boys and tell them to pay attention to the screaming ache inside of Cole.  But I started to realize that there was such a dark refrain inside of Cole that his perception of their actions, devotion and love for him couldn’t be trusted.  All three are such beautiful broken boys.  As I journeyed along with them and began to know them better it slowly became clear that so much pain could have been avoided if they had only realized what their adolescent hearts had long ago tried to tell them. These men were meant and made to be together and they would never, could never, be complete without all three of them together.

My sweet and sensitive friends, this novel has layers of dubious consent and abuse interwoven into the catalysts of the story.  There is such confused blurring of what is desire, need, pain, fear, lust and love and what is slowly killing them.  There is past abuse and the use of that abuse against and to abuse in the present.  I felt it was well written and was an integral part of the story, but as always only you can know what you can handle.

I think I might have loved this novella.  It was slow to leave me, I think that even days later it is still slowly sliding through my psyche, it has a power to it that I can still feel.  While I wished for more and still do, I also felt that the story was told.  And while I am fervently hoping that Augusta Li will revisit, even if only briefly, these beautiful men, I believe I know what they will be doing.

Reviewed by Nina

Posted on May 8, 2013, in Nina and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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