"Boys in Our Books"…

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REVIEW: “Guttersnipe” by Isa K.


The City is sexless. The City is absolute. She will provide you with everything you could ever need, banish the uncertainty of hunger, disease and unemployment … As long as you follow one simple rule: stay pure.

For three years Derek has been a sexual outlaw. He has evaded the police, escaped the elite who hunt him for sport, and supported himself with the help of powerful friends. But that was before Marco abducted him off the street and claimed him as his property.

Imprisoned in the man’s massive country estate, the world of the elite is far more corrupt and deviant than even Derek could have imagined. His situation is not what it seems. The people who appear to be allies will betray him; the people who appear to be enemies will protect him. He’s caught in a cat and mouse game between his new master and the people who might have been setting Derek up all along.


We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. At least part of Oscar Wilde’s famous quote is true for our guttersnipe Derek. The MC struck us as a pretty simple fella, a pawn in the games of the elite in an almost sexless dystopian society. And yet, gutter rat Derek stars on ‘Most Wanted’ posters like no other. The reason? Derek is a serial virgin stealer dubbed a rebel/criminal by the elite, but scaling walls and climbing through the windows of the unknowing and (oddly) willing he is seen as a Don Juan superhero to the masses.

You will definitely need to suspend your disbelief over this world’s ideologies on population control, lord knows we had to. You’d think that tying tubes, compulsory vasectomies or simply putting something in the water would’ve yielded much better results than strictly controlled abstinence…

Throughout Guttersnipe, Isa K. is at the mercy of your ability to speculate and fill in the missing details yourself in a plausible manner. She doesn’t purposely and cleverly let you make up your own mind here. She simply forgets to buckle you up firmly for the ride, so that with every plot hole you encounter you’ll get catapulted from your seat, only to climb back into it after you’ve managed to talk yourself into some semi-plausible solution.

But, this is nonetheless a great ride, despite pole vaulting the canyons sized plot holes. K’s characters are framed with just enough raw bone for lots of lovely psychological speculation and reader interpretation. There’s very little stereotypical pin boarding here and that makes it an intriguing and compelling character study. The plot focus is not always where you think it should be either. So did K. lose focus and go off on incidentals? What about the game that’s supposed to be at play? What’s the role of so and so and what the hell is this insta-love/lust thing that’s dominating our dub-con?  And then … it’s KABOOM …the plotting finally kicked into gear at the final 50 (?) or so pages and it was awesome! It was OMG grin-inducingly awesome!

Treat Guttersnipe as light-hearted Yaoi in book form, a pulpy fun read in which the dub con and non con elements never truly harm anyone or affect them psychologically. In this regard, Isa K. winks at Ai No Kusabi (or Taming Riki if you like). Though we have to say that the accompanying art is sorely missed here!

All in all, Kat thought that the characters could’ve been more intense, the plot tighter and darker, thus providing readers with a real sense of urgency; but she’s definitely intrigued enough to want to try The Condor.

Shelley thought it odd that, in the end, Isa K actually cemented herself as one of her favourite authors. How can something so structurally flawed, based on such an illogical concept makes her admire this writer so much? … “I honestly believe that she will only get better and better at this, now I apologise if that sounds patronising but she is one to watch. K breaks the rules and writes whatever the fuck she wants, her way. If she was a painter her art would look a bit like Salvador Dali’s: questionable, unbalanced, exciting, debatable, never conventional and a bit screwy. I can only applaud that.”



15712177Title: Guttersnipe
Author: Isa K.
Publisher: Selfpub
Pages: 259 pages
Release Date: June 30th 2012
Purchase Links: Smashwords

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2014 by in PNR / UF / SF / DYS, Reviewer: Katinka, Reviewer: Shelley and tagged , , , .

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