Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book Review: Gailias: Operation Thunderspell by Kage Alan

Reviewed by Alan Chin
Published by Zumaya Boundless
Pages: 221

Nicholas and Anthony are not only secret agents working for the U.S. government, they are also lovers. Yes, a pair of gay 007s. Nicholas is the brawn of the duo; Anthony is the brains. They are opposites in almost every way, including the fact that Nicholas is Caucasian and Anthony is Chinese. And do opposites attract? Don’t bet on it. Only one thing is certain, when they come together, sparks fly.

They are paired up with Debora, a razor-tongued agent, and sent to a resort island in the Philippines where some very shady dealings seem to be going on, having to do with a new terrorist organization, ever-so-descriptively called, the League. But it’s not your typical sun-sand-surf resort island, it’s an S/M theme park, where all of the guests play a role as either a master or a slave. On this island, the Asians are the masters and the Caucasians are the slaves. Anthony is given an undercover guise that lets him be a master, while Nicholas must submit to being a slave. While Anthony has it easy, Nicholas falls under the brutal hand of The Ball.

Things become more complicated when they find they are not the only secret agents on the island. It seems that Rice and Christian are also there to acquire information; although it’s not certain which government they are working for. In all the confusion, bullets fly, buildings explode, helicopters are blown out of the sky. But do the good guys win? Do we even know who the good guys are? The only certainty is a surprise on every page.

Kage Alan is an extremely funny writer, and this novel shows him at his best. It’s much like watching a Marx Brother’s film, that is, if the Marx Brothers had been gay. Or more appropriately: a gay I Spy vs. Scooby Doo. Nicholas and Anthony spend the novel dissing each other, as only two witty and bitchy lovers can do. The only time they are not dissing each other is when they gang up to diss someone else. This novel has all the wit and banter that Kage Alan fans have come to expect.

There is nothing here to take seriously. It is a lighthearted romp with a couple of razor-tongued queens. The protagonists are in their thirties, which is a departure from Mr. Alan’s previous books. This humor is geared to an adult audience. On the one hand I appreciated the more mature humor. On the other hand, I think this book lost much of the sensitivity that Mr. Alan’s previous novels had, when Andy Stevenson was dealing with issues of coming out.

Still, if you're in need of a good laugh, page after page, then set your sights on Gailias: Operation Thunderspell, and be prepared to be entertained.

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