Editorial Review: Stolen Heart by Kristian Daniels | Inkish Kingdoms

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A regular teenager, Elliott Denison, wrestles with his safety. His highly fanatic family refuses to acknowledge his existence other than as a sin. His high school cannot protect him from the constant bullying and homophobia, and Elliott only has a friend that cares about him. As he becomes independent and gets a place for his own, Elliott finally manages to build a life of his own, but everything crumbles down when Chase crosses his path.

 Stolen Heart‘s is a fast-paced story of how homophobia, bullying, violence, bigotry, and general hate, tainted not only Elliott’s life but the whole community’s lives. Even though these topics are of primordial importance for present and future generations, they become the typification of the community’s anguish. This turns the main character into the author’s scapegoat since the seven biblical plagues hit Elliott, turning the novel into a morbid fascination over suffering.

The reader flies through Elliot’s life without focusing on any specific issue; however, the only constant in the novel is an old high school grudge that had eyes everywhere in Canada. Sadly, the justification behind this behavior becomes an overdone and over-simplistic crutch. Mental illness, tragedy after tragedy, and hate feed the plot to use Elliot as a punching bag. Nonetheless, the moments in which Elliott managed to be happy, were during his explicit sexual encounters. As readers, we have enjoyed previous writing of a sexual nature that was crafted with refinement, but the use of slang and the technical description of male pleasure points become distracting.

As Kristian Daniels develops the plot while using different points of view and mixes dates and events, unexpected plot twists happen. A series of events foreshadowed by a legacy of violence and repression was a pleasant touch for the overall bleak events that seemed to hunt the queer characters in the novel.

Stolen Heart materializes into a reminder that although some members of the community might have grown out of discrimination and violence, other members are in a constant fight for their lives. Likewise, Kristian Daniels enhances the community’s resilience through Elliott’s character as they become stronger even when the whole world is against them.

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