There’s nothing I love more, in terms of fiction, than the surprise of a book turning out to be something so much more than I’d expected it would be when I started reading it. Sometimes it’s the characters who are a revelation. Sometimes it’s the story itself. With Hawaiian Gothic it was both, and it was terrific.
Part paranormal fantasy, part legend of the islands, part love story that transcends the boundaries of the earthly plain, this is the story of military veteran Gregorio “Ori” Reyes and his painfully poignant relationship with his best friend Kalani Lihilihi, a connection that itself transcends the boundaries of friendship, though the bond was never spoken of nor acted upon until tragedy both separated and then reunited them in the unlikeliest of ways.
Theirs is the story of an accidental curse and the aftermath of a devastating hate crime that left Kalani lying to waste in a hospital bed and left Ori serving a stint in Leavenworth prison, dishonorably discharged for his efforts to return to Kalani’s side.
Ori’s desperate attempts to rescue Kalani from the grip of the powerful bond that tethers him somewhere between dead and alive leads them on a metaphysical journey to an incredible realm where the danger is all too real. It is ultimately a journey where sacrifice becomes the key to escaping the in between and the question becomes on which side Kalani will choose to fall—and whether Ori can let him go.
It is a journey where secrets are revealed, secrets that, for Kalani, are imperative to who he is—or who he believed himself to be. It is a journey of healing, for both Ori and Kalani and for the man who helped them find their way back to each other, a man who finally righted a wrong done to a son paying the price for the sins of the one he called father.
Action, suspense, danger, mythology, fantasy, and the ultimate love-overcoming-all-odds romance transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary in Hawaiian Gothic and placed Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane on my “authors to watch” list. I guarantee I’ll be getting to know their work better in the near future.
Hawaiian Gothic is available for purchase June 12, 2012, HERE.