Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Series Spotlight & Review: My Brother's Keeper Trilogy by Adrienne Wilder

About the Author:
  City of Dragons (this site has images of gay sex)

Georgia bred and born, Adrienne Wilder spent most of her childhood exploring fantastical worlds hidden in her own back yard among tall grass, and shadowed kudzu tunnels. When she was not dragon hunting, she spent most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes.
Currently Adrienne lives in Dahlonega, GA where she shares her home with a variety of dogs and one cat. She still spends most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes. Although now she calls the reading "research," the drawing "artwork", the writing "books," and the holes "ponds" and "gardens".

My Brother's Keeper Trilogy

The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground.
Infecting those it touches.
Exploiting their darkness.
Consuming their souls.
It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil.
And it wants out.

Book One: The First Three Rules
Rule one: Don't talk to anyone.
Rule two: Don't wander off.
Rule three: Don't touch.

Marshal Jon Foster lost his purpose and his sanity the day he saw the image of his dead brother. The distraction saved Jon’s life but cost the lives of innocent people including his best friend and partner. It was a price for survival Jon couldn’t live with and was sure he’d never understand.
Driven by grief and guilt he tried to escape his past by fleeing to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Only instead of peace, the memories festered.Then the offer of a stick of gum from a stranger changes Jon’s life and puts him on a road out of the nightmare he’s trapped in.
Ellis Harper has lived the past twenty years isolated from the outside world and sole caretaker for his mentally disabled brother, Rudy. While Ellis loves his brother, he longs for a life he’ll never be able to have.
Shut away, his days consist of chores, endless cartoons, and games of Go Fish.  A world that seemed to have no end until an innocent misunderstanding turns Ellis and his brother into a target for a town bully.It’s a fight Ellis can never win on his own but thanks to a chance meeting with a stranger, he doesn’t have to.
What begins as a new journey in love for both men quickly unfolds into something neither of them could have ever imagined.

Book Two: Rule Four and Five 
Rule four: It has to happen.
Rule five: Everything happens for a reason.
A new chance at life comes in many forms: For Jon it’s a family made with Ellis and his brother Rudy. For Ellis, it’s Jon, who has brought the outside world into the protective life he’s built for his mentally disabled brother.
Together they have discovered true happiness and what it means to be loved.
Then one perfect disaster after the other pushes Jon’s resolve to its limit and Ellis over the edge. If they have any chance of saving what they’ve built both men must face their deepest fears.
It’s a test Jon thought he’d already passed and one Ellis never imagined he’d have to face. The journey will forever change who they are and redefine who they were meant to be.
It has to happen.And all things happen for a reason.

Book Three: The Final Rule
 Ellis and Jon need answers.
What is there to understand?Why does it have to happen?And what reason could ever justify losing those you love?If only there was a simple answer. But the more questions they ask, the farther they must travel into the darkness and the things they see are not human, or even possible.They are, in fact, Big and Terrible.The plague is rising in Gilford. To stop it from spreading Ellis will have to embrace his destiny and Jon will have to let him go. Both men must be willing to lose everything in order to save the innocent.
It is, after all, rule number six.

My Review
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars 

It is quite impossible to review or even rate the books in this trilogy singularly. As the author has cautioned, it is best to read this series in order and as these are all out at the same time, it is best to take advantage of it. My Brother's Keeper Trilogy, although set in the early 1990s, is an epic three-part dark, paranormal, romantic thriller that follows the lives of Jon, Ellis and Rudy. Set in the small town of Gilford, it narrates the love that develops between Jon and Ellis. It is also the story of Rudy, a man-child who only sees goodness and love. He also has a talent that no one seems to understand. A talent that leads the trio into a world of the supernatural and evil. With the mind of a five year old, Rudy's Rules are set to place. It is important you see, to keep to the rules. Very important.

Rule one: Don't talk to anyone.
Rule two: Don't wander off.
Rule three: Don't touch.

We are introduced to Marshal Jon Foster. He is what one might call, a man with a death wish. He had lost hope after going through such trauma in life, losing his brother, his best friend, his team and so many other innocents. He sought escape and driving past the town of Gilford, he is driven to stop and to set roots. However, instead of the solace he sought, his mind feels festered and his despair rises tenfold. Then one beautiful day, a five year old child in the body of an adult found him and offered him gum. That man was Rudy and he just broke rules one and two. Thus began a beautiful friendship with a man child and his caregiver younger brother, Ellis. All three men found happiness and comfort in each other. Until the day Rudy broke Rule Three.

Rule four: It has to happen. 
Rule five: Everything happens for a reason.

What if evil were a disease? There is a theoretical personality disorder called: malignant narcissism. Basically, it is seen as an extreme mixture of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, and aggression and sadism. It is most often an unrealistic sense of superiority, and those who display such behaviors are always ready to raise hostility levels whenever or wherever they feel it. Usually, these personalities seek to undermine organisations they may or may not be involved in. Acting as bullies, they  seek to dehumanize people they associate with. This is what Ellis, Jon and Rudy have to fight against. To feel safe from. For some reason, this evil being was getting stronger and more powerful no matter what the law did. In one night, a disastrous event almost tips Ellis from the brink of sanity making the situation more desperate and with no sense of hope. This is when rules four and five takes into effect.

Rule six: Save the innocent.
Rule seven: The light cannot exist without the dark.
The final rule: We choose our fate.

Rudy's rules are now being taken into a different context for they serve as the clues to the big and terrible secret that is eating out all the goodness from Gilford. Driven by the rules and the supernatural clues they encounter along the way, Ellis and Jon are finding the answers to the destruction of the evil that seems to have seeped deep into the very soil. What those clues reveal, what the rules drive, no one knows. Only rule six is the most important: save the innocent. Who these are, who it is, they know not. But one thing for certain, rule seven is just as important as rule six and the final rule can only be achieved after six and seven.

I have to admit, this is a plot one may dismiss as not one of the more inventive ones, and I agree. However, while the story of good vs. evil is not very original, the author brilliantly created characters who were fascinating and came out very real. Even the evil ones.

Heartbreaking, gripping, romantic, erotic, thrilling, My Brother's Keeper is a brilliantly written book that can only be best described as: epic. It slowly inches the reader into a plot that tells of the fight between good and evil, never letting the reader go. Reading this was such an adventure. It brought me within personal touch of a romance that should never have had a future. It was a learning experience when I was reading from the point of view of an innocent like Rudy who sees hope in everything. It was a fearsome read as a supernatural adventure when the darkness started to invade the consciousness and did not seem to want to let go. 

There were a lot of difficult and quite emotional parts in the read, but the author set the rules in place, guiding me, the reader, all the way. The gradual escalation to the final battle set my heart to thump in fear, desperation and finally, hope. 

The only word that left my lips when I reached the end: WOW!

3 winners will get the whole trilogy (book 1-3)
10 winners will get book 1

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