Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: Human Enough by ES Yu

summary

44594522._SY475_Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 7, 2019
Received From: NetGalley

When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover.

Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world.

But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together?

gender sexuality romantic pairings

GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: pansexual, gray asexual
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: panromantic, queer
PAIRING: M/M

tropes tags warnings

TROPES: vampire x vampire hunter, nonlinear timeline
TAGS: adult, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, queer romance, queer characters, neurodivergent character (executive dysfunction), autistic character, Chinese characters, Asian characters, existing relationship, interracial relationship
WARNINGS: ableism, violence, emotional abuse, past abusive relationship, abduction, hate groups, parental death, death, racial microaggressions, captivity, non consensual activity, gaslighting, enby exclusionary language, public play (not main characters), physical injury, blood consumption, alcohol, mental illness (PTSD, depression)

review

This book was an interesting, intriguing paranormal fantasy, with romantic elements, and I very much enjoyed the story!

The shining aspects of HUMAN ENOUGH were the main character Noah, the love interest Jordan, and the representation within the book. And all three of those worked together to create an enjoyable story. I really liked reading from Noah’s point of view and the #ownvoices autism rep that is part of his characterization. While I can’t comment on whether it was actually good or not, it really felt in keeping with other autistic characters I’ve read from autistic authors, as well as the kind of rep and characters that many are constantly asking and reaching for. And I loved that Noah was allowed to be the “hero,” not only in being the main character, but in being the person who figures out the issues that were occurring within the VHA and (mostly) saving the day. 

Similarly, I enjoyed the gray ace rep that we see in Jordan. While normally it’s not ideal to have an ace character introduced to the ace spectrum by an allosexual person, I felt it worked really well with the story Yu wrote! Not only because Jordan is basically held captive by his abusive ex for just under a decade and doesn’t know much about how society and identity terminology have progressed, but because Noah can identify and empathize with the fact that Jordan has felt alone and isolated and different, and so he’s in a unique position to help and reassure Jordan.

The only aspect of the rep that I had a hard time with was the pansexual rep. Not because Noah needed to validate his sexuality by proving he’s been with multiple genders or anything, but because of the noticeable lack of nonbinary inclusion. When Noah is talking to Jordan about terminology for sexuality, gender, and romantic orientation, basically the only one that is left out is nonbinary. It’s the same when he specifically mentions pansexuality and being attracted to “men and women”–it doesn’t fit with the definition of pansexuality and felt exclusionary.

For the most part, I enjoyed the worldbuilding! The vampire mythos was interesting, particularly the fact that it’s treated as a virus and something to be vaccinated against, but I would’ve liked to get more on how the vampires actually came about. Also, the pacing was a bit slow until it rapidly picked up and was full of action. It was a bit disorienting to go from moving through molasses to rocketing through swift water rapids, but it ultimately didn’t detract much from my enjoyment and I liked the mystery aspect.

rating4 STARSabout the author

esy_pictureHi, I’m E.S. Yu, and I write things.

I’m a speculative fiction writer because I love visiting worlds beyond our own. Positive representation of marginalized identities is important to me. My style is somewhat eclectic, though it tends toward the dark. I believe in happy endings, but I also believe that a candle is brightest when it shines in the darkness.

When not reading or writing, I can be found playing video games and geeking out over superheroes. But mostly I’m reading or writing.

buy links

NineStar Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

review by nicky tyler

One thought on “REVIEW: Human Enough by ES Yu

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