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Zathyn Priest is an Australian writer of gay fiction. His available works include – The Curtis Reincarnation, The Slayer’s Apprentice, Liquid Glass, Left of Center, Emrys Amara, One of Those Days, and The Statue.
Zathyn is also a freelance artist specialising in graphic fiction, book covers, and promotional art.
He lives with his husband, Sam. They share their home with a greyhound called Chrissy, a cat named Fran, and Charlie the duck.
Ciaran O. Dwynvil
on May 22, 2013 :
If you have read some of Zathyn’s other novels and novellas and have mentally filed his works purely in the romance category, you’re in for a hard, but delicious, shock. If you like crime thrillers that is as in The Slayer’s Apprentice Zathyn has mixed a breathtaking blend of both genres.
For many years, admittedly influenced by my dad’s reading tastes, I devoured crime thrillers one after another, and spent many a night in the company of Detective Steve Carella, Hercule Poirot or many others whose names I don’t remember any more. Yet, all those stories lacked something. Excellent plots and all the building suspense were quickly forgotten if I couldn’t find a deep bond with the characters. I read but wasn’t emotionally invested in those stories.
That is not the case with Zathyn’s book. While The Slayer’s Apprentice gave me everything I would expect from a crime thriller, it also pulled me right in the events and made me really fear for its protagonists. Zathyn never shies away from the details important for a story, and as murders are involved here, you can imagine that they are rather creepy in this tale. It isn’t so much about the description of the scenes of crime as it is about the psychological profile of the murderer, his cold-blooded calculations, utter disrespect for life and incessant craving for attention that sent chills down my spine as I turned a page after a page.
And when I saw the noose tightening around Phoenix’s neck, it was one of the worst moments I experienced as a reader. I guess you know it… the moment when you really want to jump in the story and save the day and you can’t.
Make no mistake, Phoenix is as far from an immediately likeable cute young man as an untamed wolf is from a well-behaved pet. He’s a skilled manipulator, a nimble thief, and some of his behaviors come across as sociopathic even. Yet, at other times he is extremely vulnerable and in dire need of somebody who would take the time and effort to really understand him and coax him out of his shell. Daniel might be just the one Phoenix needs but the walls Phoenix has built around himself appear almost impenetrable, and their fragile relationship is constantly threatened by the shadows of the past. It is not all that clear whether Phoenix is just an innocent victim or somebody far more sinister. His behavior will keep you guessing until the climax of the story.
What can I say? The book is one of the best crime thrillers I have read and at the same time one of the most unusual romances I have come across. I absolutely loved it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Jan. 22, 2013 :
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love reading stories where the narrator or main character is unreliable, something which can be tricky to accomplish, but the author did a splendid job and kept the suspense up throughout the novel. Highly recommended!
(reviewed long after purchase)