4.5/5 by Book Wenches
Compulsive hoarding seems to be a pretty hot topic these days. Shows such as A&E’s “Hoarders” have taken us into the homes of individuals who live this extreme lifestyle, and we watch with a fascinated kind of horror as lives are overwhelmed by mountains of “stuff.” The novella Snake Eyes by A. J. Llewellyn and Stephani Hecht takes this topic and runs with it. This m/m romance explores hoarding from the point of view of family members who are affected, and it ramps the topic up by making the hoarding especially affecting. Because the items being hoarded aren’t cute fluffy Furbys or bits of string – they are snakes and other poisonous reptiles.
In Snake Eyes, the authors have combined forces to give us a story that is both romantic and interesting. I enjoyed it, and I especially appreciated the way Mr. Llewellyn and Ms. Hecht turned the spotlight on how this mental illness affects family members as well as the individual in question.
Snake Eyes is well-written, entertaining, and even occasionally humorous. I found the plot to be plausible and the characters complex enough to be realistic. The authors have included plenty of detail regarding compulsive hoarding as a mental illness, but they have worked it into the narrative in such a way that it doesn’t feel like information overload.
I’ve never had any particular fear of snakes, but I have to admit that ever since I finished reading Snake Eyes, I’ve had a dream or two featuring our legless friends. While I can’t say that I’m thrilled about how it has stuck with me afterwards, I am not at all sorry that I read it. I found this story to be unique, well-executed. – Review by Bobby D. Whitney