Reviewed by Dee
TITLE: Just us and the Road
AUTHOR: J. Hepburn
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 21,000 Words
RELEASE DATE: November 09, 2016
When riders die, somebody needs to watch and remember, so nobody has to die alone. Some of those who die perform this service for others, moving from town to town to bear witness wherever they are needed. It is a lonely existence, even when the camaraderie is strong, and the urge to find companionship and more among the living can be overwhelming. When Alexia lets herself fall prey to that urge, she becomes involved in darkness even she cannot recognise, and discovers she has a much more important duty than she had realized…
This is the most unusual story I’ve ever read. For the most part, I had no clue what was going on. I read the blurb twice to try to understand, it didn’t help until I got to the end. Since reading it, I see it’s tagged as Urban Fantasy on the publisher’s website. I don’t know if that would’ve made a difference prior to reading this story. The authors bio at the end of the book states he likes to write speculative fiction. If this is an example of speculative fiction, I can safely say it’s not for me.
There’s a lot of talk about the itch and the grey. Around the 75% mark I finally started to figure out what ‘those’ were. However, once that comes to light, earlier scenes made no sense.
This story is told in present tense, from many point-of-views, with some slight head-hopping, or was it? Many times it read more like a play, as in someone looking in and telling the story, not from any particular characters POV.
This is also tagged as containing some explicit content, something I normally love. However, dialogue like the following does not appeal to me in the least. “All?” Lauren scoffs. “I must be the only dyke in the village. No, I stick to tourists when I can get them, unless I’m bored enough to say yes to a cock” And, “You told me you like dick.” “It fills a hole,” Lauren said.
As a motorcycle enthusiast, the mention of different bikes, and riding of said bikes, Triumphs and Guzzi’s being two classics, saved this story from being a complete bomb for me.
If you enjoy Urban Fantasy / speculative fiction, you’ll probably get a lot more out of this story than I did.