Rec/Review: Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville (fiction)

Posted: May 28, 2009 in Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Zero at the BoneThis post is a rare occurrence, trust me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t read fiction. Not anymore, since my postgrad degree in English Lit (and a few other choice subjects). Well, I don’t read fiction most of the time, but occasionally, I make an exception, and this happens when there is an exceptional story that is being recced to me by those whom I trust. Most of those are my own readers (after all, they know what I write so they’d know what I like) and so it was this time, we were discussing fiction in my forum, and lo and behold, someone mentions Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville.

My goodness, am I glad that they did!

If you like what I am writing, if you like your men as real men and not girlified, if you like action and adventure and not a single pulled punch, then read this book, it’s fantastic.

The character of D is brilliant (I don’t agree with writing out the accent, I found that distracting, but in the end I didn’t mind, because it was just so great!

Jane managed to write really lifelike and great secondary and tertiary characters, too. I guess that’s rare. I loved X, a great characters and the villains were properly villainous. I love the fact people swear and shout and say nasty things and do even nastier ones.  She really doesn’t pull her punches and hooray for that.

I was awestruck at times at her action ideas, and trust me that says something, because I take great care to have my action believable, and boy, did she manage to keep hers believable, despite the craziness of it all. Pure brilliance.

This is easily the best M/M book that I know of.

Elisa Rolle has a nice review of ZATB, and Jen has a really great one.

This isn’t a Romance, this is much better. This is an amazing love story with fantastic action.

There were moments when I thought “oh damn, I wish I had written that” and that’s meant as a huge compliment. Sucked me right in on the first page and spit me back out, 300 pages later, dishevelled, exhausted and very satisfied.

  1. sdblaine says:

    You dear lady need to do more book recommendations because a page into this e-book I am seeing everything I like about your writing and have a feeling this is going to be a late night/ early morning.

    Blunt honest prose, inner dialogue mash up that jumps off the page and reads like a move script.

    Instant reader love here.

    A list of all time favorite reads maybe? Things that brought you in into the genre? Military must reads?

    Your and other fans tastes seem sound and I’m always willing to add more to the pile of ‘to reads’ if they’re this good.

    Back to reading and thanks for the great rec!

  2. Marquesate says:

    Glad you like it! I have a few niggles, but they are just niggles (one self lubricating anus, and no mention of condoms anywhere, and that written-out accent drove me crazy until I learned to ignore it) and the story is GREAT!

    I can’t give you a list of all time favourite recs, because I have none. There just aren’t any I ever liked and I am extremely picky. I don’t do Romance, why the heck would I wnat to spend my time reading about “he loves me he loves me not” in a boring setting? No, thanks.

    I gtried one book which appeared to be military and set in Britain and it was horrible! It was so bad, I couldn’t believe it. It had so many factual errors that I couldn’t imagine hopw on earth tthe author managed to get it that wrong. Wasn’t a British author, but come on, there’s the internet, and to get even the basics wrong about geography and worst of all, about the British Forces, is unforgivable. One Google search and some of the blatant mistakes, especially regarding the SAS would have been rectified. Also, the military was once again just an excuse, it didn’t actually take place in it, it was just a past back drop. And the rest .. oh dear, talk about girlified.

    So, no, I don’t have any recs, and even in my forum, where we have a thread dedicated to military or action threads, we didn’t find any. ZATB was pretty much the only one.

    Nothing brought me into the genre, I have always been in it, since I can remember thinking and imagining stories. As for military, let’s face it, I pretty much coined the military genre and gave it its proper place. After all, there wasn’t anything, so it had to be written.

    If anyone does have a rec that I would like, I am more than happy to hear it!

    I don’t review books that I don’t like, since I’m not really a reviewer, thus having this fiction rec here is a rare occurrence.

    This book, I loved, the action was superb and the sex was hot, and the characters are extremely well written, plus I loved the prose.

  3. Jane Seville says:

    Hi! I’m so glad you enjoyed “Zero at the Bone.” Thanks for the recommendation!

    As far as the condom/lube issue, I made a conscious decision not to emphasize it. I’ve read a lot of m/m fiction, most of it written by women, and sometimes I think women OVERemphasize the nuts and bolts of the sex to prove how realistic they’re being, and ironically, the fiction I’ve read by men has been less direct about the practical aspects. I was hoping to focus on the emotion of the moment, the significance personally of each scene, and not so much on condoms and lube. I did mention lube in several scenes, but that first one in particular I decided to let it slide (pun intended). I might point out that that first scene is Jack’s POV, and D might very well have used spit out of Jack’s field of vision.

    I hope you’ve had a look at the short stories on my website! I’m hard at work on the sequel, so more adventures with Jack and D are coming!

    Jane Seville

  4. Marquesate says:

    Hi Jane, so glad you found the review. Must admit I was hoping/expecting you would, after all, don’t we all have a little Google alert going? 😉

    I really enjoyed the story tremendously and have been reccing it to all of my readers and friends. Don’t take my wondering about the condoms as a criticism of your writing, it isn’t. I was just surprised that in this day and age there was no mentioning, especially from someone in the medical profession.

    The lube … well, nevermind, it just made me grin, and that’s because of what folks tell me what happens in fanfic and the “self lubricating anus”. Trust me, you wrote some great sex scenes that were hot, because they were emotionally charged and had a sense and reason. They brought the plot forward, they were never an add-on. I was also glad to see that sometimes you just blended out instead of writing another sex scene. Less is more at times, isn’t it?

    I had a look at the shorts and liked the one where Jack carries D upstairs, made me grin.

    I’m really glad I found ZATB, you really created a fantastic character with D, absolutely brilliant. Okay, as for the writing out of the accent, well, different readers have different opinions, aye?

    Besides, as I always say to y readers: each and every opinion is as valid as the author’s. After all, that’s what you want, open-ended meaning and constant contextualised interpretation. In the end, though, the text is as the author imagined it. And ZATB is YOUR text and a great one it is. Thanks for writing it, I had already lost all hope that I’d ever find something to read that I really like. I have, now, and you’re my top M/M author.

    I am looking forward to the sequel and lots more action!


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