Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

The Enforcer Enigma

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Enforcer Enigma (2020) G. L. Carriger (San Andreas Shifters)

The Enforcer EnigmaWhen Colin’s brother returned from college, to find him completely withdrawn, Kevin decided they would both join the new pack moving out to San Francisco where Colin could be himself without fear of retribution.

Judd has been a werewolf since before the Saturation. He may have been born free, but that did mean his life as a Black man–and a gay man–has been an easy one. Especially in a culture as homophobic as werewolf culture. But from the minute he laid eyes on Colin, Judd wanted him for his mate–even if he was certain he didn’t deserve such a beautiful young man.

What did I like about this story? I liked both Colin and Judd, as well as Trick (the shifter who works at the coffee shop) and Floyd, the old man who hangs out at the coffee shop.

Against the side wall sat dour old Floyd who liked to knit, and blessedly never tried to make small talk. (Colin supposed he could nick the man’s knitting needles and stab the selkie with them, only that’d get blood on the guy’s knitting, which was probably rude.)

What I found problematic was first and foremost, making any sense of the story line surrounding Trick. Why did the selkie mobsters know who he was if no one else did? How did they connect Trick to his family at all, if Trick was living unregistered?

Second, I really really wanted to learn more about Saturation and what on earth happened to the world, and Judd was old enough to have lived it. But we not only did we get nothing about this world changing event, Judd really didn’t feel like someone who was 150 years old.

And if this world is supposed to have paralleled ours, I’m not sure that spending time in Canada would have saved Judd from the racism of that century and a half off living. I’m not saying he should have been bitter or angry, just that he didn’t feel as aware of the world around him–and how he fit into it–as someone who would have had to watch his back for so long. Watched how he fit into the world and how other people saw him. And Judd as too self-aware a character for me to believe he didn’t know these things.

Perhaps that world wasn’t as racist as ours is, but if there was slavery, it seems unlikely Judd wouldn’t have dealt with overt racism. But instead we just get a brief passage about how he’s tired of dealing with how other people deal with racism. Which is important and I was delighted to see him telling people he wasn’t responsible for helping them unpack their own baggage.

He just didn’t read to me like someone who had spent most of his life being seen as a threat. And any man who is more than six feet tall and solid muscle is going to be perceived as a threat at many points in their life, all other characteristics being equal (which in this case they were not).

To be clear, I don’t think Judd should have been damaged by his past, or needed to deal with it. Only that he didn’t feel like the man he was described as being–someone who had been alive for 150 years and probably spent much of that time being either looked down upon or seen as a threat.

I didn’t need him to be broken in any way, I just needed him to feel not oblivious to how he fit into the world.

I feel like I’m explaining this terribly. I suppose the short of it goes back to my first statement, that Judd did not feel at all like a man who had lived through the kind of world he would have moved through for so long.

We had long chapters and paragraphs about how Colin saw himself as fitting into the world, and how he tried to make himself smaller, more invisible.

Colin wasn’t good at making people feel welcome, so he did the next best thing and provided quiet reassurance from afar.

It just felt weird that Judd would be completely lacking in any of that same awareness.

Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: 7.5/10, Fantasy, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content, Short Story, Supernatural     Comments (0)    

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