Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Off Base

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Off Base (2017) Annabeth Albert (Out of Uniform)

Off BaseZack Nelson has finally completed his training and is joining a team. Unfortunately, that team contains a homophobic bully, so even if Zack were ready to confront his family and religious upbringing, being out isn’t an option. So he takes a place off-base–rehabbing a house for his commander, so when Pike–a friend of a friend who is very out–needs a place to live AND has house rehab experience? Zack decides he has no choice.

I quite liked the characters in this story. But I had definite issues with the plot and the way things worked out.

First, I don’t doubt the bullying. I actually suspect it could have been worse than portrayed. What I wonder about is how “easy” things were resolved in the end. About a decade ago I took several classes with a woman who had left the Marines. She was an amazing human being and I respected the hell out of her strength. But she ended up talking about her experience with sexual assault and it was horrifying.

Her stories of reporting cases of sexual assault and the bullying and repercussions that came after made me respect her all the more, and I cannot imagine how she dealt with all that and came out the other side as strong as she was.

Yes, time has passed since then, and DADT was repealed in the interim, but the resolution in this book was so different from her experience and outcomes, and of the stories one has heard for decades of abuse and sexual assault in the military, it just felt more like wishful thinking than the way things would have worked out.

Of course I hope things are better, but that’s a huge change to a large and sometimes inflexible organization.

I also felt like Zack’s interactions with his family were minimized, and that the blow-back would have been far far worse. It didn’t seem at all like something he could just push through and then be done with–especially combined with his past and present bullying. That’s a lot to deal with, and Zack’s ability to manage long-term without therapy seems super unlikely.

Also, I was rolling my eyes and Zack being BOTH a virgin AND a sex god. Just… come on.

None of those things in and of themselves were a deal breaker, but putting so many of them together just made the whole thing feel fetishized. Which made me extremely uncomfortable.

Publisher : Carina Press
Rating: 6/10

Categories: eBook, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    

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