Elpida: Book One
High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy's boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s teammates turns enemy, and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy's combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.
The Start of One of the Best LGBT Trilogies Ever, Pioneering and Deep as the Oceans
Omorphi is the first book in an incredible series that continues with Tharros and concludes with Elpida, all excellent reads in a pioneering, truly new kind of writing, that being the telling of the stories of boys, children, who suffer horrific abuse and of the people in their lives who either continue the hell or help them to a peaceful and fully alive, heavenly place on earth. There is also an near-ethereal glimpse at the beginning of the book of what true intimacy can mean between two people experiencing their firsts: a first kiss and the first time to reach out to someone on their own.
The depth of Kennedy's writing will prove the absolute validity and utterly clear details of the world created in these books. The emotional, psychological and frank, necessarily graphic details of the lives of the abused, especially one of the most amazing literary heroes, Christy, makes this book (and the following two) a fabulously compelling read. The heroes Christy and Michael are fully formed and totally believable while the "bad guys" have explainable if not somewhat redeeming flaws that flesh them out as real as they can be. One can cheer and boo as if they are right in front of you.
Of all the characters, Christy (he whose portrait graces the first two books) may be singular in literature. He is at once as fragile as crystal, strong as titanium, sharp as a blue diamond, and is written with a depth that allows the reader to really experience what all his life was like before he was rescued and later as he heals, grows, and loves. After observing him from afar for some time, he Michael and the reader is graced with witnessing the start of an unbreakable, intelligent, heartfelt bond rarely encountered in any literature. From an LGBTQ+ standpoint, he is so refreshingly unique it is hard to put into words.
There are characters one occasionally remembers from a good book and then there are characters from excellent books that you not only cannot forget but stay with you in your heart forever. Christy is one of those latter characters, perhaps one of the highest compliments this reader can make.