Book Tour: Odder Still by D.N. Bryn Review

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in the Blog Tour for Odder Still today! As soon as I heard the description for this book I knew I had to read it, so I was so excited when the author offered me a place on their book tour!

Rubem of No-Man’s Land was content keeping to his wine, his pets, and his extensive collection of fishnets.

But since a sentient, fuel-producing parasite bonded to his brainstem, every morally-depraved scientist and hardcore rebel for a hundred miles wants to ruthlessly dissect him. The parasite itself is no better, influencing his emotions and sassing him with his own memories as it slowly takes over his body.

The only person offering Rubem help is Tavish K. Findlay, a dashing and manipulative philanthropist whose mother’s fuel company monopolizes their corrupt underwater city with an iron claw. She desperately wants to tear Rubem apart for the parasite before those who oppose her can do the same. Her son is irresistibly charismatic though, and after a lifetime of being kicked out and disavowed, Rubem is desperate to believe in the friendship Tavish offers.

With revolutionary plots and political schemes tangling his every choice, Rubem must soon decide whether or not to trust Tavish in his fight against the parasite’s growing control.

Odder Still is a M/M fantasy novel with a class-crossing slow burn romance, murderous intrigue, and a Marvel’s Venom-style parasite-human friendship in an underwater steampunk city. This book exist in the wider These Treacherous Tides universe, coming chronologically after Once Stolen, but it is the first book in the No-Man’s Lander series and is an easy entry point into the world. Each No-Man’s Lander book has a romantically fulfilling ending and a final HEA, with steamy thoughts and foreplay but no explicit sex. (For more information on reading order, please visit D.N. Bryn’s website.)

Content warnings include alcohol consumption and animal death.

As soon as I heard ‘Marvel’s Venom-style human-parasite friendship’ and ‘steampunk underwater city’ I was sold, and I’m happy to say this book delivered.

It not only delivered, it gave me more than I could have ever hoped for. I mean, the love interest is a fat, blind, trans selkie man? The representation we need and don’t deserve, I love him.

D.N. Bryn has crafted a world that truly feels alive. That’s the benefit of having a book linked to pre-existing stories, it feels like the author has such knowledge and love for this world and that shines beautifully.

On that note, even though Odder Still is set in the same universe as the author’s other books, it’s not necessary to read them. It works perfectly as a standalone series, but at the same time will make you desperate to pick up the previous books just to get more of this world.

Rubem is a messy, traumatised main character with a drinking problem, and I loved him. The perfect character investigation of ‘what if I take this person with abandonment issues and attach them to a sentient parasite they can’t remove?’ Rubem is the perfect complex, messy character who doesn’t always make the right decisions, but remains incredibly likeable.

I also enjoyed Rubem and Tavish’s relationship. D.N. Bryn didn’t ignore their massive class differences. It’s truly impressive that they managed to create a rich, priviledged character, have class-conflict be a part of the story, and still allow readers to root for the couple.

Athough the characters aren’t always directly involved there’s a healthy dose of revolution and rebellion in this story. Odder Still does a great job of showing the intense class divide in the city, how the rich live on the backs of the workers, and how change is desperately necessary. At the same time, some of the actors in the revolution are antagonists. I thought this was handled incredibly well because D.N. Bryn doesn’t go down the route of black and white morality. The revolutionary antagonist can be terrible, and worse, they can even be right.

Odder Still was an incredibly entertaining read I’d definitely recommend.

Thanks to the author for providing me with an Advanced Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Danny Bryn is a queer, disabled author of speculative fiction and fantasy romance. When not writing, they research infectious diseases in their hometown of San Diego, where they enjoy basking in the Santa Ana winds, hiking the brush-heavy slopes, and eating too many tacos.

Danny is always happy to share about their writing process, love of science and animals, complete lack of a traceable inspiration source, future endeavours. Past interviews and panels include: Indie Bites Mermaids & Mythology IssueNo Me Hagas Leer Podcast, and Indie Book Fest: A Whole New World Panel #1

Hell Followed With Us is out now! There’s never been a better time to go pick up a copy!

If you want to remember to check out this book you should add it to Goodreads!

You can get this book from major booksellers such as IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BookDepository.

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

I’m so excited to see what everyone else’s thoughts were! Here’s the schedule if you’re interested in having a look.

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