Escape Book Cover Escape
Crossing Nüwa Book 1
Sean Ian O'Meidhir & Connal Braginsky
M/M Fantasy Romance
DSP Publications
July 9, 2019

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Reviewed by: Ulysses Dietz

Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team

This appears to be first collaboration between two gay authors and the first book in a potentially interesting series set in a recognizable world with paranormal beings.

Robbie is a prisoner in his own home – but we only learn the details behind this unhappy truth later on. We know he’s a snake shifter and from a powerful clan called the Nüwa, but really not much else. I liked that detail, because I kept wanting to know “why” and that kept the pages turning.

Theo is a technomage – a twenty-first century magical being who’s gift is to latch into the Interface and cruise the computer-linked world. He’s also only twenty-three and is a self-made celebrity DJ (oh, my, a world I have so little connection to, being elderly and suburban). But we don’t learn much about Theo either right away; just enough to tantalize.

Even by the finale of this well-written, adventure-filled romance, we only know a certain amount about these two fascinating young gay men. Clearly, there’s more to learn, and thus – without an annoying cliffhanger – O’Meidhir and Braginsky leave us wanting more – whatever they have planned for the ongoing Nüwa series.

The prose is good, if not gorgeous; the characters are quirky and emotionally engaging. As always, I was less interested in the obligatory sexual aspects of the story arc, but the authors kept all of that in proportion to the overall plot, and did not let it intrude on the more important building of a world of interesting people who – soon, I hope – will be doing interesting things in the next Nüwa story.