Give in to the Feeling by Sarah Zama
When Susie dances with Blood in Simon’s speakeasy, she discovers there’s a new world beyond the things she owns and the things she’s allowed to do. Blood values her thoughts, her feelings and offers his respect for her as a person.
So different from the luxury Simon has offered her. The exciting club nights and the new freedom of dressing and doing as she pleases.
But Susie’s still Simon’s woman, and he won’t allow her to forget it.
Soon, Susie there might be more than two men fighting over her. As Blood and Simon confront each other, Susie sees the spirit world filter into her world and crack the reality she knows. And when she looks through the shards of the illusion she’s been living, Susie realises making a choice between the two will be more difficult than she has ever imagined.” From Smashwords
Story – Very Good
Susie is a girl with a problem, caught between a man who seems to understand her and a man she owes so much. It is a choice that is difficult enough to make all on its own. It is complicated, however, as spirits she had heard about as a child prove to be more real than she had ever imagined.
Miss Zama has delighted us with something unexpected and beautiful. The story is short, a novella really, but so many emotions and turns are crammed into those pages that we are left stunned and impressed. She has combined familiar elements associated with 1920’s city life in America with fascinating characters and has built a world that is uniquely her own. While this is not our usual fare of fantasy, we will gladly take it.
“A brush on her shoulder, and she thought a feather might have fallen from her headband. Its gentle touch breathed down her back, causing a shiver that wasn’t unpleasant, but when she turned, she saw no stray feathers. Her gaze then rose to the entrance by its own accord.
That’s when she saw him.
Only people familiar to the doorman would enter, or people introduced by a customer, and she had never seen this man before. Lithe and willowy and dressed in a grey suit with a matching fedora, a grey coat draped on his shoulders. A black man with black curly hair reaching past his shoulders — and she was staring at him.”
Writing and Formatting – Good
While there were a couple of lines we may have needed to reread for clarity, we are impressed by the work that has been delivered in Give in to the Feeling. The prose is well edited and paced, and we found ourselves easily empathizing with Susie and her personal struggle to be who she wants to be.
“The stockroom was cold and dark and alien, or was she only feeling that way? She walked briskly across it, passing in front of the freight lift, where she stopped to retrieve a key. She heard Blood crossing the darkness in between the lift and the metal door, and the key shook and jingled in her hands. Images of the night before tumbled down on her. The detonation of the gun wrecked her ears as if she were hearing it just there and then.”
Literary Value – Intriguing
We love this sort of genre mashup, part historical fiction, part speculative fiction, all wrapped around an endearing story of love and loyalty. We follow this girl as she transforms from a kept woman and a face in the crowd to something greater, and we loved it.
“The drawer was open. Simon reached for the gun. Susie grabbed his arm. Simon jerked to get free, his other hand tight on the drawer edge. Susie twisted, but she didn’t let go. Simon twisted too, still clawing at the open drawer. They lost balance, taking the chest down with them.”
Overall – 4.25, Recommended
Miss Zama has delivered a rare treat that we recommend to all of those who love to read. While we believe fans who are looking for a straight fantasy may feel disappointed, those with a love of books and a love of the written word will not be. If this is any indication of the quality of Miss Zama’s work, and we believe it is, then we look forward to seeing more from her in the future.
Give in to the Feeling is available on Smashwords!
Check out the author’s blog here!
Thanks so much for this lovely review.
I’m doing NaNoWriMo these days, drafting a new project set in 1924 Berlin. Hope to have it out soon.
Thanks again so much 🙂