07 June 2014

Rule Four And Five by Adrienne Wilder

This is book two of three. All books are full-length novels and must be read in order. All books are available now.

The My Brother's Keeper Trilogy

The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground.
Infecting those it touches.
Exploiting their darkness.
Consuming their souls.
It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil.
And it wants out.

Book Two: Rule Four and Five

A new chance at life comes in many forms: For Jon it’s a family made with Ellis and his brother Rudy. For Ellis, it’s Jon, who has brought the outside world into the protective life he’s built for his mentally disabled brother.

Together they have discovered true happiness and what it means to be loved.

Then one perfect disaster after the other pushes Jon’s resolve to its limit and Ellis over the edge. If they have any chance of saving what they’ve built both men must face their deepest fears.

It’s a test Jon thought he’d already passed and one Ellis never imagined he’d have to face. The journey will forever change who they are and redefine who they were meant to be.

It has to happen.
And all things happen for a reason.

Well holy cow can we say emotionally devastated enough times regarding this book?  I have to admit, not only did I get to involved in this story, I admire the courage the author had to tell the story in this manner.  Not only does she use the common stereotypes of homosexuals from the past as being weak and victims, she took a beloved character and changed the whole story forever. 
We start with Jon moving in with Ellis and Rudy, finally recovering from the latest crimes of Lenny, they begin to start over once again.  For background purposes Ellis is basically raising his grown brother Rudy who is mentally challenged.  He thinks more as a child yet has a grown man’s body so the challenges are high there.  Ellis and Jon have fallen in love and are joining together to give Rudy a safe and happy home but they keep being derailed by Lenny, the town evil monster who is adamant at hurting those three.
Jon has his own nightmares of his brother who killed himself when they were kids and a father whose behavior led to his brother’s suicide.  Ravaged with nightmares and images of his brother warning him of bad things to come, he tries to be what Ellis and Rudy need, while still holding on to his training to protect and serve, especially those he loves.
In this book 2 of the series we are taken on the journey of trying to live their life out in the open with the threat of Lenny ever present.  I will warn you that the terms retard and queer boy are used often by Lenny during this part of the story. The justice system will fail them and things will be dark and heavy for both Jon and Ellis as they try to protect Rudy who doesn’t understand the threat.  Or does he, some of the pictures Rudy draws leave a warning that goes ignored until it is too late.  I fell in love with Rudy’s innocence during the story, his moment of declaring he was gay just because he was happy with Ellis and Jon was endearing.
When Ellis realizes that Jon has broken a firm rule, the two will take some time away from each other, so they can collect their thoughts, but this is what will start the motion for a tragedy that left me in tears and reaching for tissues.  While I will admit I haven’t read book one yet, this one was written in a way that I was able to connect and love each character instantly.  Their emotions are out on the table, they show their vulnerable side to the readers.  While they are in a victim role most of the book, I don’t see them as victims and I am anticipating that the role will be shattered in the next book as they have to come to terms with their new life.
Lenny is written in a way that it is easy to hate him and wish evil things upon him.  I would have been willing to take a gun to him myself if I had been able to be in the story. I can hardly wait to not only go back to book one to see how this plot started, I need to get to book three ASAP to see the outcome and if justice will finally be served for this “family”. 
While it is a violent story, with heart breaking scenes that will leave you near tears if not outright sobbing, I find that it really captures the insanity of society today.  As a passage in the book states…..”That the madness infecting him (Lenny) would spread. Because evil was a disease.” If I have to state one thing that I didn’t really care for, it would be the thin line between Jon “communicating” with the dead and this becoming a paranormal story.  I think for me she kept it on the side I could enjoy but I will admit there were many times I worried that we were going to take a leap into a genre I don’t enjoy.  Make sure you get this series, it will gut you and manipulate your heart and tears, but it will leave you with three characters you will not soon forget. 
Georgia bred and born, Adrienne Wilder spent most of her childhood exploring fantastical worlds hidden in her own back yard among tall grass, and shadowed kudzu tunnels. When she was not dragon hunting, she spent most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes.
Currently Adrienne lives in Dahlonega, GA where she shares her home with a variety of dogs and one cat. She still spends most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes. Although now she calls the reading "research," the drawing "artwork", the writing "books," and the holes "ponds" and "gardens".


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