Over Time, by Kyell Gold – book review by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Over Time, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis and Kenket.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2016, hardcover $39.95 (432 pages), trade paperback $19.95 ( + 376 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $9.99.
Over Time is a romance novel intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of a primarily Male/Male nature. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. (publisher’s advisory)
Over Time is the final volume in this series; Out of Position Book 5. It’s hard to write a meaningful review of this Book 5 alone without covering all the background. If you’re familiar with the first four novels – Out of Position (January 2009), Isolation Play (January 2011), Divisions (January 2013), and Uncovered (July 2014) – you’ve probably already gotten this Book 5. If you’re not, you’ll do better to read all five in the proper order. They’re all five worth it.
They’re also all very homoerotic, with explicit gay m/m sex scenes. They are about two young men (who happen to be a tiger and a red fox) falling in love and going through considerable lovemaking with all the erect penises and the sticky bodily fluids, as they go through life. Kyell Gold is a prize-winning, top-quality author, and these five novels are so well-written that you will be caught up in the lives of Devlin Miski (the tiger) and Wiley “Lee” Farrel (the fox), even if you don’t care for the gay sex scenes. Or even if you don’t care for football – there are also many scenes of explicit extended football action.
The five novels are narrated in the first person by Dev and Lee, in mostly alternating chapters. In the first book, Out of Position, Dev and Lee are adolescent seniors at Forester University. Dev is a cornerback on the university’s football team, and Lee is a gay activist. Dev has a one-night stand with what seems to be a sexy vixen who turns out to be Lee in drag. Dev realizes that his sexual orientation is gay and that he is in love with the male Lee, while Lee realizes that his practical joke on a football jock has led him to a real romance. After carrying on their romance in secrecy, the novel ends with Dev publicly “coming out of the closet”; the first football player to do so. (Out of Position was published several years before the first admittedly gay football player in real life.)
In the sequels, Dev and Lee deal with the results of their openly gay relationship on their families and Dev’s football teammates, and on their graduation and life after college. Dev wants to become a football pro and is picked by the Chevali Firebirds. Lee tries to become a football talent scout to stay with him, but the best team that will hire him is the Yerba Whalers, several hundred miles from Dev’s new team. Lee’s father accepts that he is gay, but his mother is violently opposed to his open homosexuality and joins Families United, a religious hate group, leading to Lee’s parents getting divorced. Lee learns that his mother’s hate group has just driven another gay adolescent to suicide, and he is torn between resuming his gay activism and continuing to support Dev and Dev’s new team. The parents of the boy who committed suicide sue Families United, and Lee and Dev learn that Dev’s brother Greg is on the FU legal team.
Sofawolf Press’ blurb for Over Time starts:
“Football season is over, and in the wake of a tumultuous year, Lee and Dev decide to take this quiet time to think about their relationship. But as their friends and family draw the couple into their own issues, the offseason becomes anything but quiet.”
One of Dev’s and Lee’s friends among Dev’s teammates, Fisher Kingston (another tiger), begins acting strangely after a football injury.
“We do call Fisher that afternoon, but Gena [his wife] answers and says he’s asleep. ‘At three in the afternoon?’ I hear Dev say into the phone, and then, ‘Uh-huh,’ and then he hands me the phone.
‘Gena. She wants to talk to you.’ He scratches his ear when I take the phone, looking puzzled, and then gets up from the couch. He hovers a little ways away while I lean against the couch arm.
The strain in Gena’s voice comes through loud and clear, and my ears go down over the phone, which has the unintentional consequence of making it harder for Dev to overhear. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘He hit Bradley [their teenage son],’ she says. ‘Not hard, and they’ve roughhoused before, but … it was different.’
‘He said that he had a headache when he got home, […]” (p. 29)
Dev and Lee must deal with Fisher’s deteriorating mental condition. At the same time, Dev’s relationship with his brother becomes openly hostile after Greg publicly endorses Families United’s anti-gay position. Running through this is Dev’s and Lee’s relationship with each other. The m/m sex is fantastic, but how long-term is it? Is it just a casual romance – after three years – or can they count on it to continue lasting? Specifically, should they buy a house together?
To repeat what I said about the other books, “there is almost no fantasy, save for the characters being anthropomorphized animals. This is a realistic novel about two young homosexual lovers beginning life after college.” The wraparound cover is by Rukis & Kenket. Readers of the previous four novels will not be disappointed in this finale.