Saturday, June 30, 2012

Felixitations by Roger M. Kean

Title: Felixitations
Author: Roger M. Kean
Cover Artist: Oliver Frey
Publisher: Reckless Books
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 108,000 words

One Being - Millennia - Destinies Changed

Facilitator and felicitator, to have winsome young Felix step into a man's life is a transforming event: the course of destiny is altered. Emotions are unlocked, hidden longings are revealed, luck changes for the better… and sometimes for the worse. When Felix appears pleasurable fun and deserved pure, dreamed-of felicity or punishment ensue.

Over a span of thousands of years this enigmatic being’s random odyssey affects the lives of men attracted to his mesmerizing persona… yet Felix bears no hidden agenda, does not choose when or where he materializes – all happens by felicitous chance… or does it?

Embark on an erotic journey through time. From Ancient Sumer, Egypt and Rome through Renaissance Italy, modern Europe, Africa, and the Americas to the future above Earth, witness a kaleidoscope of human lives felixitated by this most enchanting being, named Felix.

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This book is unique—not a romance, not even one linear story, Felixitations is a series of vignettes whose only constant is Felix, an enigmatic character who materializes for as long as he is needed.

The stories range in time from the days of Gilgamesh to a future we haven’t seen yet, clustering in the early sixties and more or less current times, but with ventures to other eras where historical figures might interact.


The author has a reputation as a historian, which serves him well here—his knowledge is clear but doesn’t overwhelm, and his writing style matches the period. In one or two instances, this works against the story-telling, such as the vignette set against the Song of Roland, where the not quite prose, not quite poetry had me longing for the sequence to be finished, but even when he’s matching the style of The Epic of Gilgamesh¸ he’s consistent with the period. (You can laugh at the reviewer now—I read Gilgamesh years ago and still have my copy, and yes, it’s pretty clear what he and Enkidu were doing even in a bowdlerized translation!)

Felix appears long enough to interact with those who might need a friendly push or a helping hand, although it’s not always clear until the end who’s the true recipient of his assistance, and woe betide him who thinks he knows a better path. Felix disappears, once his mission in that time ends, only to reappear in artwork or as a jolt of memory. Be prepared to leap forward and back in time—it works.

Some characters show up for a second story; others echo as archetypes from one era to the next using the same names. Few of the stories are exactly romances, though there is always a heavy sexual element, not always pleasant or consensual. The one story where Kean reaches for true love within the arc is the weakest. Much more successful are the sequences where Felix exposes another’s heart to himself, to set the man’s feet on the path to happiness. Felix is the felicitator—he makes happiness possible, once a heart is open to it.

The ending brings Felix around full circle—his own happiness is never a consideration until then, nor is his well-being, and his persona is what the times and his persons to assist require, though a thread of core personality remains. All is sacrificed as needed. The ending introduces a slightly peculiar note into Felix’s bouncings through time, but in a book like this, endings aren’t where events stop. He hasn’t helped anyone in Elizabethan England yet. 4 marbles

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