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REVIEW: Cailleadhama – J. Scott Coatsworth

Cailleadhama: Through the Veil - J. Scott Coatsworth

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Cli-Fi, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fantasy, Gay Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Trans FTM

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Colton is a trans man living in a climate-changed world. He plies the canals that used to be city streets, earning a living taking tourists on illicit journeys through San Francisco’s flooded edges beneath the imposing bulk of the Wall.

Tris is an elf who comes through the veil to the City by the Bay – the Caille – on a coming of age pilgrimage called the Cailleadhama. He is searching for his brother Laris, who went missing after crossing through the Caille years before.

The two men find they have common cause, and together they set off to find Laris in a world transformed by the twin forces of greed and climate change. And in the end, they find out more than they ever expected, both about the warming world and their own selves.

The Review

Humans, greed and a devastating tsunami almost destroyed San Francisco. After great flooding the City is now divided by the Wall. On one side of the Wall, life is good. On the other there’s poverty and danger.

Colton Davis lives in San Francisco, on the dangerous side of the Wall. He’s a trans-man whose transition is not yet complete. He makes a living with his gondola, taking tourists through the new canals, and by other more illicit means. He’s streetwise but also hides his fear.

Colton has run out of T, and needs to make the journey to the Pharmacist. Although Colton can only pay for one vial, the Pharmacist hands over three. But she doesn’t want his money. Instead she offers him a unique way to pay her back, by taking a unique sword to protect… someone.

Colton finds himself on the Island of Alcatraz with the sword, and if that is not weird enough, he watches a fight break out of nothing.

Tris is an elf who has crossed the veil from Gleanna Sidhu. He’s come to find his brother Laris and bring him home. During the transition, he’s attacked by a strange creature, and finds himself in the middle of a battle on the Island of Alcatraz. 

Colton is shocked as he watches the fight occurring right before his eyes. He can’t believe what this little elf can do with a sword. He takes his promise to the Pharmacist seriously – to protect the one he finds on Alcatraz.

Drew Bacca’s narration of “Cailleadhama” is well done. It started out a little fast and was a little breathy in spots. But once he got into chapter two his narration got better. It was quite a challenge for a novella-length story, as there are about eight characters that each needed their own voice. He gave distinguishing tones to each of these, and brought out each one’s feelings, along with the excitement and danger that’s a part of this wonderful fantasy. I wish Tris’ soft accent was a little stronger, but it still worked throughout the story. And such a creative voice and tone for the evil tuatha!

I don’t want to give too much of this short fantasy away, but it was totally entertaining.  There’s much more to this story than what I addressed. An elf with a gift, a magic sword, strange creatures, action, danger, and technological gadgets. It’s suspenseful, sad, sweetly romantic, and all about accepting one’s self. 

Tris and Colton are two wonderful characters, also really enjoyed Vanyssa – such a dynamic character. Coatsworth never disappoints he creates another magnificent and magical story that’s filled with colorful characters and descriptions that are really easy to visualize, and always include some kind of subtle lesson. His novellas are always intriguing and timeless.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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