Book 3, Elpída Series
ελπίδα. Elpída. Greek. Meaning hope
Hope. v. /ˈhōp/
to want something to happen or be true and
think that it could happen or be true
Michael and Christy attended prom, graduated high school, and Michael leads the USATF tryouts. With Oxford University on the horizon, his future looks bright, and he believes life has returned to normal after Christy’s rescue. He couldn’t be more wrong.
Christy has been free from a life of slavery for more than a year and has made remarkable progress due in no small part to the love he found with Michael. But the recent prosecution of a past abuser has shattered the life he so painstakingly built out of nothing but a mountain of horror. He now faces the daunting task of building a new life—yet again.
Twelve-year-old Thimi has been missing since Christy left Greece and, unbeknownst to everyone, has hidden out in a vacant mansion in Glyfada. Learning of Christy’s survival is the only thing that brings him out of hiding. People, open spaces, even the most common of sounds frighten him beyond reason. A mere ghost of a boy, Thimi arrives in the US with no knowledge of the outside world—the only constant in his life a purple marble.
Lost, shattered, and afraid, only hope gives them the strength and courage they need to begin anew.
Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.~Herbert Ward
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Heat Level: 1
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 3 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Coming of Age, Coming Out / Closeted, Death of Parent, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Second Chances
Word Count: 113,000
Setting: Upstate New York
Languages Available: English, French
Translators: Bénédicte Girault
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Teresa on Fallen Angel Reviews wrote:
Simply One of the Best LGBT Books Ever, Pioneering and Deep as the Oceans
lpida is the third book in an incredible series that began with Omorphi and then Tharros, all excellent reads in a pioneering, truly new kind of writing, that being the telling of the stories of boys, children, who suffer horrific abuse and of the people in their lives who either continue the hell or help them to a peaceful and fully alive, heavenly place on earth.
The depth of Kennedy's writing will prove the absolute validity and utterly clear details of the world created in these books. The emotional, psychological and frank, necessarily graphic details of the lives of the abused, especially one of the most amazing literary heroes, Christy, makes this book (and the preceding two) a fabulously compelling read. Not only is there a feast of international cultural and musical information in the books, the characters are all superbly drawn and not from any stock figures. Each one is distinct: the heroes Christy and Michael are fully formed and totally believable while the "bad guys" have explainable if not somewhat redeeming flaws that flesh them out as real as they can be. One can cheer and boo as if they are right in front of you.
Of all the characters, Christy (he whose portrait graces the first two books) may be singular in literature. He is at once as fragile as crystal, strong as titanium, sharp as a blue diamond, and is written with a depth that allows the reader to really experience what his life is like. Having met Michael in the first book the reader now sees how their relationship has grown and how complex yet pure their feelings are for each other. From an LGBT standpoint, he is so refreshingly unique it is hard to put into words.
Elpida is sometimes described as the concluding book in a trilogy but this reader fervently, reverently hopes it continues. We have seen how one can go from absolute horrors to true love and peace and it would be amazing to see Christy and Michael grow into wonderful lives together. It is one of the highest compliments that I can pay when I have finished a book, that I truly wish there to be more!
Total Score: 5/5 and a Recommended Read
This book held me spellbound from the first sentence. What Christy and Thimi endured was shocking, but somehow they survived and found the courage to trust again. Christy and Michael's lives seemed to be finally settling down and after everything they had overcome they deserved it. When Christy learned that Thimi is alive he was willing to do what he had to so Thimi could join him. Michael's love for Christy is beyond measure, but it is about to be put to the test. Their lives and everyone that they love is still in danger as their enemies relentlessly work to destroy all they they have built. Christy is determined to be their for Thimi, but can one person on their own overcome the trauma of their past?
This book is a testament of two individuals who in spite of their traumatic pasts are determined to believe in hope and the future. Christy was lucky enough to find the love and support he needed and it is my hope that other people in the same situation will be as lucky. The use of the Greek word Elpida meaning trust or in the archaic form “A feeling of trust” sums up the series perfectly defining the hope that both Christy and Thimi felt. Each book was better than the last and it is my hope that their story has just begun.
2017 Rainbow Award Winner - Best Gay Young Adult Fiction.
"This book kept me captivated chapter after chapter. The boys, Jake and Michael's behavior was par with their age (all over the place), although sometimes I thought their behavior was more childish than it needed to be (again, age). The story is quite heart wrenching, reading what Thimi and Christy went through and knowing there are so many young ones out there going through the same. C. Kennedy has done an extensive research to get this book written with accuracy and I don't envy him, I know it would've been too difficult for me to have done the same and in the end, come out emotionally intact. I wish there was a fourth book for I didn't care much for how it ended; too open and I would've loved to see how/what punishment the evil families would've gotten. All in all, a very emotional story. Well done!"
"Hands down, this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read."
"This is a well written book, and part of the series involving Christy, a sexual abuse survivor and victim of sex trafficking. The characters are well developed, complex, and realistic. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand what abuse does to a LGBT character and how survivors can still find hope and love."