Review: Tanya Chris – Predestination Unknown

Author: Tanya Chris
Reviewer: Wendy
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary:

Luther is almost enjoying a rainy day in Salem, Massachusetts on All Hallow’s Eve when his pursuit of a light-haired, light-skinned guy in a Pilgrim costume sends him crashing back in time to Salem 1692 and the start of the Salem witchcraft trials.

Ezekiel was only going about his chores when a gay, bi-racial man from the future dropped into his life. He doesn’t know Luther is from 2017, not from Boston. He doesn’t know that it’s OK to feel about a man the way he’s coming to feel about Luther. And he has no idea that the wealthy, white men running Salem are about to hang twenty people for the trumped-up crime of witchcraft.

Ezekiel has a lot to learn, both in bed and out, and he’s going to have to get up to speed fast if he and Luther are going to prevent a Colonial American tragedy, one that has already kind of happened. Is our future predestined? Or can Luther and Ezekiel change the course of their country for the better?

Predestination Unknown is a full-length M/M time travel romance featuring a bi-racial man from 2017 who travels back in time to the Salem witchcraft trials.

Content warning: Some unsympathetic secondary characters hold and express racist views. Most of these are immediately refuted by other characters, but a few comments go uncorrected.”

Review:

I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I agreed to read and review this book, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what I got (not in a bad way). I think I was expecting this was going to be some light-hearted Halloween time travel short story – cute and quirky. Instead, this was a full-fledged story complete with a comprehensive history lesson about the Salem witch trials and a time when many prejudices existed among people.

Stories that have a heavy historical theme aren’t typically my cup of tea; however, I have to say that I found myself doing a little Wikipedia research right alongside reading this book to try to determine the degree of historical accuracy vs. creative license. I was pleasantly surprised to learn a few things!

One controversial aspect of the book was the bi-racial MCs. I would love to see more of this in M/M books; however, in this context, it felt as though things were almost too smooth given the time period. Yes, there was a degree of angst around a black man showing up out of the blue in 1692 and having uncommon abilities as compared to what most people knew, but it felt like this should have been bigger somehow. Similarly, Ezekiel didn’t seem to require too much heavy convincing to accept Luther’s claim that homosexuality was not wrong at a point in time when it was clearly forbidden.

The ending of the story was definitely a surprise for me. I won’t go into details since half the fun of reading is the discovery of twists and turns, but yeah; I would have bet money on a different outcome. Definitely different!

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