Strange Deaths of the Last Romantic by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev
Solid Four Stars!
I was very late to this party with this imaginative story but the romantic in me loved it.
This is a genre-breaking book with elements of thriller, science fiction, New Adult, and even romance. Which may or may not be a good thing. A boy commits suicide, but does not die—he simply is transported to another location—sans clothing. He soon learns to use his ability to get out of difficult situations. Unfortunately, every time he does this, he loses some of his memories of his past. He names himself
Aristotle and writes his own obituaries. Awesome concept, right? I at first could not wrap my head around this one but I managed to enjoy it. I also would love to be able to control my own fate like that.
As the story unfolds, he learns that he has a genetic abnormality that allows him to have this, an ability that some unscrupulous people—rich men who want their lineage to be perpetuated ad infinitum and scientists—want to harness his genetics.
Aristotle falls in love with Lilyanne who is a carrier of the same recessive genetic mutation. Aristotle dies one more time and loses Lilyanne. That was heart breaking and I almost stopped right there.
My issue with this story is that suicide is romanticized and Aristotle is “addicted” to killing himself. He seems to have neither any particular emotional revulsion about repeatedly killing himself or significant psychological trauma from doing so. There are some sex scenes that really aren’t X-rated, but also aren’t in keeping with the rest of the story; they do, however, add to the New Adult genre.
Though there is a romance and Aristotle is billed as “the last romantic,” I didn’t find him particularly romantic. His idea of romance seems to be stuck in the early adolescent phase. I do like the come of age feel to it and will actually read more from this author in the future just to see what imaginative story comes next.
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