Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review by Niki: Your Happy End by E.E. Ottoman

Author: E.E. Ottoman
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 Smooches & 5 out of 5 candy-sweet kisses


By day Jun is co-owner of a comic book shop. By night, he provides the high tech gear used by superhero team Ghost Hawk and The Spider. Cooper is the computer genius and information specialist behind the vigilante known as The Shadow Avenger. Attraction and a love of graphic novels make for a good start, but if they want to last Jun and Cooper will have to overcome secrets, danger, Cooper's past and Jun's firm belief that people in the superhero business don't get happy endings.

Niki-O’s Down low on “Your Happy End” by E.E. Ottoman


Don’t let the less than stellar cover fool you…This delightful little confection of a story has all the sweet, hot, well written and well edited goodness readers can expect to find regularly in offerings from Less Than Three Press. Plus it has the added bonus of author E.E. Ottoman’s shooting straight from the hip style of writing. And before I get into the main body of this review, let me just say that this book needs to be in your library. Hell, it needs to be on your favorites list, because it’s got all the right moves at all the right moments. Probably the only quibble you’ll have is that the story is as sweet and fleeting as mouthful of cotton-candy. But don’t worry…like candy eaten on a sunny summer day while walking hand in hand with your first love, the memory of how the words in this story move you will both stand the test of time and give you just as much of a sweet, warm rush the thirtieth time you read them as they did the first.

*excuse me while I pause for a happy sigh*

Ottoman’s prose feels laid-back, inviting us as readers to take a stroll down to the local pizza joint with the “everyman” protagonists of Your Happy End. You’ll be loving Jun and Cooper within moments of meeting these two perfectly imperfect youngsters. It was refreshing to find a story treating the important issue of gender identity and the impact it can have on everyday life in a simple, no-frills, no hype manner. Jun and Cooper flawlessly illustrate two of the many permutations that gender identity and sexuality can combine into as well as throwing a spotlight on the importance every sidekick who ever supported any super hero holds.

Ottoman takes us into the nerve wracking world of superhero support in a way that easily lends itself to seeing the same qualities Jun and Cooper embody in the supporters behind every professional athlete, famous musician, star of stage or screen… as well as every small scale superhero like the high school teacher in an impoverished neighborhood who even though saddled with “incorrigible” students managed to touch their lives with a love for words or math or even just a newfound love for themselves as humans with a right to walk proudly though their lives.

The real kicker is that Ottoman manages to do this while writing about kinda nerdy tech guys with a mutual love for comic books, and makes it seem like a walk in the park. Like other great writers and poets who have come before, Ottoman writes so clearly about these two fictional men they transcend their individuality, becoming every person who ever stood in the role of support staff for any hero super or small.

Bravo, E.E. Ottoman. You’ve earned a place on my personal shelf of truly great writers. I think I’ll put you next to my other favorites whose writing is so clear and specific his love poem for one woman becomes a love poem for everyone who has ever loved.

What? Oh, of course. Introductions first. Octavio Paz, please meet E.E. Ottoman. I think the two of you will be pleased to be in close proximity. You have a great deal in common.


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