For What It's Worth

Monday, October 9, 2017

blog tour review: sightlines (the community #3) by santino hassell



30364806Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He's the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He's the son of the Community's founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he's nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he's ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn't the haven he'd believed in and Chase was the only person who'd ever truly tried to protect him. Now they're surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.


With Chase playing the role of a tyrant's second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase's mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all. ~
Goodreads

Source: e-arc provided in exchange for an honest review

Review:

*I’m going to do this review a bit differently as this is the conclusion to an ongoing series. If you haven’t started it yet – I’ll do a quick rundown of what it’s about and why I love it – then a quick take on this particular book; the couple and how it ends.

Non-spoiler series thoughts: Sightlines is the third, and last book, in Hassell’s The Community series about a band of gifted, yet vulnerable, psychics that are first recruited by and find solace and safety in a group called The Community but soon find that their free will is taken away as they are manipulated to serve the Community's greater purpose of harnessing the followers powers for their own malicious reasons.

This is fairly standard stuff if you’re a comic book/X-Men fan, but Hassell takes it to higher level imo by using the the story line to explore our current state of politics. Sure, most of these types of stories are allegories exploring minority and social issues such as immigration, LGBQT rights – but I think Hassell’s series is unique in that it puts the power back into the victims hands. It doesn’t dance around the issues, hinting at allegories, it declares them, loudly, and gives the subjects of abuse the agency to confront and overcome.

Thoughts specifically for Sightlines: Each book has a different couple and in this one it’s Chase and Elijah. They’ve been something of fuck buddies in the previous books so there’s no slow build up to their relationship here. Their relationship conflict mainly comes from Chase not believing in Elijah’s feelings for him and that they could have anything more than sex. When Elijah first came to the Community, he had a major crush on Chase’s brother Holden, and Chase just can’t seem to let his jealousy go. Despite their issues, they are 100% steadfastly supportive of each other.

Chases powers are SCARY - he's the strongest psychic of them all - and he doesn’t have the ability to control those powers. He has so much baggage from the way he was treated and lied to for most of his life. Huge trust issues with that boy! and they’re totally justifiable. He just doesn’t believe he gets to have a Happily Ever After. If he and Elijah survive and escape The Farm then that’s good enough for him.

Chase and Elijah are torn between thinking that they just want to save their own asses (& maybe a few friends & family) and joining Ex-Comm to take down The Community/The Farm. At times they think it's not their problem and want to just run away. Not all heroes are completely selfless running headlong into danger. Some people do it reluctantly – but they get there. I liked that honesty.

Sightlines was by far the grittiest of the three and if you have problems reading about abuse, torture, rape, incest, slurs (some of this is on page - violence, attempted sexual assault, slurs in this book - and some is just referenced) then this might not be for you but again – I loved how Hassell gave his characters the power to name the abuse and fight back and win whatever constitutes a HEA for them.

I’ve read that some people didn’t think the romance element was as strong in Sightlines or that there wasn’t enough Elijah/Chase time but I kind of loved them. They were already a couple and while not super lovey dovey and full of declarations all the time – the invisible string that always drew and tied them together felt more solid to me than say Nate and Trent from book #1, who had just met and got their HEA fairly quickly.

As for the conclusion with the over reaching Community take down arc – I liked it and thought everyone from the previous books got enough page time to resolve a lot of personal conflicts that had been building over the series.

It did drag out longer than I would have liked. There were multiple epic battles. It’s just me but I'm the kind of reader that starts to glaze over when there are too many this is the big one fights and then there’s another one. However, there were multiple enemies to confront and this was a really solid conclusion to a series that explores so many issues while still being fun, action packed, sexy and unique.

*If you enjoy The Community series then I would recommend another of my favorite paranormal romance series - The Village series by Darien Cox


SH photo
Author Bio: Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.



Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr


20 comments:

  1. This does sound like a great series with the psychics and the romance and the grittiness. But it has a diff couple in each book, right? If it were the same couple, I'd be more interested :-/ But I'll keep this series in mind. I'm glad you liked it so much!

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    1. It does. There is quite a bit of overlap though. Three of the characters are brother sand have a complicated relationship to each other/their father/mother's/The Community for example - since they were all raised differently.

      There aren't many series with one couple but I do enjoy those as well.

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  2. Epic battles? *reads everything* Oh. LOL. My eye just fell on one word

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    1. One word? You probably thought I was talking fantasy right? lol

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  3. Oh man, this series sounds so good. I actually just recently read my first SH book, Illegal Contact, and loved it. I will have to grab his other stuff and catch up.

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    1. I don't every single book by him but they are usually more hit than miss and I do think his writing has gotten better over time.

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  4. I'm in the middle of this one, and I'm loving it. I actually like when a couple is already a bit established - it makes the story/romance more intriguing sometimes. I'm glad to hear that you really liked this one. I probably will to! :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Yeah - you can jump right to the next level instead of introductions and all that. We learned so much about Chase before so it made sense to me for this book.

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  5. The series sounds good and this is a new author for me.

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    1. There are so many books and authors to learn about Mary! lol

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  6. Going to have to check this series out. PS: Love your banner!

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  7. I usually end up liking those books that aren't heavy on the romance. Sometimes it is just too much. I also know what you mean about the fight scenes. Sometimes they just go on too long. Still, this does sound like a book I would enjoy. Brilly review!

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    1. This has romance but I think the theme of overthrowing the Community is always just as strong in this series.

      These endings sort of remind me of the last Lord of The Rings movie - Return of the King. It just kept going on and on and on lol

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  8. I read the first book to this series and have enjoyed it. I've been meaning to pick up the rest but I keep forgetting. Can't wait!

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    1. I think the 2nd was my favorite but the whole series was fun.

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  9. This series sounds exciting. Never heard of the author before.

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    1. He writes several different series so there's a lot to choose from

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  10. Ohhhh, I've never heard of this series before, but sounds interesting! Also I have a strange fascination with psychics so already I'm into it :) Thanks for the giveaway--just entered!

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