“In Deeper Waters”

F.T. Lukens

I picked this book up from a Pride shelf at a used bookstore—and yes, that’s a bit of a peek into how much of a book backlog1 I have at any given time, given that this is getting published a month before Pride. And really, I grabbed it because it looked kinda cheesy.

And hey, guess what, it kinda was! But in a way that’s exactly what I wanted from it, exactly what I’d hoped it would be. It’s a cheesy little YA romance novel, with a bunch of high fantasy going on as the backdrop, and I’m so, so glad that things like this exist. Because boy, am I ever tired of the plot of an LGBTQ novel being that They Are LGBTQ. Once or twice, that’s an okay plot, but after that, it’s just repetitive. In this, it’s not at all a thing; from the beginning, Tal’s big brother is absolutely accepting of his bisexuality. The only way it appears at all is that it gives him a broader range of options to embarrass his little brother with by asking if they’re his type.

There’s a post somewhere out there where somebody rips into homophobia in fantasy and science fiction. The gist of it is, ‘you can imagine {insert fantasy trope} but you can’t imagine people not being assholes?’

That’s what this is. Someone said “y’know what, I’m making an entirely fictional setting. Why would I bring that aspect of reality into it? How would that make the story better?”

The cover art is very pastel, and so is the book. For all that there is an actual plot to it, I came to the end feeling like I’d had a hug. This book is kind. I loved it. Go read it.2

  1. A booklog, if you will.
  2. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.