Light by ‘Nathan Burgoine
Bold Strokes Books, October 2013
Light should have been in my original “Best Reads of 2014” list, so I am adding the mini-review here. This first effort from fellow Ottawa scribe ‘Nathan Burgoine is funny, immersing and interesting. Single gay protagonist Kieran Quinn has always had a super power and has always vacationed during the Ottawa Gay Pride Festival. Throw in a husky leather bear as his love interest, an evangelical villain who also possesses a power, and Kieran’s family dynamic (a straight brother who is perpetually single), and you have a winner. That the hero can read others’ thoughts, including those of dogs (i.e.: ‘Play! Friend? Play?’) adds a great texture to inter-character exchanges. He can tell what the other person is thinking. Burgoine also possesses a super power himself—a whiplash sense of humour. This humour is evidenced by an ongoing contest in which people can vote on the new hero’s moniker (‘Rainbow Man’ and ‘Disco’ are options.). In setting the story in Ottawa’s Pride week, Burgoine gives the narrative a rich, authentic, localized feel. Readers not only get to tag along with endearing characters, but also tour the nation’s capital in the summertime, when the city is actually warm.