Cover Image: Tam Lin

Tam Lin

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Member Reviews

The story is filled with whimsically and very original interpretations of the lore of Faeries. 
I enjoyed reading about the MC's transportation from our world to the magical realm. 
Polyamory is depicted both curiously and naturally. 
The concept of a dryad being androgynous is so fascinating and suitable for such a magical creature!
And there's certainly a huge space for developing the subject of gods who feed on worshipping and thus maintain their existence on earth. 

The story gives an impression of a draft. Intriguing plot is divided into several episodes which are not so smoothly connected, in my view. 
Love and lust spark in characters without any grounded reason. The only believable relationships are among those who had been together since long before the events of the book. 
Explicit scenes are vivid and steamy but I wish I cared for the characters more to truly invest in the reading experience. 


Thank you to NetGalley and T.J. Deschamps for the ARC!
#TamLin #NetGalley
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I was SO EXCITED to read this book! Queer fairytale retellings are my buzzwords, but unfortunately we don't have many stories like that, so when I read the synopsis for this novella I was immediately 
hooked. But, unfortunately, it let me down.
Let's start with the positives: I loved the representation Ariel brought. I've never read about a Black latinx character that practiced Santeria and believed in Orishas. I'm latinx and the lack of afro-latinx religions in media really bothers me, so many people I know believe in Yoruba deities! I also didn't know this was a polyamorous romance, which is another thing I don't see represented in media very often, and I think the author handled this topic really well. And everyone is queer/bisexual, which made my little bi heart sing.
BUT everything was really underdeveloped. It read more like an outline than an actual novella/book. Everything happens so fast and the information is just thrown at you. The scene in which Fergus and Aoife are introduced is so weird and not well-written at all. They didn't even tell Tom their names, and somehow he knows what to call them? The fairy magic also appears out of nowhere, and it isn't explained - again, Tom just knows everything and there's no learning curve, no surprise or shock. And the retelling aspect wasn't explored at all. The story barely had any connection to the Tam Lin tale, the explanation as to why/how this is a Tam Lin retelling is weak, there's no other way to say this. The sex scenes are... not sexy, I'm sorry. If you are going to write smut, then you shouldn't hold back, otherwise it'll just feel awkward.
Overall, this feels like a draft. I'm so upset, I really wanted to like this story. So much wasted potential!
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The easiest way to sum it up would be "rushed". There are lots of things thrown at you with little to no connection or coherence. The end is the worst at that though, there are logic jumps that make zero sense. Someone will say something and suddenly the MC just KNOWS who they are talking about despite the reader not having any idea why that connection could possibly be made because there was no build-up to it whatsoever. Every single part surrounding kilts was weird and I didn't even bother trying to put that together.
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This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I really wanted to enjoy this book - I love retellings, I love queer takes on old stories even more.
But honestly I just could not get into it. The main character is like a caricature of an English major. And supposedly he teaches about Ireland, and studied fairy tales extensively. But he knows nothing, and as an English major I'm offended. As someone who also lives in Ireland, I don't know where to start... It's hard for me to tell if the author did not do her research or if she's taking the piss at Clueless American Tourists like the main character because again, he is useless. And not really in the endearing Useless Queer as he tells himself.
In terms of the story, if I can get past the Irish stuff, and the fact that people are wearing kilts??? in Ireland??? (there's a good reason, apparently... I did not believe it though) And what was that about a bunch of tourists putting on kilts by rolling on the floor, more or less naked? It HAD to be a joke but I genuinely am not sure.
The writing was ok to enjoyable, it read pretty quickly too. But the plot was messy and the fairy tale elements were not really internally coherent. The MC's main character trait was basically Horny, and for that reason I was honestly expecting more sex scenes. Maybe there should have been? I don't know. They were decent, even if some moment were written quite awkwardly. An attempt was made at a nonbinary character, but the pronouns kept being switched back to he/him. I'm... honestly conflicted, 
I don't like to give bad reviews to queer books especially but there were lots of tiny annoyances, and the rest did not quite hit the spot for me.
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actual rating: 3.5

I definitely feel like there were a lot of things that could have been expanded on in this novella but it was a quick, fun read and impressive for a debut. Also I'm always a sucker for classic retellings and faerie stories and this one was pretty interesting.
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A retelling of Tam Lin was enough to grab my attention, but making it a queer retelling just sealed the deal.

It’s a great concept, making a queer retelling while also modernizing it, but I feel like this missed the mark for me. It was very short, too short for me to really get invested in any of the characters. I almost felt as if I was reading a sequel to something, like I was supposed to already know these characters and be invested in them.

Everything was very telling, there wasn’t a lot of showing going on. It was all so fast, this happened, then this happened, that we never get the chance to savor the story. We didn’t get any time to fall for the main romantic pairing, and then suddenly Tom’s infatuated with other people? And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting sex, and for it to get pretty explicit pretty quickly kind of put me off the book for a while.

And for being placed in Ireland? The setting didn’t nearly have the presence in the story that I wanted. And the epilogues felt out of place and confusing.

All in all, I liked the concept, I liked the glimpses of Faerie we get to see, but that wasn’t enough for me.
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Super quick read! The plot of being spirited away as well as revisiting an ancient myth was really intriguing. These factors are what initially drew me to this story. I love getting wrapped up in myths and magic and there's no shortage of that in the British Isles.

SPOILERS AHEAD

It story starts with the reader entering into a vulnerable moment between Tom and his partner Ariel. Tom believes they're in the middle of a break up. While the reader gets the gist of what's going on, it's a little choppy and a little assumptive. I would assume that maybe this is just happening since we're in the narrator's head (Tom) and all the messy emotions that come with break ups. However, it happens quite frequently throughout the book in different places (i.e. Ariel's a demigod? Fergus/Aoife have mind abilities, etc). Most of these instances were given a single sentence to let us know they had occurred. This would be the most confusing aspect of this book.

However the story, visiting the myth of Tam Lin, Tom actually being a descendant of his, his escape from Faerie, Ariel as a demigod, this was so interesting! It was just all addressed in such a cut and dry fashion. Everything was very abrupt. I think this particular tale could use with more embellishment, more flow, let it breathe a bit more life. I'd love the author to seduce the reader more, at a much slower pace. Really let the mystery and intrigue build over several chapters. Get lost in the allure of a different world. With that I think it could very well be something very enchanting for all the fantasy lovers out there.
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I was really intrigued by the idea of a queer re-telling of Tam Lin, but unfortunately this book was a complete disappointment. Honestly, it just feels incomplete - the outline of a story is there, but it's missing most of the details that would help me understand what is going on and care about the characters. The dialogue is clunky, and there are a number of misused or misspelled words. Arial and Tom's relationship got basically zero development, and then Tom fell into bed with Aoife and Fergus immediately, leaving that relationship underdeveloped as well. I love some good polyam bisexual romance or erotica, but I want to actually care about the characters and relationships, and feel their attraction to each other, even if they're only together for a night, and I didn't feel like I got that here.

And then all of a sudden the fae show up and now we're in a world where magic is real, which felt very jarring. I could see that the author was trying to foreshadow this earlier in the book, although I didn't think this was very well done, but it felt like an abrupt shift when it appeared. The remainder of the story was just event after event, with no time to slow down or actually feel what was happening, and there were some reversals near the ending that didn't feel impactful or earned because of how quickly everything moved. And the epilogues were more confusing than anything. 

I'm sad to give this such a poor review, because I do like the idea, but I think it could have used a lot of expansion to make the characters and story more comprehensible and appealing, as well as another round of copy-editing.
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It's an interesting retelling on the story of Tam Lin. I enjoyed reading this books and liked the characters and the world. But nothing really stood out for me. It didn't really stick with me after the fact. It's a great book and alot of people are going to enjoy it. 

I got the Arc for an honest review with Netgalley.
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Maybe it's because I don't know the original fable, but this story was super nonsensical to me and not in a mythical way. It's super short, so there isn't a lot of room for expanding on details, but with every turn of the page, especially the second half, I was confused. Perhaps I wasn't the target audience for this, or maybe this story just doesn't make sense.
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