This book is a collection of real and sensitive themes, such as homosexuality, sexual activity, faith, and transsexual individuals, with explicit scenes and romantic entanglements. It is not for the faint of heart, however, I enjoyed the way the relationship between religion and spirituality has been explored.
Look, sometimes you just want a fun novellette about falling in love with and boning down with a biblically accurate angel (possibly a nephilim?). Sometimes you also get the bonus of a trans main character and a small exploration of faith outside of the man made structure of religion. Definitely a fun, quick, fucky read.
It's a book about a gathering of topics actual and delicate like homosexuality, sex work, religion, and trans people with spicy scenes and romance.
Personally, it's not my cup of tea but I liked how the relationship with religion has been considered.
Exodus 20:3 by Freydis Moon is an unexpected, short read. Religious eroticism and queer emancipation meet in a claustrophobic monster-romance about divinity, sexuality, and freedom. When Diego López is guilted by his mother into taking a low-key construction job in New Mexico, he doesn’t expect to be the only helping hand at Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. But the church is abandoned, decrepit, and off the beaten path, and the only other person for miles is its handsome caretaker, Ariel Azevedo. Together, Diego and Ariel refurbish the old church, sharing stories of their heritage, experiences, and desires. But as the long days turn into longer nights, Diego begins to see past Ariel’s human mirage and finds himself falling into lust—and maybe something else—with one of God’s first creations. WARNINGS: mention of transphobia, mention of drug use, light dubious consent, sexualization of religion.
Exodus 20:3 is a book that started off fairly normal, then quickly had me wondering what exactly was going on and who Ariel and Diego were. I liked the build up, and think it was very well written. I could understand a good deal of Diego's insecurities and concern, and could empathize with them. It was not until close to the end that I felt like I had any kind of understanding of Ariel's thoughts. There was just so much more that needs to be explored and unpacked with these two characters, and I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if it had been a bit longer, with more information on both characters and what might happen next. There is plenty of room for more, and I am more than a little intrigued in the world building here and how the relationship could go. I do see how some readers could be offended or upset by the take on religion and sexuality here, but I think those readers are also unlikely to pick up a book with a transsexual main character, so I doubt that will be a big issue for the readers that choose this book.
Exodus 20:3 is a well crafted read, and I think I will be exploring other writing from the author.
This was a cute enough story but ultimately I think it was just a bit too short for me and everything just felt very rushed and sketched-together plot-wise, especially considering there is probably almost as much page space dedicated to sex scenes as there is to plot and character development. If you're an avid reader of these kind of short-form M/M romance books then I think this could easily be a 4 or even 5 star book for you, but for me it's more something I used to be really into and now I just pick one up every once in awhile to see how I feel about it. Also I'm sure a lot of people will find this very comforting but I'm not in such a positive place regarding Christianity so the tone of this didn't really resonate with me, I guess I was expecting the fallen angel to be a bit more fallen ;)
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I rarely give a novella 5 stars because it always seem too short to fully tell a story but Exodus 20:3 is just a perfect little book with the most lovely romance
- great atmospheric writing, the prose just pulls you in it's sweet and seductive
- trans man mc on a journey to find himself
- a mythical entity with a monstrous body (and monstrous body parts )
- religious eroticism, yes it's a thing ! i didn't know about it either but trust me it's really hot and sexy
Exodus 20:3 was a true delight : a romance that was incredibly sensual and gentle at the same time as well as an amazing queer character's journey. Freydis Moon is a new author to look out for!
tags: monter romance, m/m relationship, trans man mc, biblical angel type monster, delicious sexual tension, yearning, filthy hot sex scenes, exploration of religious beliefs, poc main characters
content warning: i guess some of the sex scenes might be considered blasphemous for really religious people
That was freaking beautiful.
So short, but also surprisingly weighted: "Exodus 20:3" is a novella brimming with yearning and hope and it left me feeling so happy and buoyant and just a tad melancholic. It was absolutely lovely story with an even lovelier prose: I'm not a picky reader so I usually don't take much heed of the storytelling style, if it's lirical or refined enough, but Freydís Moon's prose was magical and sweeping and it literally sucked me into the story. The atmosphere was equally impressive. It's a blend of eerie and enchanted and dreamy, a bit like a fairy tale, or, given the subject of this novella, maybe a bit like a biblical one, with its epic-like quality, the life-changing, mind-altering weight to it.
Diego, the trans protagonist of this novella, had the perfect kind of voice for this novella: in his own right he's equally magical, and impressive and miraculous. The story is a very short one, so easy to devour, but in less that 100 pages the author manages to portray a character journey that feels pretty much monumental: Diego's lost and alone and near enough at his wits' ends, but thanks to his mind-altering meeting with Ariel, he ends up finding purpose and hope and acceptance and love. I loved his story and I loved their love story and I loved how they were together.
So yes, it'a a fairly profound and epic story of biblical proportions. But it's also a very sensual, mouth-watering sexy tale of seduction and devotion with a hefty, hefty, side-dish of monster f***ing. Get me an author who can do both, right? *fans herself*
So, all round chef kissing: I absolutely adored this novella. It's out now, so go and do yourself a favour and BUY IT.
Religious eroticism and queer emancipation meet in a claustrophobic monster-romance about divinity, sexuality, and freedom..
I enjoyed this . Very different to what I was expecting. I would recommend for people who enjoy erotic stories and are not afraid of quite “out there “ tales.
It's what we deserve.
This is why I love reading monster romances. Where else can you find a story that explores religious beliefs without just making it a one-sided appeal, a story with explicitly queer and trans characters of colour, featuring a creature that is both romantic and monstrous at the same time and sex scenes that really lean into the supernatural.
Diego has a unique voice, I was interested to learn more about him from the start and I had the same feeling as soon as we meet Ariel. The novella of course only captures a snapshot of their lives but it's ending does not feel incomplete.
And that's not even mentioning the writing that has some stunners like this:
Something new and impatient yawned inside him, akin to desire, abrasive and unhinged. His bones were like busted pipes, hunger gushing through his fractured skeleton.
Its transition scenes are brusque, especially compared to the smooth writing and the construction timeline seems a bit off but those are minor flaws when comparing it to the things is excels at.
This novella took me totally by surprise! I went in thinking it would be a potentially kinky romance with some supernatural strangeness - and it is that - but there's also a really lovely story about the intersection of identity, belief, acceptance, and community. The writing is so sensual and immersive that I got totally wrapped up in Diego's experiences and point of view.
I really love the characters. Diego is trans and has been through a lot and fought hard to get to where he is. But even though he's confident in his identity, he's on the outs with his family and feeling adrift. With Ariel he finds answers he didn't know he was seeking -- answers about God and faith, purpose and belonging. Ariel is sweet and kind of terrifying! I appreciate that Ariel is a biblical-based angel with lots of eyes, wings, limbs, and other parts. His scenes with Diego are always so charged, whether they're sharing lunch, working together, or participating in some late night worship.
And while I love some monstrous romance, what really resonated with me was the perspective on religion. Diego doesn't know what to believe and he doesn't feel welcome in church, yet he yearns to believe in something. Ariel provides his angelic outlook on what is godly vs what is holy, and showers Diego with love and praise, claiming him and offering him a fresh start.
Unique, sexy, and a balm to my soul, honestly. I can't wait to read more by Freydís Moon!
I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
Exodus 20:3 is yet another relic of the monster anthology implosion, and a unique one at that. There’s a lyrical quality to the writing style that drew me in immediately. I found myself consistently engaged, and perfectly satisfied with this short.
I really liked the relationship between Diego and Ariel. There’s a well-done, erotic sexual element, but I also appreciated the bond that grows beyond that, where they confide stories about their backgrounds and hopes and dreams to one another. And the way the religious themes were embedded…it works, distilling things down to the basic concept of religious belief, stripped of the dogma that would likely find a story like this shocking (to put it mildly).
This story was lovely, and I will definitely be supporting Freydís Moon in all their future writing endeavors! I would recommend checking this out if you’re into monster romance.
What an absolute stunning story full amazing queer rep, religion and what it would be like to be with a very sexy angel with four arms. This novella has some of the best sexual tension and sex scenes that I have ever read! I loved Diego and Ariel from the moment both are introduced, separately and together. Their chemistry was instant! Not in an insta love way (though I do love that too!) but it just felt like their souls fit together, like they were the missing puzzle pieces each other needed.
I love how the trans rep was handled in here. You know Diego is trans, he doesn’t hide it but it’s also not the main focus of his identity. He’s just Diego and that made this read feel so comforting and safe. I don’t know how to properly explain it beyond that this story feels like a safe space.
Freydís is a superbly talented writer and I will 1000% be devouring every single piece of work they put out into the world. This story was crafted to perfection and my selfish heart wishes this were longer!
Monster lovers, romance readers, you need this book and this story in your life and eyeballs and brain the second it is out!
I loved this! The themes on religion, love, acceptance, of how religion/worship doesn’t always look like how we expect it were all really well done.
This was a truly beautiful love story between a trans man and god’s first creation with PLENTY of very well written steamy scenes. The exploration of the divinity inside eroticism was just *chef’s kiss*
I think this will hit for people who’ve been around or been influenced by religion in their lives. I will be highly recommending it to people!