Firstly, let me step over to the podium and tell you a little bit about Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, and in the process I’ll inject my opinions of these two books, covering all bases so at the end of reading this you’ll go away with this woman’s name grafted into your mind even though you may not know how to properly pronounce it.
Before we proceed, you might find my review of Andrea’s THE TWO to be a good appetizer. Mind you, from this point on I aim to be quite frank.
Andrea is, in her day-to-day routine of life, in essence, a simple Tampa, Florida girl with a loving husband and an average domestic lifestyle. Talking to her on the phone, you get the feeling of having a casual conversation with someone carrying both the self-confidence of a United States Senator and the timid honesty of that one housewife in your neighborhood who actually has a good head on her shoulders but few neighbors take the time to find out, though nevertheless is a hit at Halloween. But dig deeper than conversation, and you’ll discover a woman who had found herself, her role in this universe (at least in this lifetime), and, consequently, throughout the course of time, has found a way to express her persona and ambition tapped deep within herself that explodes upon the horror landscape with raw unbridled gusto both through her writing and an impressive years-long untiring promotion campaign that’s brought her name out into the forefront of gothic horror writers.
Her books, contrary to what you’d gather merely talking to her on the phone, are extremely explicit and unapologetic, the kind of material that the entire U.S. population of religious fundamentalists would do everything in their power to ban should Andy become a commercial success, an endeavor that would make Harry Potter books seem like Barney to the right-wing-inclined.
Man of Two Worlds is comprised of a central story containing many delightful sub-stories of the ghoulish supernatural characters who comprise a “skeleton crew” for a film director embattled with rumors his movie set’s haunted, which frightened away a previous crew who had more “life” in them. The film director eventually learns what it’s like to be one of the new crew, one of their kind, in a tale very well told and exhibits one of Andrea’s shining accomplishments as a story teller.
Michael deals with Taylor, a timid, troubled young man who happens upon one Michael Paxton while spending one of many quiet times in his town’s isolated cemetery. As it turns out, Michael has been a spirit roaming the cemetery who decided to possess the body of a freshly-buried corpse of a young man who dug himself from the ground to become human enough to claim Taylor as his lover forever. Taylor, a devote heterosexual male, finds his life turned upside down in ways he never imagined. Is Michael a vampire? Well, no. He eats people. Is he a zombie? Well, no, because zombies don’t have anal intercourse, and if they did, and they came inside you, you don’t become one of them.
Yes, Andy’s works are that raw. Who’d have thought, just by talking to her.
She writes quite skillfully, which is very dangerous when it comes to expressing stories like Michael, particularly, because what she has to say is vivid, the characters pull you in, the violence is enough in itself to satisfy even the pickiest of hardcore gorehounds, and the gay sex and graphic nature steps on your skull and scrapes your teeth against the cement curb like an angry rapist having his way with you on a suburban side street in the dead of night when the countless people in the surrounding homes are all fast asleep and haven't the faintest notion of your violent plight to stay alive, where you could cry out but no one would hear you except the restless ones in the graveyard nearby, waiting for you to join them.
But I’ve said enough already.
On a small note, in regards to Michael, I would have loved to have seen the Danny character (the ex-cop) appear way earlier on, because he appeared too abruptly with not enough time to digest, and he would have been more convincing as being connected with a police investigation sub-plot as the whole story went from almost the beginning....but that's just me......