cover image Hush


Jude Sierra. Interlude/Consent (, $15.99 trade paper (278p) ISBN 978-1-941530-27-6

Sierra’s tedious debut puts a mystical twist on the college romance. Superficial college student Cameron embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads him into the arms of a mysterious man called Wren, who has a gift for forcing others to feel whatever he wishes them to feel. Wren is reluctant to trust anyone, even the patently safe Cameron. The present-tense narration strangely mutes any sense of immediacy. Wren refuses to open himself to emotional connection, so scenes that should be sizzling hot are instead cool and mechanical. Rapid leaps between point of view frequently disrupt the tension. Where the scenes intend to be dramatic, they become commonplace, and the resolution feels flat and uninspired. Despite Sierra’s frequent attempts to raise stakes and infuse passion, the sense of inevitability throughout leaves the ending hollow. (May)