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REVIEW: Pity the Living, Not the Dead – TL Travis

Pity the Living, Not the Dead - TL Travis

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Dark, Vampires

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Pity the living, not the dead they say.

Trust is earned, not given.

Clichés meant to make one feel better in a time of sorrow. How do these apply when the one you trust most isn’t among the living? Beware of things that go bump in the night when what you really need to fear is life itself. The one thing you will never get out of alive…

Elijah Walker has done his best to blend in amongst humans for centuries, drinking his fill and doing his best not to kill. Humans. Witnessing their digression firsthand, reverting to their caveman beginnings makes it hard to contain the beast lurking inside.

Liam Aldrich has spent his life in his family’s shadow. Never allowed to step out of line and forced into a life made for him rather than one he would have chosen for himself. Now the one time he has a choice that only he can make could end it all.

With Liam’s life and Elijah’s heart on the line, the pair are left at a crossroad forced to determine a path in which they could find may not align.

A portion of this book was previously available in the Virgin Shifters anthology.

The Review

Lately, I’ve read several vampire stories, and they all have their own touch of uniqueness. TL Travis’s Pity the Living, Not the Dead is no exception, with its own unique vampire and human relationship.

This story opens in 1821 England. Elijah’s a young man who had a loving mother and wanted the love of his father. At eighteen he had also found love. But with a cruel and abusive father and a betrayal, his freedom and lifeis taken from him.

Why he was given a chance at rebirth, he will never know. He had a reason to kill centuries before, but all that’s in the past. He has survived in the human world for two hundred years as a solitary vampire, mainly because he has never found the “one,” or anyone he can trust. 

In Anacortes, Washington in 2021, Liam Aldrich has just turned twenty-one. He’s a promising young man, has a college education, and already has a career lined up in his family business.  But Liam has never had one second to live truly free.

He’s controlled by his Irish-Catholic family, especially his father and brothers. The only one in the family he really loves is his sister Olivia. For Liam, the only freedom he has is late in the evenings, and the waterfront is his only place of solitude.

Elijah finds himself drawn to the pure and innocent Liam.  Liam brings out feelings in Elijah that he has not felt in a very long time. Lia, too, feels an attraction to Elijah. 

They start to date, and Elijah tries to make Liam understand that he can make his own choices and leave the control of a family that will never give him his freedom. There will be important decisions to make, and many unknowns for both Elijah and Liam.  

The most frightening character in this tale isn’t the vampire Elijah. It’s his evil father, and the way he and his family treat Liam. The issue of dominance and control is addressed well in the book’s Dedication. No one has the right to control someone else – it’s a form of abuse.

This is also a story about choices in the face of the unexpected, and about taking a chance and hoping things will turn out for the best. The “Epilogue,” set in 2055, reflects that there’s a purpose and reason why survival is so important.

The connection between Elijah and Liam can’t be denied. The banter between them is sweet, but there are also serious and emotional moments. The love and support between Olivia and Liam is a very important piece to the story too.

This is a well-written story by Travis, with outstanding characters and a serious message. 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 



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