Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir by Jordan Castillo Price

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre: Paranormal/vampires
URL: Changeling Press
Price:US $4.49
Other Information/warnings: Violence, explicit m/m, gore and graphic medical details
Summary [from the publisher]:
Wild Bill and Michael might have thought they made it out of the subterranean vampire nest unscathed, but in her anger, Silk left Michael a taste of her wrath that’s impossible to shake.

It’s a race against time to cure Michael of a bizarre affliction, and though the hunter and his favorite vamp have few enough friends, Bill can’t ash a cigarette without burning another bridge. Now Wild Bill must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice to save his lover.

His friends? His scruples? His pride?

His humanity?

My review:

In Elixir, Michael and Wild Bill are trying to evade hunting vampires, having made the mistake of staying put for too long and being detected. But Michael falls seriously ill as Bill arranges their escape, and it turns out that one of their many enemies knows the one sure way to kill a vampire – or a vampire-infected human. That’s one of the ‘elixirs’ in the story. Bill has to make some hard choices as he desperately searches for a way to save Michael’s life – not only on the best way to save Michael, but about his future, as the other ‘elixir’ offers him a future and hope he never dreamed of having. The story is told bookended and interwoven with Bill and Michael’s usual hot, hot loving, but this time with the uncertainty as to whether Bill might be talking about the past – with this author, you can be sure she’s not afraid to kill off a main charact.er

If you want everything nice and tidily sewn up in a Castillo Price book, you haven’t been paying attention. We’re left with dangling possibilities, with Bill and Michael continuing an apparently hopeless, peripatetic existence, but with their relationship deepened and strengthened. Is that enough? It’s frustrating for me because I want that HEA for them, especially Bill. But what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for them. I have to confess that Michael’s reasoning in the end didn’t convince me, and I still don’t really understand why he chose as he did. But the fuckedupedness of these two, especially Michael, is part of the charm and the frustration of this series, and if the reader didn’t like it, they would never have got this far with the storyline.

Jordan’s writing is, as ever, fluid, beautiful and powerful. Really, I run out of superlatives when I try to describe her work. She makes sex both gritty and gorgeous, and somehow she can even turn disgusting medical details into just another kind of sensual experience. The hurt/comfort in this is very strong, and the insight into Bill’s feelings rewarding, though Michael is even more puzzling and opaque than when we first met him. He remains one of the creepiest romantic heroes I’ve ever read 🙂 But Bill…ah, Bill. I fell for Bill hard early on and I still adore him. A stunning creation, like the entire series.

Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir is available from Changeling Press for US$4.49 and is recommended as absolutely essential for anyone who’s read the previous stories and loved them. For everyone else – go back to the very beginning of the Channelling Morpheus series and get acquainted with two mesmerizing and oddly sweet guys.