Title: Devil’s Eyes
Author: G.R. Richards
Length: 6,110 words (21 pdf pages)
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m contemporary paranormal
Synesthesia isn’t always a useful gift for a recording engineer, as Graham reveals during a film interview for Noah’s documentary on the topic. Synesthetics are people who see music. Some see colors or shapes in the notes they hear. Graham’s a little out of the ordinary — he sees images. Often, entire scenes play out before his eyes.
Graham’s come up against a stumbling block because of his synesthesia. In the bizarre death metal tracks he’s working on, the devil’s eyes appear at every turn. He’s scared stiff, and if he’s afraid to listen to them, how will he ever get the tracks edited?
As Noah and Graham discover, confronting the devil’s eyes is a job for two.
This was an interesting story that touches on the subject of synesthesia. I really enjoyed the descriptions as Graham, aka Skunk, tells Noah about what it is like for himself and for another popular artist who shares the diagnosis. His friend sees colors, but Graham has full one images, like movies or dreams. He has been putting off working on a death metal album because the first time he heard them play he saw devil eyes and was so frightened by the images he hasn’t been able to bring himself to work on the album. However he offers to let Noah hang out after their interview, however the song he plays sends him into this wild hallucination, once again bring up the devil’s eyes.
When the song ends, he runs to the other room to check on Noah, but the song restarts and he falls immediately into another hallucination. This time it’s rather a split personality thing and in his hallucination, he ends up having mad sex with Noah. Only, wait, when the song ends … they’re naked and did have sex. Hmmm.
Okay, I loved the descriptions of synesthesia and how it manifested for Graham, but I couldn’t get past thinking “What if he had hallucinated that he’d had to kill Noah for some reason, rather than have sex with him?” It’s one thing to have images going through your head, it’s another thing to be so into it you act on your hallucinations. Luckily Noah was all on board with the sex, but would he have raped him if he hadn’t? He didn’t even realize hewas having sex with him in real life. The book is billed as a paranormal but I wasn’t sure if the experience was due to his synesthesia or was there some paranormal aspect to it. The hallucinations while listening to music were not new for Graham, so I’m not sure.
Perhaps I’m just too logical and needed to let it go and just enjoy the fantasy aspect of the story, but I couldn’t help but think working in the music industry with a reaction that throws you into full-on acting out hallucinations seems awfully dangerous. So I think if you can just let the fantasy/paranormal aspect of the story work for you, the sex is certainly hot and primitive and I particularly enjoyed the first part of the story, but I just found myself thinking about other things rather than the romance.