Title: Caged in Myth (Book One: Bayou Zoo Series)
Author: J. T. Fairfield
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Genre: paranormal LGBT
Source: the author!
Summary- In Louisiana, young Jay is a zookeeper at a zoo housing mythological creatures, where he works with other supernaturals like himself. He struggles with the impending threat of exposure of his magic to the human world, and the exposure of his sexuality to his friends.
It is rare to find a book on the young adult market with a truly unique plot. Between all of the vampires and apocalypses, a book about a zoo housing mythological creatures narrated by a gay protagonist certainly stands out.
There were a lot of things I liked about this book, as well as some things I thought could have used a little work. Obviously the originality is something I appreciate. I love any book based in mythology, and this one certainly was. I would call this a paranormal story, but it’s a different kind of paranormal.
I also thought it was interesting that Fairfield made the protagonist, Jay, gay. Having an LGBT protagonist alone is unusual in young adult lit, but having one in a fantasy/paranormal novel is something I have only heard of in Malinda Lo’s books. Young adult literature could definitely use some more diversity, whether it be from race, sexuality, gender, or ability.
That being said, I wish there had been more interactions with Colin throughout the book, and not only ones involving sex or sexual tension. In addition, I would have liked to see some more interactions with the zookeepers and the creatures. We spend most of the story inside Jay’s head, and while there is certainly dialogue with other characters, I felt like there wasn’t enough to keep it moving all the way through, even though it was a short book.
Still, I am quite curious to find out more about PETMC, the organization that wants to free the creatures of Area Five, thereby exposing the magical world. I also hope to see Colin and Jay’s relationship progress further in the next books, as well as for the mystery of Grace, the hypersexual Kitsune, to be solved, as I felt she was another element of the story that I wasn’t completely satisfied with. In general, I feel “Caged in Myth” and the Bayou Zoo series has the potential to become very interesting, and look forward to the release of Book 2.
*NOTE: Though I received this book from the author, that in no way has affected my review of it.