Review: Ellen Guon – Bedlam Boyz

Bedlam Boyz
Ellen Guon
Kayla has run away from home. It’s not great, but at least she hasn’t gotten into being pimped out yet and she has a home. Kayla has been having increasingly worse headaches though, and when confronted with a bullet wound she discovers that she can heal it. It’s a valuble talent in the gang ridden LA district, and Kayla is suddenly hot property.
538125Kayla isn’t really sure what she is doing, except when she is doing it! Kayla quickly has to adapt (yay, character progression) to being able to heal. She has to stop herself healing eventually or she will burn out. I find it fascinating that she is able to sap energy from Ramon. How awesome would it be if healing actually worked like that?
The elves in this series, as well as Kayla, feed very nicely into the other books in the Bedlam’s Bard series. This book was actually written after Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. Ria and Kayla are both reoccurring characters, although this is the book that really offers the most insight into Kayla’s character.
I wasn’t convinced that the Unseelie elven queen would have let her go just like that, or that Kayla could have picked up that she was being poisoned from such a long way away. I would have liked a little more depth there, particularly into the Unseelie world. I wanted to know exactly why it was decaying! And why they didn’t make more of an effort to save themselves. I’m not sure if these exact eleves appear in the other novels.
This book lacks some of the polish that is seen in other books of this series, perhaps because it is not coauthored by Mercedes Lackey. It’s an enjoyable read, even if I found myself skipping over some of the gang perspective parts in favour of Kayla’s storyline. I’m disappointed that Guon has not written more novels, but apparently she is quite a weighty force in computer game design, which takes up most of her time.
I’d recommend this book for teens and adults alike. Yes, it has lots of blood, drugs and death, but that is equally weighted against healing and understanding. For someone like me who has never been a runaway, nor considered it (it’s a bit harder to do successfully in Australia), it is an eyeopening account for me into some of the US society’s flaws.

This book is out of print! I was going to snaffle a hardcopy on ebay, but forgot to bid and then someone else got it. I have a pounce set up on ebay to try grab it – so don’t even think about getting my copy! It’s probably available from ABbooks if you are from the US or UK, but shipping tends to be prohibitively expensive to Australia. I’ve given links for Amazon and The Book Depository, but I don’t think they will have them in stock (except as second hand).

Update: Sept 2018 – I got my hands on this novel in hard copy and reread it. I’m upgrading this review to 4 stars, because I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

Find it on:
goodreads_icon copyAmazon-Icon-e1335803835577-300x294 copybookdepository_icon copy

Or alternatively you can get an ereader copy from Baen Books.

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