Review: Liesmith by Alis Franklin

I’ve been in something of a reading slump lately, my poor, poor neglected review blog. After DNFing more books than I care to admit, I finally picked Liesmith up on a whim, and completely devoured it.


Awkward gamer nerd Sigmund Sussman is not particularly happy at his boring IT job, and spends his days fantasizing about developing (and playing) video games with his two best friends. It comes as much as a surprise to him as anyone, when his much-cooler-seeming coworker begins to show romantic interest in him. But Sigmund’s excitement about his budding romance is cut short when he discovers that his new boyfriend is much, much more than he seems.


First off, this book has a great many elements that I absolutely love. Awkward nerd boys. Queer romance. Norse gods. Pretty much it felt like this book was written for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

That said, I felt this book was maybe trying to do too much with the limited space it was given. It was trying to be Romance and Horror and Urban Fantasy and Epic Mythic Saga all at the same time, and in doing so a lot of the elements fell flat, or weren’t given the attention they deserved.

I also found the ending to be confusing at best. I often found myself flipping back through my kindle, like, “So wait, So-in-so is actually the re-incarnation of this other person, but they’re not REALLY the same person, and there’s two souls living in the same body? What?” The final battle had the bizarre, semi-coherent acid trip feeling that used to be so popular with anime in the early-to-mid 2000s.

This book really shines with the character. Both Sigmund and Lain grow and develop as people, and it was wonderful to watch their relationship develop. The fantastical elements were intriguing and fun to read, I just wish they’d been given a bit more of the attention and explanation they deserved.

Overall Rating


Reddit Fantasy Bingo Squares

  • Novel featuring a god as a character (hard mode!)
  • Novel with fewer than 2500 Goodreads ratings
  • LBGTQ Database (hard mode as of me checking just now)
  • May count for the Takes Place in One City square, but there is one scene where they go camping on the outskirts of town

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