Since I started reading M/M romance there's been one series that has been talked about more than any other I can think of: Special Forces by Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate.
There are very few books in the genre whose reputations preceed them. The Special Forces series is the father of them all. Seriously, the debates these books have inspired, and the strong emotions they've pulled out of readers, are damn near legendary. I've seen people organize massive buddy reads for the series and passionately declare their love for the writing and the complexity of the characters.
All of this and I have never read these books. I've wanted to but I always find a way to talk myself out of it. Why? Because they scare the ever loving crap out of me. Gut wrenching is a phrase that a lot of people use to describe Special Forces and up until yesterday I wasn't sure that I wanted to feel like someone was twisting up my insides. Still, I've always been really curious about these books.
So, what changed yesterday? Honestly, I'm tired of feeling like I'm missing out on something that some readers have said is life-changing. No, I'm not exaggerating. People have said that and, dammit, that makes me feel like I've bypassed some rite of passage.
Once I decided to take the leap and read this series I had to decide what format I wanted to read it in. The first book, Soldiers, is long; around 560 pages if I'm not mistaken. I asked myself if I really wanted to read that many pages on my Kindle or, even worse, on my phone. The answer was no. Plus, if this book turns out to be as brilliant as everyone says it is then I want to have a physical copy. Last night I ordered Soldiers part I and II. I'm glad that I bought the print copies because this feels like an occasion that calls for a book to be held in my hands.
I've gotten some surprising responses since I've told people that I'm planning to read Soldiers I & II as soon as they arrive. A lot of other people are scared to read it too. People who LOVE the series have asked me if I'm sure that I want to read it. It's that hard of a book to read. That makes me a little more antsy about taking on this series but I'm pretty determined.
This, my friends, is the beginning of my journey through this series. I'm excited about this because I think it will change the way I view other books in this genre, maybe in all genres for that matter. I'll be posting my reviews and thoughts on the blog as I go along because I have the feeling that this will be one hell of a ride.