This book is what would happen if Gordon Korman's No More Dead Dogs got crossed with Ilona Andrews' On the Edge and everyone got real about the fluidity of sexuality and the absurdity of stereotypes of all kinds, especially gender.
The focus of the novel is on Elliott Schaefer, a short, mouthy, sarcastic pacifist who knows too much, is intolerant of stupidity, and has far more determination than sense to keep his mouth shut. He teams up with a golden boy (of perfect lineage and amazing physical prowess) and the first (and most beautiful) elven warrior that he's ever seen. Maybe they can stop the Borderlands from having so many fights. Maybe they can get the various races and species to even just talk to each other. And maybe they can do this without tearing themselves apart on the metaphysical rocks of being teenagers.
The point of the novel is that growing up is hard no matter who you are, what you want, or where you go. Sometimes chosen friends can make up for broken family, but only sometimes. And knowing yourself is a great place to start when confronted by a bewildering set of conflicting expectations and prejudices, some of which aren't even aimed at you.
This entry was originally posted at http://reedrover.dreamwidth.org/2105071.html and has comments so far. Please comment there using OpenID or here if that is your preference. I'm still reading both journals.