Come Unto These Yellow Sands - Josh Lanyon It's hard to adequately express myself on this book. As is always the case, there were things I loved and things I didn't. It was extremely hard for me to get into the story. I started and stopped it three times before I pushed myself to keep reading. I've heard that the second half is better than the first half and I'd have to agree with that.

I say this because I felt like the first half of the story was very dull. The mystery didn't draw me in as a usual JL mystery would. I think that had more to do with the fact that Swift has a lot of inner monologue, too much at times, that made reading it a tad boring especially since it didn't seem the story was progressing for a good bit. The second half of the book caught my attention, however, and I believe that has to do with how Swift's addiction is brought into play. It gave the book a little life, put a much needed focus on Max and Swift's relationship, and I enjoyed that part. Plus, I love watching characters suffer and seeing Swift suffer his cravings satisfied me.

I wasn't sure I would like Swift or Max when I first started. Swift is oblivious to everything. He seems conceited, needy but cold. He's nice and all but there was no depth to him. Eventually, he started to become a bit of an idiot but still had some endearing qualities. He frustrated me a lot because of his constant flip-flopping with saying he wasn't going to lie to Max again and then two seconds later not telling Max a possibly vital statement. I didn't like Max at first because I thought he was using Swift. Swift liked to say how Max didn't feel for Swift what Swift felt for him. As the story progressed though, Max went from cold to furious to warm and loving and I liked watching that progress. However, their romance was very pale compared to everything else. Most of the time Max is furious with Swift and Swift is keeping things from Max. There's really no progress between the two from being casual fuck buddies to having the type of relationship where you confess your undying love. We are told things about their relationship but never shown so it feels as if their relationship is very shallow and never properly concluded. I'm used to that with JL, though, so I didn't take much issue with it.

I did enjoy the story but I felt the mystery and the romance was weak and while I enjoyed the characters and their attitudes, I don't really know much about them or their relationship. Swift even states a few times that he knows next to nothing about Max. And they've been together for years. The story was slow in the beginning but too rushed at the end so when it got to figuring out the mystery, I felt like it was flying right passed me and I still don't quite get how it all adds up. We are given vague answers to it all which leaves me with even more questions than I had before. As I said, the mystery is slow to start and it seemed like Swift was just throwing theories out there left and right without much basis for how he got to those theories. I also say it was rushed because there was a bit of a side plot that had to do with a box and his family but it's never technically concluded which irked and disappointed me. I also have this issue with the fact we don't know Swift's first name until a good quarter of the way into the story (and no, I didn't read the blurb right before reading, I never do). It's a small thing, I know, but it frustrated me.

In the end, yes, I enjoyed the story. Once I got passed the few hurdles in the beginning, the story drew me in and while it was not an amazing story, I liked the characters and even if the mystery was a bit weak and rushed, I still essentially liked reading it.