Ever since I finished Special Forces I was left with the wont of reading more about Hootch. I loved that character, I still do. I dived into Deliverance intending to well enjoy one of my favorite characters, to see his life, to know him, to love him all over again. I was disappointed on so many levels.
First of all the story starts with Hootch’s gone-bad mission, where he breaks his pelvis and gets captured. Ok, I didn’t mind that, that was the beginning of Matt’s and Hootch’s real relationship. But unlike Dan and Vadim, there were no reasons behind their feelings… Am I making sense? I mean my main question throughout the book was: Why, why is Hootch in love with Matt? What is it about Matt that makes Hootch not only love him, but give himself completely to him…? Beside a smile, a joke and that shit-eating grin what else? Maybe I missed it, maybe I couldn’t see it, but the fact that Matt is such a nice guy is all it took for Hootch to completely give himself to him, I still can’t see it.
We go on to the boy’s life. Again here Matt is an open book. His family is explained and the reasons of why he’s such a nice guy, always smiling and all are plain and simple. Hootch on the other hand was, is and will always remain a mystery. There were hints and little pieces to show us that his life was not all great and shiny but that’s it. I know this was supposed to be the story of Matt and Hootch, but God, couldn’t there have been a bit more about the protagonist’s life explaining the why’s and the how’s?
I will not elaborate on the last thing that truly disturbed me and I completely hated. It’s my personal taste and in no account should I be judging it. I simply hated the assault on Hootch’s body with all the piercings. It made sense, since he’s a masochist but, still the final description of his body left me reeling. Tats ok, some piercings ok, but that final image, damn it, I was seeing it in my dreams all night long and not in the good way.
Lastly there was something more (surprise, surprise) that annoyed the hell out of me. All us SF fans know the trademark names and adjectives of Dan and Vadim. One of them was “MINE” that was even carved in Vadim’s flesh. We loved it, we felt it and till this day, whenever I hear it, see it, read it, Vadim and his bleeding thigh, on their last night together comes into my mind. So when this little word was repeated in Deliverance, well I was instantly thrown from one book to the other and the comparison hit me full force, because Matt’s and Hootch’s relationship did NOT have the same or similar intensity with Dan’s and Vadim’s one. In this instance the word did nothing to me and felt completely hollow.
Other than the above, the story in itself met with my expectations. I had seen something similar so many times in my head and yes I’m glad I got to get it out of my system. The BDSM scenes were a “WOW” hardcore and all. Makes me wonder that Matt didn’t run out screaming at some point. In no way had this novel the emotional charge SF had but still any fan of the series should not miss this. Especially as we get to see Hootch as a cowboy ;)