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Gilded Lies


Worth reading 😎

An emotion-based superhero epic exploring psychological baggage and tangled relationships: romantic, platonic and everything in between.

Powerful vibes and emotional manipulation compel John and his many lovers into confronting their past in order to try and save the future. 

Present but unacknowledged in the world of “Gilded Lies” are people who have changed after a global phenomenon called The Shift. Kids are born different and some younger people experience an immediate change: they can manipulate themselves and others in hormonal ways. John can release his “vibe” and make crowds of people feel immediate lust, Emerson can take the feeling away, and that’s just the beginning of this story of lies, truth and corruption. For fear of prosecution, people living with these "abnormalities" are forced to keep them as secret and hidden as they can. When the gang links mysterious flashbacks to a young girl being held hostage at a corporation that pledges to expunge the abnormal people, they must deal with the sins of their past to save her, and themselves. 

This tale of superpowers and othered people is grounded in the relationship between John and Emerson. Having both lived and lied in the past, their relationship has progressed to an intersection; do they confess all that they’ve done and risk ruining what they have built, or can they balance on the edge pretending it doesn't exist. John cannot go public about the relationship and risk ruining his hetero-branded sex appeal and the fame that comes with it. Emerson is through waiting for validation. This delicate relationship is strained further when a few ex-girlfriends come back into the picture. Beyond the delicate emotional dance between them, the hidden state of the "abnormal" people hangs in the balance. Murder, fame and the survival of their kind are all thrown into question as the two struggle to do what is right.

This story is a fun, surprising journey told through alternating perspectives. The characters are rich, complex and faulted enough to keep readers wanting more. While superhero stories can easily feel overused, this story pulls on fresh elements of relationships, sexuality and emotional depth to explore new corners of the genre. A genuinely entertaining adventure novel for readers looking for equal parts romance and fight scenes. This book would appeal to anyone looking for a more adult take on Hero by Perry Moore, and Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi.

Reviewed by

I am a book (and bread) lover based in NYC. I studied Monster Culture in undergrad, concentrating in Gender Performance across Monster Narratives. I love all things horror, science fiction, diverse and compelling. I'm passionate about reading weird, unexpected and emotional stories across platforms.


About the author

Lin Lustig’s tenacious nature and love of Disney villains has made her a heroic villain who seeks to support reader well-being through worlds of fierce love, magical adventures, and overdue reveling—so we can all celebrate the hidden parts of ourselves while escaping into a rich reading experience. view profile

Published on September 01, 2020

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

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