In the best James Bond or Indiana Jones tradition, the Fathom's Five are five handsome, skilled and clever gay men working for Professor Fathom as treasure hunter. Almost half the book is spent to introduce us to the five:
- Jake Stone, the newest member of the group, is a bit of a lonely wolf; he is "for hire", means that if you pay him enough, he will find everything you want. Jake is not a bad man, he is only used to take care of himself, and only himself. His only Achilles' heel is young Sam, a street kid he shelters in his New York loft.
- 19 years old Will Hunter is the spoiled and neglected son of an American diplomat; he has everything he wants in life, but it's never enough. Will is young, friendly and careless and in this moment he has nothing and noone important in his life (well he is only 19 years old!) and so he can play like if life is a big game.
- Shane Houston is your classical western hero, hat and horse and all of it. Always ready for an adventure, he faces every new challenge full front, caring very less for his own safety, but as an old fashioned cowboy, you can always count on him when you are in trouble.
- Dr Eden Santiago is the high head levelled of their group; he seems always in control, always ready to face every events. The less playful of the group, he is probably the one that has less open endings in his life and so, for this reason, he is the more reliable of all of them. Everyone can count on Eden, and loving him will never being an hazard.
- Luca da Roma is the most beautiful of all of them, he is beautiful like an angel, and in fact he has a very special relationship with God. Luca is an orphan and he was raised by three nuns in a remote Italian convent. He doesn't know who were his parents, but, after all, he hasn't had a bad life. When he was still a teen he went in Rome and he became the muse of a lot of artists, on the canvas and on the sheet, and as they took from him inspiration, he drank from them the love for arts. But Luca seems never to be happy, he has quite a mourning attitude and he seems in searching of something that always slips from his hands.
The new quest for this five heroes is to track down an ancient holy cross, a Renaissance artwork who caused the death of his creator since it was framed as sacrilegious. To recover the artifact our heroes as to find two stone tables and an ancient book, the three pieces together will led them to the treasure. But obviously they are not the only one in this hunting party, and their enemies know well how to hit them where it hurts, and I'm not speaking of body parts.
The book is really good in mixing fun, sex and adventure, playing all around the World, from Tonga to Italy, from Turkey to England. Our heroes, when not running away from gunshots and explosion, are involved in sexy escapades along a swimming pool or in poshy five stars hotel. There is a bit of "naughty" talk during sex, but it's never too much to ruin the sophisticated feeling that permeates all the book, and, on the other hand, the fun and careless sex helps to balance the adventure part, so that even a less adventurous reader will find it enjoyable and interesting.
All five heroes are enough developed that the reader could care for them, but from my side, my favorite is Luca, maybe since he is Italian. I have no problem to say that I will look forward to the following book in this new exciting series.