"especially not in a town like Athens, which was like a picture not only in beauty, but also in stagnation. In timelessness. In inalterability."
'The One and The Other' is a self published book by Charles D'Aniello, released in 2021. This book follows the story of a Vampire named Thomas, who, like all other Vampires, can absorb the emotive energy of those around him. After the death of the First World and the start of the Second, Vampires became oppressed in the societies that they live in. This book tells the story of the birth of a movement against this.
An engaging and fast paced read, this book was enjoyable all the way through - carrying a well developed cast of characters and an enjoyable and coherent plot line effortlessly with excellent writing. The writing in this novel really excelled when describing the emotions that Thomas feels from other characters - D'Aniello uses emotive and beautiful images in order to easily capture the emotions that are being portrayed in the scene.
"He bent down and slammed both hands on the kitchen table. A pencil snapped in half. A painting slashed."
These recurring images add a new depth of storytelling to the novel, letting the reader know not only the emotions of the narrator, but of the other characters around him as well.
This book is an own voices novel, a story of Asexuality that is different from so much other media, even in the modern day. This book is effortless with its diversity, including trans, gay, and otherwise queer characters without the need to 'beat us around the head with it', as so many modern 'inclusive' pieces of media feel the need to do. This book doesn't need to justify itself and its important diverse range of characters - instead, the characters exist as if they were living in the real world: it's a breath of fresh air compared to some other inclusive works of our time.
As mentioned before, this story follows the birth and uprising of a movement against oppression in the city they live in, Athens. Despite being Dystopian, the parallels that can be drawn between this story and reality are clear, and can be compared to many people today, in a fight against the oppression they face. The book has revolutionary roots, and it feels unfiltered and honest in its, and therefore D'Aniello's, opinion on what is happening to so many people today, and their opinion on the action that should be taken.
"either way they looked at it, omen or punishment, we ended up villains."
This book encourages action against the forces that oppress us, and demonstrates the importance of all actions that can lead up to a change.
This novel shows us the importance of self published books; how it gives us the opportunity to tell a story that we wholeheartedly believe in - one that is from the heart, and is planted deeply within society today. You can buy this book here, and I highly recommend that you all do.
Holly Zijderveld (she/her) is currently based in the UK. When she's not writing or running her own lit journal, you can find her watching too many films, playing Bach, and thinking about the way the light hit that one very specific bit of water. You can find her @hollyzijderveld on Instagram and Twitter.