By: Olivia Dade
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
I started reading Spoiler Alert in the early afternoon. At the first thinly veiled Game of Thrones shade, I couldn’t put it down. I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, but I heard about so much of the behind the scenes stuff that I was almost as mad as the rest of the world when the show ended the way it did. Reading as Dade completely lambasted the showrunners was food for my soul.
Marcus is the star of Gods of the Gates, the popular TV show adaption of the book series of the same name. After years playing the character Aeneas the showrunners are ruining his character, along with everyone else’s. His way of venting is to create fanfiction. It’s adorable.
Marcus has crafted a public persona as being the loveable, vain, golden retriever. While in real life, he’s incredibly smart and shy. Combine that with his dyslexia, and he’s found it easier to create that persona than show the world how intelligent he is. He focuses on his exercise routine in interviews and not his character’s emotional journey. Unfortunately, the role he’s created for himself is chaffing, and he’s ready for change. He’s just not sure how to go about doing it. When he meets April, he’ll do anything to be with her, and she does not waste her time on people who hide who they are from her.
April is a geologist. She’s smart and driven and has spent years hiding a part of herself to avoid harming her professional career. She is also ready for a change and has taken that plunge before the book has even started. Next on her list, meet up with her fanfiction friend that she’s pretty sure she’s fallen in love with, though she’s unwilling to admit it.
Both of these characters are fleshed out considerably. You see their friendships and professional lives. Plus, all they’ve created on the fanfiction website. They both have issues with their parents. The problems stem from their parents not accepting them for who they are and preferring to force them to be what their parents want. It’s incredibly sad on both sides.
Moving away from the serious stuff, Spoiler Alert is freaking hilarious. I took a couple of pictures of pages and sent them to my friends because they were so funny I had to share them. In between each chapter is either a text conversation, excerpt from a script, or snippets of fanfiction. So often, they had me laughing out loud and running to find my husband so that I could read them to him.
There was a ton to love about Spoiler Alert, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I also plan on looking into Oliva Dade’s backlog because I need more books like this in my life.