Standby begins with Tom experiencing all the trials and tribulations of airline travel at its absolute worse. We can’t help but bond with this character, suffering his disappointments, his frustrations and his anxieties. When the stranger Rafael arrives, it’s a forgone conclusion that Tom’s fate might be in for a drastic turnaround.
Although this story falls into the fantasy realm, there are certain rules that must be obeyed in order for what passes for a plot (versus an erotic encounter) to satisfy suspension of disbelief. Insta-lust, insta-acceptance of the bizarre and illogical circumstances, insta-gratification… all coupled with far too many “hip” references and a recognizable trope to explain away the circumstances made it glaringly obvious what was happening and where the story was going. The character of Rafael is too boilerplate and non-descript to explain the instantaneous attraction and willingness by Tom to throw caution to the winds.
Standby needed to carry forward the modest beginning with the character of Tom reasonably fleshed out, to adding substantially more plot development and paying much more attention to the ‘Verse in order for this to qualify as anything more than a moderately pleasant, if undemanding read.
This one is in the ‘you might or might not like it’ category. Three Stars.
Who’d have thought being stranded at the airport could possibly have some long term benefits? Certainly not Tom. But then he hadn’t bargained on meeting Rafael…