Category Archives: After Elias

Review: After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan

Title: After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan
Publisher: Dundurn
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Fiction
Length: 296 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A modern queer tragedy about a pilot’s last words, an interrupted celebration, and the fear of losing everything.

“Utterly engrossing. Coen is a hero for our era, darkly struggling amid the aftershocks of loss, but doing so with dignity, humanity, and passion.” — Timothy Taylor, author of The Rule of Stephens

When the airplane piloted by Elias Santos crashes one week before their wedding day, Coen Caraway loses the man he loves and the illusion of happiness he has worked so hard to create. The only thing Elias leaves behind is a recording of his final words, and even Coen is baffled by the cryptic message.

Numb with grief, he takes refuge on the Mexican island that was meant to host their wedding. But as fragments of the past come to the surface in the aftermath of the tragedy, Coen is forced to question everything he thought he knew about Elias and their life together. Beneath his flawed memory lies the truth about Elias — and himself.

From the damp concrete of Vancouver to the spoiled shores of Mexico, After Elias weaves the past with the present to tell a story of doubt, regret, and the fear of losing everything.


After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan is a poignant novel of grief and discovery.

Coen Caraway and his fiancé Elias Stantos live in Vancouver but they are marrying in Mexico. Coen has already traveled to the resort when a television report rips his heart out. Elias is the co-pilot of a plane that has just crashed into the ocean. His last words, “pronto Dios,” lead to speculation that he deliberately crashed the plane.  Coen at first disbelieves the theory but as days pass, doubts begin to creep in. Regardless of his questions and staggering loss, Coen decides to remain at resort and invites his guests to join him for a celebration of life for Elias.

Coen puts on a good front that he is fine but when his close friends Vivi and Decker arrive, they are concerned.  So are his parents and his older brother, Clark. Despite their pleas to return to Vancouver, Coen goes full steam ahead with the celebration of life but it soon becomes clear that he is clearly struggling to cope with his tragic loss. As the accident investigation leads to even more questions about Elias, Coen is determined to try to understand the man he loved.  But will he find the answers he is searching for?

After Elias is an emotionally compelling novel that deals with some difficult subject matter. The chapters alternate between the present and Elias and Coen’s relationship in the past. Coen is the main narrator of the story, but are his recollections reliable? The cast of characters are vibrantly developed with relatable foibles and appealing strengths. Eddy Boudel Tan deals with sensitive topics in a compassionate but straight forward manner. This heartfelt novel comes to an emotional yet mostly satisfying conclusion. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this beautifully written, thought-provoking debut.

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Filed under After Elias, Contemporary, Dundurn, Eddy Boudel Tan, Fiction, Gay, Rated B+, Review