This did not work for me. Once the sci-fi aspects came into play it all went downhill fast, and I don't mean the introduction of the aliens. 1.5 Stars
This did not work for me. Once the sci-fi aspects came into play it all went downhill fast, and I don't mean the introduction of the aliens. It was the lack of the world-building. There was no background and once they started their mission, it went into outlandish territory. Everything they did had some kind of flimsy rationalization. It was beyond the suspension of disbelief. It seemed like this mission was just some idea to get these two together and relive their past. (view spoiler)[ They basically walked into the encampment, fought a few aliens, and then walked out. (hide spoiler)] No substance.
It's too bad because the characters were interesting. The first half of the story was ok. Mikhail, the mercenary who on the outside seems dispassionate and always looking for his next mission, and D, the idealistic American always putting his men first. It's a good match. The idea that Mikhail and D would meet up again after such a long time apart caught my attention. There was the anticipation of their first meeting and learning what happened to their relationship. IMO, this would have been much better if the story focused on their relationship without the introduction of the side plot.
Thank goodness this wasn't my first introduction to Voinov. I have read a lot of his books and this is not a good representation of his work. I would highly recommend any number of his other books, unfortunately this one doesn't make that list.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I have mixed feelings on how to rate this. The characterization and world-building is 5-star, but the first half moved a little too slow for me, so I'I have mixed feelings on how to rate this. The characterization and world-building is 5-star, but the first half moved a little too slow for me, so I'm bumping it to a 4/4.5 star. Did this take away from my love for Des? HELL NO!
This world is set in the future where robotics play a big part of everyday life. Don’t let the sci-fi/futurism scare you, because JCP created a realistic story set in a dark and gritty world. Everything from the descriptive setting to the authentic characters sucked me right in. I could picture everything, from the abandoned warehouses to the riverside flea market. She painted a bleak yet vivid picture.
Let’s get to Desmond Poole. He lost his arm in an accident and now he is drowning in self-pity. Not an attractive quality, I must say. He’s a character that many people will dislike. He’s depressed and he’s drinking himself to an early death. He’s rude, emotionally-stunted, constantly brushes off his responsibility, and hurts the people he cares about. He wants nothing to do with learning how to use his prosthetic arm and only cares about getting another bottle or another pack of cigarettes. Basically, he’s a major fuck-up. You can't blame his attitude on losing his arm because he was just as messed up before the accident.
For the most part I loved his voice. One minute I wanted to shake him and yell "get off your ass and grow up" and the next he had me laughing or got me all misty-eyed.
He's also in love with two men. Hi ex-boyfriend Jim, the social worker who is constantly getting him out of trouble and wants to save him from himself, and Corey - the lazy new boyfriend who's an expert at using his prosthetic arm and helps Des try to beat the system. The book doesn't focus on some messy love triangle or the romance, but it's these relationships that have an impact on Des, both negatively and positively.
Even with his multitude of flaws, there were flashes of hope for Des. JCP made me care for him. I needed him to pull through. Des starts to become aware of his own screw-ups, past and present. It's not a big "Aha" moment, but it occurs slowly. He begins to realize that he can have more, he can become more. He faces his past and his relationship with Jim and Corey. He finally takes some responsibility and makes decisions. He knows things won't be perfect, but that's not what he strives for. He's taking small steps and that's ok with him, and me :) It's not a transformation, but it's progress and he's finally moving in the right direction and that's what I loved most about this. His story was believable.
So, yes Des is a screw-up, but I still love him. ...more
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Round up, round down. I'm not sure yet. How could I love something so much and hate it at the3.5 Stars
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Round up, round down. I'm not sure yet. How could I love something so much and hate it at the same time? Well, let me tell you. The characters and the plot get 5 stars, holes and all and there were many. But I still freakin loved it!!!! The non-stop action, the humor, and the freshness, it all kept me completely engrossed. I can ignore most of the holes, however some bugged me, like when (view spoiler)[ Misha and his boys left General Young alive in the parking garage. No way would the mob do that. Yes, they needed him for cover but since he was out cold anyway why leave him alive as a liability? (hide spoiler)] Plus, I had many eye-rolling moments by the stupid decisions made by the Military/Government. One was when they (view spoiler)[ opened fire in a diner parking lot jam-packed with people, using heavy explosives, and of course there were no repercussions. The author tried to explain this by using the government’s strong-hold on the police and media but some things go too far to believe and this was one of them for me. Also, I could not believe that the government’s first instinct was to destroy the alien. Yes, they did rethink that decision and go with capture first but this was not their first choice. This seemed very strange to me. (hide spoiler)] You really have to suspend disbelief with this book.
I could also ignore the OTT action scenes because it was fun to read. Again, suspending disbelief. It did flash me back to a ton of sci-fi/action movies, good and bad.
The worst part of the book and what I could not ignore was the multiple POV’s. Now, I don’t mean 3 or 4, I mean at least 6 or more. Some completely unnecessary. What was the point of hearing from Misha’s sister or even the doctor for that matter? We didn't need their back stories. We didn't need to hear from them at all! It was boring and for me deterred from the story. It broke up the tension. I didn't feel like it moved the story forward or brought anything to it.
The funny thing is, I really like all the side characters. Young was a great character and I especially liked Andrej and Koyla. Oh and I loved the dialogue. McClane is a witty little devil. They all had their own twist on humor and individuality. I had so many laugh out loud moments, I can’t even tell you. There was so much camaraderie and love in this book. Each relationship was special and you could feel how much these men cared for one another. Misha and Andrei, Misha and Riley, Riley and McClane, Anjrei and Koyla and of course JC. Each different and brought depth to the book.
GAH, there was so much good and so much that made me smile! It saddens me because this had all the potential to be a 5 star book but I just couldn't get past the POV changes :( ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really enjoyed the tech aspects of the book. It was fun without being overbearing. Although I liked the world, I wanted more character development,I really enjoyed the tech aspects of the book. It was fun without being overbearing. Although I liked the world, I wanted more character development, especially with Bear. I liked both characters and I knew they were attracted to each other and came to care for one another but I didn't feel their connection. I thought the relationship was a bit rushed. I could see Bear's fascination with Cyke and Cyke's need for comfort but their emotions towards the end were not believable. I especially had a problem with (view spoiler)[ Cyke's urgency to find Bear after he was released from the hospital. I couldn't understand his feelings because there was nothing that lead up to this type of need, except for a couple of sex scenes. Then Cyke finds Bear and he's ready to collapse from exhaustion and pain, but he can still have sex? So ok, I could accept this since the authors made a point of showing Bear's objections with it and coming up with rationalizations. However, what I couldn't accept was that all of a sudden they have this deep emotional connection that seemed to come out of nowhere. We were told that they had spent time together prior to Cyke's last break-in but we never saw it, so I didn't feel the growth in their relationship. (hide spoiler)]
I also wished we got a bit more world-building outside of Cyke's enhancements. It felt like I started reading in the middle of the book - like several pieces were missing. I wanted to know more about Sentinel Tech and I also wanted to see more of Cyke on his missions.
Even with these few issues, I still liked the book and the characters. I just wished the relationship and the characters had been developed as well as the tech aspects. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was a disappointment. I was happy to find out more about James's enhancement, but I found myself just waiting for the resolution an2.5 Stars
This book was a disappointment. I was happy to find out more about James's enhancement, but I found myself just waiting for the resolution and not enjoying the journey.
First, Matt turned into an emotional sap. Where was the Matt from the first book? (view spoiler)[ Being jealous of Miz and his excessive worrying over James, were major eye-rolling moments. (hide spoiler)]
I know I complained about the acronyms in the first book but I didn't expect the author to make such a huge issue of it in this book. I guess it was meant to be funny but I thought it was kind of ridiculous.
I liked the idea of Djinn but I think he took over the focus. Most of the scenes were repetitive and boring.
Worst of all, I missed the humor which was so prevalent in the first book. It was practically nonexistent. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was captivated from page one! This was a fun sci-fi story set in the future where the US is split into red and blue states. Tenino brough 4.5 Stars
I was captivated from page one! This was a fun sci-fi story set in the future where the US is split into red and blue states. Tenino brought a humorous spin on political issues that are currently affecting many aspects of our society. I thought it was a brilliant concept. Matt was sent on a mission to extract James from Idaho (a red state) where he was re-educated for being gay.
The balance between the world building and the relationship between Matt and James was perfect. I liked that there was a slow build-up to their relationship. There was still a constant attraction between them and lots of sexual tension.
There were a few issues I had with the book:
1. Too many acronyms. I have a horrible memory and had to keep going back to look up what the story-based acronyms were.
2. Sister Beni - I thought she was a fun twist at first, but then as the story progressed she just annoyed the hell out of me.
3. At times, Tenino's writing was a bit confusing. It wasn't the technical aspects, but rather the way she would describe a situation or concept. She would go off on tangent in the middle of a description. I found myself re-reading passages because I couldn't understand why she had inserted an off-topic sentence.
These problems didn't deter me from the story or my enjoyment of it. There was so much good in this book. I loved the Grandpas, all the tech references, James' enhancements, Miz, basically the entire mission, and the humor, humor, humor.
I really hope there will be a Laslo and Logan story. I thought Logan was adorable. ...more
I'm a big fan of sci-fi, so needless to say Mr. Voinov's world totally intrigued me. The world parallels that of Dark Edge of Honor with the added bon I'm a big fan of sci-fi, so needless to say Mr. Voinov's world totally intrigued me. The world parallels that of Dark Edge of Honor with the added bonus of shape-shifters and lots of space travel. Everything came alive, from the ship to the character's feelings and reactions. This was fun ride.
The story is told from Kyle's POV. Kyle was injured in the line of duty and left paralyzed. He cannot see beyond his "dead meat". He's stuck in a world of self-pity and where he has "become" his injury. When he's offered a mission to find a Glyrinny spy, he can't turn it down knowing that the money for the bounty will lead to cyberware and a chance for a new life. On his mission he meets the captain of the Scorpion, Grimm. I loved Grimm! He's confident, fun, and wants Kyle. He looks beyond Kyle's injury and sees "him". He totally won my heart. Oh and Winter was a kick ass character.
My only issue is that it was too short. I wish there was a bit more action. I guess being a passenger on the Scorpion had me expecting some run-ins with more aliens :) I typically have a hard time with shorter stories because I always want more and I can definitely say this one left me wanting.
Once again the writing was superb. There's so much that I'll take away from this book. What stood out was the concept of "BECOMING". One small word but damn did it pack a punch. (view spoiler)[ Acceptance, physical attributes vs. the inner being, love...... (hide spoiler)]
This was a great book. I fell head over heels in love with Sergei. Sergei Stolkov is a Captain in the Doctrine. Sergei is 4.5 Stars
This was a great book. I fell head over heels in love with Sergei. Sergei Stolkov is a Captain in the Doctrine. Sergei is part of the force that is trying to take control of the planet Cirokko. He is young and naive. Although he is a loyal soldier, his deepest desires go against the core philosophy of the Doctrine. The Doctrine believes that every action and every decision is made for the collective good. It is ingrained in everyone. The needs of the individual are not even a consideration. The SciFi geek in me kept comparing the Doctrine to the Borg. All the Doctrine needed was to be flying around in a cube :)
Mike is a spy in the Alliance who was sent to gather information on the Doctrine's invasion of Cirokko. One of his objectives was to seduce Sergei and use any information gathered to get ahead of the invasion and stop them before it begins.
Mike shows Sergei a taste of freedom. A freedom to be who he wants to be. To take the "mask" off. Sergei is constantly struggling with who he wants to be and ashamed of not living up the Doctrine. Mike tries to show Sergei what it means to make your own choices. It's ironic that for all Mike's hatred of the Doctrine's beliefs, many times he ends up putting his own feelings aside for the good of the Alliance.
I loved seeing the development in Sergei's character, to open himself up to emotion, to love. We got to experience everything right along with him. My heart broke for him. I didn't connect with Mike as strongly as I did with Sergei. I think his character was a bit underdeveloped. I didn't feel there was much depth to him. I would have liked to have seen more of him struggling with his feelings for Sergei. We know that he loves him, and time and time again he has to choose between Sergei and his mission but I didn't feel his anguish.
I also wanted more world building. I was fascinated by the planet and the dynamics between the Alliance and the Doctrine. How did they become enemies? What was unique about Cirokko? Was it just to get another planet to follow the Doctrine ways or was there more? I wanted to know more about the indigenous life on Cirokko. Also, how far in the future did this take place in?
I also thought the ending was a bit rushed. I loved Nikishin and wanted to see more of him confronting Mike and Pat at the end, and I felt unsettled how we left Sergei. Although I'm happy with his decision, I wanted to see him dealing with the consequences. How Nikishin and the Doctrine dealt with what happened would have also been a bonus.
I guess I'm saying I want more! I want more of Nikishin and (view spoiler)[ I want to see how Sergei is dealing with his new life. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really enjoyed the premise of this story and the world building was good but it probably could have been so much better as a full length no2.5 Stars
I really enjoyed the premise of this story and the world building was good but it probably could have been so much better as a full length novel. I loved the sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian feel to the story, unfortunately the characters fell short. The potential is all here but it left me with more questions. First, I have no idea where vampires fit in to the story arc. We got little to no information about them. Were they a result from the split in the society somehow? Was Liam turned or born a vamp?
I also got the feeling that everything was thrown at us. The ideas were all excellent just underdeveloped. How did this split in society occur? Who got the mods? What role did they play in the split, if any? How did Daniel's father react to what happened with his plan? He's the reason why Liam was sent after Daniel and then we get nothing regarding the father. Lots of questions but no answers.
My biggest disappointment was in the relationship between Liam and Daniel. I liked the characters separately, especially Liam but nothing about them felt like a couple. There was disconnected and I felt the relationship was rushed.
The world was fascinating so I hope we learn more about it.