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Death's Head

(Narc #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  201 ratings  ·  20 reviews
On the high-tech worlds of the 23rd century, the lethal designer drug Angel has become an epidemic disease. Kevin Jarrat and Jerry Stone are joint captains in the paramilitary NARC force sent in to combat the Death's Head drug syndicate that controls the vast spaceport of Chell. Under the NARC code of non-involvement, each of the two friends hides his deeper desire for the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Gay Men's Press (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  201 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
"They lived with death, courted it, cheated it, as if it were a beautiful, fickle and capricious lover. It was like a ritual dance, a mating rite, and it welded them together."

3.5 rounded to 4 stars.

Death’s Head is a very good science-fiction story, but I think my downfall with it was a completely different expectation. The book blurb does a good job explaining the plot: Jarrat and Stone are captains of the NARC-Athena, stationed on planet Rethan against a drug syndicate known as Death’s Head. N
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***READ THIS NEWER UNABRIDGED VERSION***it has an extra +30,000 words
Now this was an epic, literally. I don't see 18hrs very often when I set text-to-speech off and running. It's also, from what I can gather the authors original copy, so it's unabridged. The book described by GR is not the book I read but a bridged version. I also loved it. Not bad for 2003
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, science-fiction
Almost, but not quite 4 stars.

If you are an M/M romance and not a sci-fi fan, this may not be a book for you. This is first and foremost a science fiction story whose protagonists just happen to be two bisexual men interested in each other. This is a setup story for the entire series and they spend more than a half of the novel separated by circumstances - the circumstances being the interstellar war on drugs.

In the future, the humanity has invented the antidotes for most today-known drugs maki
Nov 28, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vivian by: Xing
Shelves: gift, sci-fi

❄️Gift from Mrs. Santa❄️
Can't say that I've been a very good friend recently, but thank you for your gift.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Exciting, intense sci-fi story. Maybe a bit too exciting in the battlefield for my taste. But their love is satisfying as well. The depiction of they sharing Angel dreams quenches my thirst for the romance part.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
I loved the overall plot to the story. I have a weak spot for military and cop romances. What brought down the rating for me was the excessive amount of rape, and unnecessary sex. Also, the prostitute apparently had been training from a young age. Are you kidding me?! Since when is grooming children to be sex workers okay??? One of the main characters, instead of advocating for a healthier lifestyle, tells him to go find a good sugar daddy...
I can't even with this book.
Christopher Moss
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
DEATH’S HEAD by Mel Keegan

The origin story for the NARC series, Mel Keegan uses this novel to introduce the main set of characters, the background of the narcotics squad, NARC (the RC is riot control) and the premise for the empathic connection between the two main characters, Jarrat and Stone. This will be the “bumpy ride” Bette Davis’s Eve told you to fasten your seatbelt for -- the intricacies of the plot, the thoroughly thought out world building, and the complex characterization not only of
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good, series, slashreaders
In going back through my blog SlashReaders, I must say that I was not very good at giving anyone, anything to actually get on in my reviews. So, in looking back I will say that I have nothing but fond memories of hours spent devours Mel Keegan's books. I remember jumping around like an idiot in a used book store in London, when I found a copy of Equinox. I now own original and the later self published editions of many of Keegan's works.

While, I am not one to go back and reread books... I look f
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Just so we're all on the same page: This is a space opera where everyone has gay sex (not the most graphic I've ever read, but you definitely find out what goes where) and no one is traumatised by really bad things (rape, almost being beaten to death) happening to them ever.

And weirdly, I didn't really mind. Probably because this book didn't pretend to be things it wasn't and actually exceeded my expectations in other areas. Like for example how there is an actual story and it's not only about h
This book reminds me of a Rob Liefeld-era X-Force comic but with 80% more gay. With its cast of super gorgeous characters, futuristic weaponry based on early 90s technology, skintight Lycra costumes, and exotic locales, it was a fun trip down memory lane. Nothing about this book knocked my socks off, and I admit to skipping a lot of the descriptions of battle and "advanced" technology. But even though the dialogue was silly, the romantic gestures overblown, and the storyline sometimes laughably ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, read-books
This is maybe the third or fourth time I've read this, but I actually read the sequel long before I ever got around to this one.

Keegan has a tendency to built worlds where sex and sexuality (and often nudity) are removed from any sense of taboo, but, in this case, layers a full sci-fi world over the top. And it's rare (from what I've read anyway) that authors mix sex and sci-fi, but gay sex particularly. Keegan manages it pretty well, giving weight to both aspects, although sometimes coming down
Leila Anani
In essence this is Miami Vice meets Battlestar Galactica - We follow 2 anti-narcotics agents - Jarratt and Stoney as they face off against the evil drug running syndicate Death's Head.

Really exciting, fast paced comic book style story set in a high tech cyberpunk world with a healthy dose of romance.

There are a few editing errors in this edition, but I love the story and the characters so much I really didn't care that much. Weakest thing about this one is the blocky CGI cover. You want decent g
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, gay
Many years ago I discovered this title and I must admit the cover drew my attention. I had previously read the blurb for Aquamarine in an American Library Journal, and that to, had cought my attention.

So I grabbed this to read at the first opportunity. I fell inlove with both characters. It was Science Fiction, one of the genre passions of mine to read. Also, being a gay person, I could identify in a huge way with both characters and I felt like an electric eye on the wall watching these two ro
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, science-fiction, m-m
Keegan's first in a series of science fiction m/m and I had high expectations. Sadly, as much as I wanted to like this one, it had some issues and left me disappointed.

Keegan's world-building is solid, riveting. Her character development is deep and complex. The romantic involvement is something the story and characters build up to, over time, instead of simply falling in bed together and ignoring the consequences. All wonderful, positive aspects of her story-telling.

The detracting aspects, howe
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'd give 4.5 stars if I could,
intriguing, smooth and very detailed, I really enjoyed this story, I loved how weapons, armors and places are described, and how NARC and TAC are organized to work.
The characters are well set and easy to recognise and follow.
I wasn't expecting the empathy link at all, but that made me like the story even more, it's really interesting to see how the two lovers experience it, but I need to read the sequel of the book to really see how they go on with it.
A bit too kin
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, fiction, gay, interest
A thinly-disguised Bodie and Doyle are space cops fighting the war on drugs in the far future. And having lots of Hot Gay Sex. Although not so much with each other, there s a bit of Unfulfilled Longing going on for most of the book. And more hurt/comfort than you can shake a damn stick at, if that s your idea of a good time. Which (shuffle), it is & Definitely a guilty pleasure. ...more
Buffalo Gough
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A SciFi novel with a queer slant. It is Science Fiction first with Mel Keegan writings. The concept is fresh and new even though I first read it in 1983. Fell in love with Keegan view of the world and rediscovered his writings again last year, but now NARC is a three book saga I hope you'll enjoy.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
guilty reading pleasure alert :D

It was like watching an engrossing action-packed Sci-Fi movie .... simply unputdownable! LOVE the paranormal element!

I'm eager to read Book 2!!!!
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kevin somehow managed to conduct a super long conversation with Stone right in the middle of sex...Orz......That definitely is an eye-opener for me.
rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2019
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Jul 30, 2017
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Mar 17, 2017
Notta Chance
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Mar 25, 2013
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Dec 25, 2014
Michael Gray
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Jul 22, 2013
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Oct 26, 2017
Aricia Gavriel
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Oct 13, 2008
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A self-confessed science fiction and fantasy devotee, Keegan is known for novels across a wide range of subjects, from the historical to the future action-adventure. Mel lives in South Australia with an eccentric family and a variety of pets.

Every Mel Keegan book is strong on gay or bisexual heroes (also, often, on gay villains), and some of these heroes are the most delicious in fiction: Jarrat

Other books in the series

Narc (5 books)
  • Equinox (Narc, #2)
  • Scorpio (Narc, #3)
  • Aphelion (Narc, #4)
  • Endgame Omnibus: Scimitar - Basilisk - Endgame  (NARC #5-7)

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