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(Pathfinder #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  64 reviews
** New edition 2019 (re-edited/expanded) **

Shai discovers he is a pathfinder and is desperate to find a genetically suitable partner to prevent his extrasensory talents from running amok. Unfortunately those talents make him a target for the brutal crime lords and other violent denizens who inhabit the city of Nhil-Rhar. Shai needs to learn how to use his pathfinder senses
Published April 20th 2019 by White Owl Publishing (first published 2003)
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Serena On the author's homepage the sequel to Pathfinder - Pathfinder2: The Ouroboros Prophecy - is marked as coming soon...
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  637 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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What would you do when you've been beaten to pulp a little too often during the 16 years you spent in orphanages and on the streets?

You make sure to fly under everyone's radar.

Which is exactly what the slender, green eyed Shai does. Especially now that he has finally managed to get a job in a nightclub, he's not willing to endanger his hard fought securities in a city in which The Agency and several ruthless syndicates wreak havoc, in a constant battle for territory and power.

Then one fatal ni
Warning: noncon and violence... underage main character... and a very good surprise. Free but a superb quality of writing and plot.
It's no long available as a freebie (Review edited, January 2012. Original Review from September 2011)

Yes I think this review must start with a warning, because don't read it if you have problems with kidnapping, rape, and most of all, a 16 young-old main character.

The sci-fi plot is worth the reading?

YES. Certainly I'm VERY satisfied by its originality.
After world w

4.5 stars

His pathfinder abilities, prescience being one of them, always seemed like a curse to Shai. The lapses into a kind of psychic trance had certainly gotten him into trouble and earned him beatings as a child living in the orphanage. So he learned quickly to suppress and ignore them. Now, at sixteen and living a hard-scrabble life on his own, Shai learns that his ability is the result of genetic engineering and is coveted by others who would lay claim to him to use for their own gain.
Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)
Has just the right balance of sex and plot. Loving the plot and especially the angst. The book is now one of my fav, one I am sure to reread again. Loving how JA Jaken delivers her story.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, favorites
Very well-written, well-told story of relationships in a science fiction world with a genetic compulsion.

Everything was well explained and believable, at least sorta. I think I wish everything had been explored in more depth. There was a lot of rape and near rape, based on the genetic/psychic bonds of the characters, but I felt like a lot of the characters could have been explored in more depth. Aaron Nichols, for example, was introduced at the very beginning but never really explored. And Shai
Looks like this is getting a re-release, expanded edition...and a sequel, both to be released later this month. SIGN ME UP!!!

08Mar2019: 4 Stars

Criminally underrated as whole here at GR.

But I will say that several of the reviews do make a point - that there is a subtle lack of emotional connection between Shai & Lorne, and what there was seemed to be rooted in the Pathfinder/Guide bond; really would have liked to read more of them developing as a couple in order to believe in the romance. (As hor
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Loved almost all of it. Exactly the type of story I like. Guy discovers he has some unique abilities. All sorts of bad guy organizations want him - and he ends up in a heck of a situation where, unfortunately, he is not consenting truly to what is happening. The SciFi world is the ideal location for stories such as this. It was totally believable that a pathfinder and a guide would cement a relationship/develop the bond by physical means including sex. Kalil's personality made sense in light of ...more
I really loved this story. I just could not put it down, and read the entire thing in one sitting.

The reason why I didn't give it a full 5 stars is because the ending did seem a tad rushed. Also, the relationship between Shai and Lorne was left sort of "up in the air" at the end. It leaves you feeling happy and satisfied enough that they'll have a future together, but at the same time it also leaves you begging for a sequel. But unfortunately, I don't think there is one.

But despite that, this w
After reading the reviews, I was expecting this book to be a lot darker. Yes, Shai was only 16 but the way his character was written, he wasn't mentally sixteen. So, even though he's under age, the rapes he endured we're much more about just the fact that he was raped and no lingering effect due to the fact that he's only sixteen.

He is a Pathfinder. In our culture he would be considera psychic. All Pathefinders had to bond with a Guide to keep them emotionally grounded. Two men tried to force th
Laylah Hunter
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-slash-m, dystopia
This was definitely a can't-put-it-down read -- I had every intention of taking it slowly and instead I read the whole thing tonight. Jaken does a really good job of taking the pitfalls of the soulbonding trope seriously and exploring the ways that ~erotic destiny~ can complicate both withholding and giving consent. I also really liked Shai as a main character; he doesn't have much of the power that's respected in Nhil-Rhar -- the ability to enforce his will through violence -- but neither does ...more
Competent readable sci-fi m/m adventure with a non-con element. Shai turns out to be a gifted psychic 'Pathfinder' but he needs to bond with a 'Guide' to help keep him grounded in this world.

"Are you only what the Founders made you to be? Or are you a product of your upbringing? Or are you something else? Your choices are what you make of them, Shai. More than anything else, you need to find your own path."
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Shai finds out the hard way that he is a pathfinder, he has been told that he has to have a guide who will be bonded with him, and Shai has no choice about whom that guide will be. Being a pathfinder places him in danger when a crime syndicate snatches him, and tries to force a bonding with their very own guide. Now Shai is on the run with an Outrider guide, a guide who doesn’t want a bond to form, and who Shai
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pathfinder plays out like a dark and guilty fantasy (giving a trigger warning now that this contains dubcon/noncon situations). I... shouldn’t have loved it as much as I did. But I really, really did. Seriously, I have tons of respect for the author to make the erotic elements SO relevant to the plot line. The concept was captivating, the pacing flawless, the world ironed out, the details revealed naturally, and I love how the circumstances drew the characters closer and closer. I found myself l ...more
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, fiction, 3rd-person, scifi
Plenty of rape. What? You were expecting a preamble? Rape is basically the theme of the book. Of course I mean this in a sexual as well as strictly denotative context. I do not strictly enjoy a book that lavishes itself in non-consensual sex while not providing an adequate need within the plot. While I felt some of the encounters were not necessary, the saving grace was that I felt a lack of reveling on the writer's part in that the scenes could have been far, far more explicit. The plot then ma ...more
Rosemary O'Malley
I loved this!! Pathfinder is an exciting sci-fi adventure that, despite the numerous threads running throughout, was tidy and easy to follow. There's just a touch of existentialism going on in there, too, which I thought added to the overall result. I like the world JA has created. My mind had visuals reminiscent of Dick and Gibson; good things, in my opinion!

This one has some intense, dark moments. There's underaged non-con (our hero is 16) and some viscious violence, but they are handled as t
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to wait ages for it to be released by Forbidden Fiction before I could read it, and it didn't disappoint. A wonderful book which left me with a warm glow and a smile when I turned the last page. Well worth 5 stars
Warning: this book contains scenes of violence and rape and an underage main character. However, if you can handle that, it was a well written book with a good ending. My only pet peeve - in a society that has fallen, who is still manufacturing lube?
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope this becomes a series after publication.
Kristy Maitz
I am disappointed with that book. Story itself would be much better if there wouldn't be so much sexually harassments and so much drama.
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it would like to read more
This had some intriguing ideas for world building but didn't have the length and depth to fill in all the details. Where the book shines is Shai. The opening of the book did a great job of hooking me into the character and really caring about what was happening to him. His confusion about his powers that could have killed him and still might. The unfairness and harshness of what happens to Shai is typical for many of this author's works but it made me keep turning the pages to finially see Shai ...more
Maiko-chan [|]
The description of the book itself intrigued me, but reading through some of the shelves other users have listed this under turned the book into a read-now rather than a read-later. And I’m really glad I made that decision.

JA Jaken begins by introducing the main character Shai – who is not, in fact, shy – and the world in which Pathfinder takes place. Her writing is definitely great, and I fully enjoyed every moment of reading this story to the point that it was hard to pull away for even a mome
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Franz E
Well I read the reviews and I heard that there would be rape and but I had already bought it so I though, what the hell. Then I read it and let's say I have to agree with lots of the other opinions.

1. I couldn't identify with the characters at all and that really bothered me. There was no time to get to know Shai and what we found out about him were some fragments of his past and only in a very...let's say sober and emotionally detached way. Also the other characters were only *there* but they
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, abuse, 2014
It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. The one big issue I have is the book doesn't feel like it has an ending or maybe it an open ending and I get to decide how it ends.

Aside from the underage rape, which yes is disturbing, but makes sense in the context of the book. The book and conversations were so repetitive that I honestly found myself skimming quite a few pages. And the random descriptions peppered into the dialogue didn't help with the flow.

On a side note the world sounds a lo
Feb 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
This is basically just a rape fantasy with the added disgusting trope of falling in love with your rapist all disguised as some sort of "genetic" thing. The Sentinel(Pathfinder)/Guide thing isn't a new concept and this book doesn't do a terrible job of explaining these things. If the lead character wasn't raped by every man he came across in explicit detail this might have been a good read. But alas, sometimes that's just too much to ask for.
Adrian Anderson
I wish someone would explain to me why it is that this story was published and charged for? What improvements were made to the so called published version to warrant it? Because I am comparing it and it is word for word! >:( ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-it
Read this ages ago, passable writing and mediocre plot that cherry picks cliches across sci-fi and romance genres. Surprise underage as well. Semi-interesting start and then it took a nose dive for me.
Interesting world building. I loved Shai and was so happy Lorne was there for him, someone kind and caring and not out to just use him. And I'm glad Kalil got his in the end.
Marsha Spence
Excellent read; the world building was fantastic!

3/2015 Found out there is a sequel coming!! Woo hoo!
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J.A. Jaken has been writing homoerotic fiction for more than ten years. She got her start in the profession writing slash fanfiction, where she has published numerous stories under the pen-name Rushlight. Over the years she has written erotic short stories and novels in genres ranging from science fiction/fantasy to gothic horror to modern detective mysteries.

She realized at a young age that she w

Other books in the series

Pathfinder (2 books)
  • The Ouroboros Prophecy (Pathfinder #2)

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