Category Archives: Futuristic

Books taking place in the future by at least fifty or more years.

Sub Zero by Angel Martinez

Sub ZeroSub Zero by Angel Martinez
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Amber Quill Press, LLC
Novella:  40,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Major Aren Dalsgaard’s newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what’s the problem? Drass is where he died, more than a hundred and twenty years ago.

Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a cryo-revived investigator who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. Major Dalsgaard could be crazy or he could be lying, but the sincerity in his spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else he encounters in the foreigners’ city.

Now, confronted with mysterious black boxes and a beautiful yet evasive young man as a prime suspect, Aren hopes he can solve the murders before his fierce sexual attraction to Nyachung gets the better of him…

 Excerpt

Aren is the main character of the story.  He is a man lost in a future world.  Aren had been a linguist and a xenologist when he met with a man on Drass and fell in love.  He and his lover died in an accident and Aren was frozen by his government.  Now he has been revived over a hundred years later and all he knew is gone.  He now works as an investigator and is sent back to Drass to investigate a group of murders that is happening there.  Nyachung is a “native” of the planet Drass.  He is of the same race as Aren’s lover.  Nya is also the one that the authorities arrests for the murders that have happened in the city.  Now Aren must find out what is happening and what to do about his sudden attraction for Nya.

The world building that the author did in the book was amazing.  In short order without a huge info dump we are able to learn so much about the world we enter into.  Aren is an interesting character.  It is obvious that he was a rebel and believed in doing right.  Even now in this unknown future he struggles to make sure that what he believes is right it done even if it goes against the current bigotry and racism.  Aren isn’t current to the times but he does remember how hatred works and when things don’t make sense.

Nya is a singer.  When I first heard this and realized that the author was most likely to put these two together I couldn’t believe it.  A singer with a ledged and rebel, because that is what Aren is to Nya’s people.  Until I understood Nya’s people I didn’t think a singer would be a big role player in this world.  I love that Nya’s people are so peaceful.  They are a wonderful culture that I’m sure we all wish there were more like.  I think that human nature as it is took advantage of this sweet race of people.  I’m glad to see Aren return and help them.

This story is a really lovely one.  The writing was excellent and the characters and world just vibrant.  I really enjoyed the read.  I will say some may have difficulty with Aren and Nya’s relationship considering that Aren’s death, along with his lovers, seemed to him to have occurred a short time ago.  Some will wonder about the amount of time that Aren seems to have grieved for his lost love.  I will say it seemed to have been really quick.  I would have enjoyed seeing that play out a bit more.  The route to love seemed to get drowned in the story itself.

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The Harvest: Taken by M.A. Church

The Harvest TakenThe Harvest: Taken by M.A. Church
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Storm Moon Press
Novel:  70,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.

Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah’Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program… and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he’s safe since he’s under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He’s illegally harvested and claimed by Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the moment Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own—and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.

Excerpt

This is futuristic story based on humans finding out we are not alone and the aliens are more advanced than us.  When the aliens come to Earth wanting mates the governments of the Earth hush it up as a short term need of human DNA to save the alien race since they have been rendered sterile.  Dale is a male that is “harvested” with this intent.  He is under the age limit set and cannot understand why he has been picked.  This is quickly explained to him by the alien race, he has been picked by the captain of the starship to be his mate.  Dale is horrified to learn it is a permanent situation and he would not be returning to his heartbroken family.  He is also told he was injected with alien DNA; he was actually double dosed because he was ill.  This DNA is mutating his body to make him able to have children.   His “mate” is Keyno.  Keyno is gentle with Dale and tries hard to make Dale happy even if he has been forcible taken and mutated without his permission.

I think some readers will be upset that Dale didn’t fight the situation more than he did.  I think he is still furious over it all but knows that Keyno isn’t directly responsible for it.  He hasn’t forgotten or forgiven what happened to him though.  He mentions it a lot and talks badly about it with others.  I think Dale’s change is related to the fact that since he is mutated he knows it really isn’t possible for him to go home again.  Earth will NOT accept him now that he has changed.  He also is deeply attracted to Keyno and his new physiology makes it near impossible to really stay away or mad at the man.

There is a lot that happens in the story.  The plot is very good and keeps you reading the story.  It is hard to put down because of wanting to know what would happen next.  I was disappointed it ended when it did but reminded myself that there is another coming out, which I hope happens soon!  The author did a wonderful job with describing everything.  You could picture the scenes quite clearly.  I had wished a little more went into describing Keyno.  I still don’t really have a clear picture of him.  The details that the author give really fill in the world for the reader and makes the book come to life.

The characters are quite fun.  Dale, Chad, and John are an interesting sample of the mates.  Dale is different though and always opening his mouth and letting fly before he knows everything or even if it is safe too.  I think he will be out causing trouble in the next book.  He drags Chad along.  John is a little less defined.  He brings the wonder and curiosity to the group though.  I hope he is a little more involved in the next book.  Keyno and the other aliens introduced are quite gentle and possessive.  I have to say when Keyno is protecting Dale he is massively scary!  The aliens are very interesting and I can see why the humans are so fascinated by them.

The book overall was a wonderful read with a creative and interesting world provided.  The characters bring it all together to give the reader a chance to live a great adventure.  You get a fun read that creates an emotional rollercoaster of a ride.  I really enjoyed this read and look forward to the next.

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Vassily the Beautiful by Angel Martinez

Vassily the BeautifulVassily the Beautiful by Angel Martinez
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Silver Publishing
Novel:  69,434 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of being treated as an invalid, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother. That changes the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own.

When deep-space pirates capture Vassily’s mother, he’s left to the mercy of his cruel, amoral stepfather. Fighting addiction and his physical shortcomings, he’s forced to seek out the criminal mastermind Baba Yaga for a crucial piece of equipment. While she agrees to deal with him if he beats his Exoticus addiction, paranoia and mysterious intentions infuse her household. Drawn to her fierce, suspicious youngest son, certain his actions are all carefully observed, Vassily must find the courage to face both his fears and his desires if he expects to survive.

 Excerpt

This book starts off with a bit of disbelief.  I have a hard time with Vassily’s mother would have been quite so clueless about her new husband.  I was also a bit astounded by her reaction to Anton hitting Vassily.  I really didn’t see that coming!

The writing is well done.  I’ve enjoyed every book I have managed to read by this author.  I believe her voice is unique and give the story a little something I don’t usually find in other authors.  The plot line flows well.  The ideas addressed in the story are many and varied.  There are disabilities, addiction, crime, and even the idea of messing in genetics.  It seems like a lot to cover well but the author went with the ideas as they regarded the story and not in any deep or social way.  I did think the ending was a little…pat/easy.  I thought there would have been a bit more drama even though considering the characters and story line it does make sense.  I was just expecting MORE.

The characters are great.  I loved them all.  Each were very individual and interesting.  Vassily was actually my least liked character, he was a little pale.  I didn’t see him as vividly as the others.  He just screamed victim throughout the story.  There were sections where he shone a little more but overall he was just…pale.  Sumi needs someone to protect though and Vassily needs protecting.  Vassily is also good at seeing beyond the surface with Sumi.  I thought the relationship between the “brothers” was interesting as well.  They had a good childhood even if their adult life is a little different.  They know they were wanted and they have purpose.  They are interesting men.  I would love a follow up for the brothers.  I just felt there could be more for them.

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The Colony Book 2: Revolution by J. Tomas

The Colony Book 2 RevolutionThe Colony Book 2:  Revolution by J. Tomas
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Queerteen Press
Novel:  59,874 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

Sequel to The Colony Book 1: Rebellion

The only way sixteen-year-old Aine and his true Other Kyer can be together is to escape the Colony with its Code, its pills, and its constant monitoring. Breaking out of the Colony was hard enough, but living outside of its protective walls proves to be even harder.

The boys have been raised to believe all life outside the Colony was destroyed by the last war. However, Aine soon discovers this is a lie. On their first day of freedom, they meet Sinda, a girl their own age who has grown up in the harsh new world outside the Colony. In return for some food, she agrees to help them out and leads them underground, where people must live to avoid predators, acid rain, and disease.

It doesn’t take long for Aine to tire of living hand to mouth. He misses the comforts of his bed, his friends, and his family. Why should he be the one to run away? He and the boy he loves have done nothing wrong.

Aine is destined to be the next Overseer, so why can’t he return to the Colony and start a revolution to change the way things are run? Why can’t people love who they want to, rather than who they’re told to? Why can’t they think for themselves, and live as they want?

When he receives a message from Brin that she, too, has stopped taking her pills, Aine realizes he isn’t the only one unhappy with the Code. If he and Kyer return, maybe they can enlist their friends’ help to bring about some much-needed changes.

But breaking back in proves even harder than breaking out. They must dodge the Officers, evade the Monitors, and convince a drug-controlled Colony it deserves better. But will anyone listen to them? Or will they be caught and medicated back into compliance?

Excerpt

This is a continuation of a previous book “The Colony Book One: Rebellion”.  Aine and Kyer are outside the Colony.  They must find a way to survive out in the world.  They do not start out very well.  They fall asleep on the beach and wake up covered in sand fleas.  Luckily after they wash off a girl calling herself Sinda finds them and helps them discover what living outside of the colony is like.  The boys find it a difficult existence.  No running water, limited electricity, constantly salvaging for food, and staying below ground except in early morning to avoid burning and acid rain.  This is not what the boys had hoped for their life outside the Colony.  Finally they decide to go back and reclaim their places in the Colony but on their terms.

They writer does a good job of engaging the reader and showing them the details of this future created world.  You can feel and see what the characters are seeing and feeling.  Aine is the “voice” of the story and you get to know him well.  He seems like what he is, a scared, confused boy who finds the will to fight for what he believes in though the odds are against him.  For me this is just like a teen, they don’t have the pessimism that an adult would.  Teens and children believe they can do anything.  That they will succeed even against all odds.  Unfortunately we don’t get much of the other characters.  They are a lot flatter than Aine and react as one would expect in accordance with the story.

I did love the story.  It is perfect for a young adult to see that one person can change the world or at least their corner of it.  I do wonder if there was enough action for the kind of world created.  There was really no fighting involved but still lots of plotting and running around.  I did enjoy it and it is a fairly tame read for younger teen.  There is no sex only kissing and some light “making out”.  I would recommend it for those teens on the younger side of YA as introduction to gay romance and a “hero” in the story being gay.

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After Midnight by Santino Hassell

After MidnightAfter Midnight by Santino Hassell
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Self
Novel:  85,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  5
 

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn’t quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.

Excerpt

This is a standalone book that is a spinoff of “In the Company of Shadows”.  Gordon is a drug dealer.  He has been mostly alone all his life.  Orphaned and a sole survivor of a bombed elementary school during the war, he made his own way.  He has one friend, Carla, who is fierce in her protection of him.  Gordon and Carla are family to each other.  Adam is an assassin whose mission has gone wrong.  Looking to hide out until things cool off, he runs into Gordon.  Unfortunately for Gordon Adam can’t leave a witness, The Agency does not allow that.  Adam though goes against policy and lets Gordon live but keeps a close eye on him.  The two are forced into close proximity again when Adam’s next mission is to infiltrate Gordon’s drug group.  The two men are like magnets.  On the one hand they really repulse each other, but when close the sparks just fly and they can’t stay away from each other.

The author has created a wonderful book.  The writing is excellent.  The descriptions of the world and people are vivid and telling.  The characters are gritty and dark.  They aren’t “nice” guys but have some softness in them that sneaks out every once in a while.  The characters are perfectly flawed people.  I love that the use of the secondary characters wasn’t shadowy.  The author gives you authentic characters that have depth to them.  You don’t get to know how they really think or react all the time but they are solid and make you notice them.

This is a dark and gritty book.  As such it isn’t always pretty what occurs.  There are times you get angry with the characters and/or situations, there is violence, and there is unpredictability.  That is what makes this an excellent read.  The ending is very much in line with the book.  I have hopes there will be a follow up book since I would love to see more of these characters but if the author leaves it as it is it is still a compelling story.

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Lucius: Spartan Warrior by Stormy Glenn

Lucius Spartan WarriorLucius: Spartan Warrior by Stormy Glenn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Novella:  37,728 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Futuristic Romance, M/M, sci-fi elements, HEA]

Lucius is Spartan, a genetically enhanced soldier created for the sole purpose of fighting. But what is he to do when the war is over? Exiled with his unit to an island off the Pacific coastline, Lucius is shocked when he finds more than a deserted island when he meets Ari, a man determined to live by his own rules even at the cost of his own life.

Ari was just a teenager when he was abandoned by his family and exiled because he didn’t meet the new moral code. He does what he needs to do to survive. When he meets Lucius and the other Spartan, he finds that the fierce warriors need even more help than he does.

Emotions have been drummed out of the Spartans, deemed useless to men taught nothing but killing. Teaching them to feel just might be harder than Ari thinks, especially when he needs Lucius to be the killing machine he was born to be in order to save them all when the enemy attacks. But the cost might be the man he is falling in love with.

Excerpt

Lucius and his men have no idea how to behave outside of war and training.  When Lucius stumbles across Ari when he and his men are dropped onto a “deserted” island, Lucius has no idea what he is feeling and what to do about it.  Ari isn’t sure what he should do about Lucius.  He is attracted to him but knows Lucius isn’t supposed to have emotions.  They should have been all bred and trained out of Lucius and the other Spartan.

I thought the idea of this story is cute.  It has been done similarly before.  The writing was good.  The plot is not unique but fun and interesting.  The characters are fairly typical of this author’s writing.  Ari is smaller but is really a strong man who changes Lucius for the better.  Lucius then has to prove he cares for Ari when Ari is in trouble.

This story seems to be written as a standalone but there are so many threads left dangling that I would love to see it become a series.  If it is a single book there are a lot of holes that are not filled.  I enjoyed the book even though it isn’t the greatest writing.  This is a comfort read for those days when one needs a fun, easy read.  It lifts your spirits.

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Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

Ghosts of AlcatrazGhosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Wilde City Press
Short Story:  33,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  5
 

Love is a powerful force. Unparalleled, unpredictable and often unforeseen. Yet it can surface in the most dangerous of situations. Suffocation, mutilation and dismemberment aren’t the normal outside influences that bring two people together, but inside the newly refurbished Alcatraz Prison, anything can happen.

As inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, the deaths prompt Warden Jensen Black to bring in sexy parapsychologist, Brian Phipps. With the help of Brian, Jensen hopes to get to the bottom of what is killing the men he is responsible for. But what he didn’t count on is falling—and falling hard—for the smaller man with the heart of a lion. The question is: will their love survive against the ghosts of Alcatraz?

Excerpt

Jensen is in charge of a newly reopened Alcatraz.  These prisoners are being held for cyber crimes.  That is way it is eerie when the prisoners start dying off.  The last victim is videoed tearing himself apart.  Jensen doesn’t believe this is an event that could even happen so he calls his boss and friend who hooks him up with Brian.  Brian is in the family business of fighting ghosts.  What he faces in Alcatraz is more than he expect though.

As a paranormal story goes this one had a great plot, it was full of action and danger.  The author did a wonderful job in keeping the world simple but creating such atmosphere.  The characters were well written and engaging.  The love relationship happens quickly and is quite intense.  I don’t think this is a stretch.  The conditions in the story make it very conceivable.  The ending of the story was dramatic and well done.  I would love if the author does go ahead and makes a series out of this book like she hints at in the ending of the book.

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In the Company of Shadows: Afterimage by Santino Hassell and Ais

AfterimageIn the Company of Shadows: Afterimage by Santino Hassell and Ais
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Online Fiction
Novel:  1015 Pages
Download at In the Company of Shadows
Roses:  5
 

In the Company of Shadows is a series about two people who are thrown together as partners in a secret agency; their mission is to disband rebels who have propagated in a post-war future, but they have to deal with everything that comes with an unlikely partnership as well.

Miscommunication, periods of distance, fleeting smiles and learning to trust someone when a person can’t even trust himself, these are what they struggle with while still trying to do their jobs. One is a psychopath, called a murderer and monster and generally deemed subhuman by nearly everyone who knows of him; the other is an introvert, cold and emotionless and so lost in thoughts that he would agree that he can be called a monster of inhumanity. But what makes a person human; is it humanity, compassion, or is it simply the ability to reason? Can a monster be human, and general humanity breed monsters?

While they learn about each other, they learn about themselves; where their loyalty and morality lies, and how learning to trust another person can be incredibly difficult, bittersweet, and rewarding all at the same time. Join Hsin Liu Vega (aka “Sin”) and Boyd Beaulieu as they struggle to find where they fit in a world slowly recovering from war.

If you are a fan of Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopic books this is a series you HAVE to read.  Each book is really long but the writing is superb.  The characters are very anti-hero.  Sin is…just psycho and doesn’t really understand himself.  Sin really didn’t grow up in a world like a normal child.  Abused by his mother, raised by his father to be the perfect assassin/agent, and tormented further by The Agency, Sin is a broken character.  Boyd grew up in an environment devoid of love.  After the death of his first love and his own institution Boyd has learned to isolate his emotions.  You learn all of this in the first book.  These two men find each other and become each other’s whole world.

In this book that world breaks apart.  Sin’s emotions have awoken but so have his memories and he becomes even more depressed and dysfunctional.  Boyd decided to go through a selection process to become a level 10 agent, which is as high as agents go in levels.  Sin’s “world” is going to be gone for 3 months just when he needs him the most.  Needless to say Sin’s world implodes.

Lots of action goes on throughout the book.  It goes all over the whole and shows some of the devastation done by a world nuclear war.  One of things I enjoy about the series is the descriptions that they give.  Places are described before and after and it makes the world seem more real.  The characters are so well done that it’s easy to get sucked into the story.

This book varies from the first.  The first seemed to be all about Sin and Boyd and their relationship.  This second book they are broken up and apart throughout most of it.  It shows how each character is growing and changing even some of the side characters.  (I’m interested if we will find out what ends up happening with Cade.)  The particular book isn’t as much a romance since the main couple isn’t together.  I think it really gets you even deeper into the characters by showing you more of what is going on in their lives and how and why they are changing.

There are a few editing problems but this isn’t a “published” book and there really aren’t that many considering the length.  The authors of this series really give you a wonderful read.   It is very hard to imagine that this isn’t even a published series and offered for free.  Since I didn’t review the first book in the series I will state I would have given it the bouquet!

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Shattered Heart by Nikki McCoy

Shattered heartShattered Heart by Nikki McCoy
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Silver Publishing
Novel:  61,908 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

The ravages of biochemical warfare have devastated the human population. Born of rape and forced to become a pleasure slave, Corin has only known the kindness of his sisters, but his life changed when he was sold to Markus–a man known for his ruthlessness. In the depths of his despair over the loss of his sisters, however, he discovered mercy in the least likely of places, the heart of his new Master. Together they learn to need that which has always been denied them by the harsh hand of fate, but their cravings for love may not withstand the impending war. How far will they go to hold onto their morals, and each other?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains extreme BDSM and scenes of dubious consent. It also includes scenes of rape and intense violence.

Excerpt

This was a very interesting book.  This is a post-apocalyptic world in which the world is controlled by basically gangs in charge of territories.  There is slavery in the world again as well.  Corin is living a hellish life.  His mother despises him due to the nature of his birth and his stepfather abuses and uses him, including renting him out as a pleasure slave.  His stepfather actually saved his life as a baby by telling his mother that Corin would be their slave.  Corin’s only light in his dark world are his two younger sisters.  He adores them and protects them knowing if he wasn’t there that his stepfather would turn on them.

Markus is the boss of the territory that Corin and his family live in.  When Corin’s stepfather can’t pay the “rent” on their hotel Corin’s Mom sells him to Markus as a pleasure slave.  Corin is heartbroken.  How will he protect his sisters now?  He also has heard that Markus is a cruel and ruthless man.

I really didn’t like Markus at first.  Who would?  He was no better than a rapist!  Still as time goes on you start to feel for the man and realize he isn’t as heartless as he seems.  Markus would have just been a Dom in this world and Corin a submissive.  Unfortunately the future world isn’t that nice and Markus has had a very painful past.  I came to really appreciate what these two had in this future world which seemed to leave so little room for gentle emotions.  Though these two’s relationship is brutal it is a lovely thing as well.

The writing in the story was well done.  The plot line wasn’t truly unique but I liked the author’s spin on it.  The characters really do grow on you and you learn to appreciate their different viewpoints.  I’m not sure if I liked the change of perspective the last chapter gives you or not but it was sweet.

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The Colony Book 1: Rebellion by J. Tomas

The Colony Book1 RebellionThe Colony Book 1:  Rebellion by J. Tomas
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Queerteen Press (YA of JMS Books, LLC)
Novel:  58,329 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  5
 

Sixteen year old Aine lives in the Colony, and his whole life was decided before he was born. In two years he will marry the girl next door, Brin, who was assigned as his Other at birth. Then he will be given a position in the Colony’s workforce that best suits his talents. Each night he takes four pills, like everyone else in the Colony, and he knows the pills keep them safe and their world in order.

Everything is fine. Perfect, in fact. Until Aine accidentally drops one of his pills.

Terrified, he tries to hide the mistake, but when he dreams for the first time in his life, he discovers all he’s been missing. What scares him more than not taking the pill, though, is how alive his dreams make him feel. Because it isn’t Brin he dreams of but his best friend Kyer.

Another boy.

Suddenly Aine’s world turns upside down, and he doesn’t know what to think or who to trust. All he knows for sure is he’s falling in love with Kyer, which is forbidden by the Colony’s Code, and he will do anything to protect their budding relationship.

Even if it means defying the Overseer and leaving the Colony behind.

 Excerpt

Aine is a teen in an extremely controlled world.  He is monitor everywhere he goes and must take pills every day to “keep him safe”.  Aine accidently doesn’t take one of his pills and dreams of his friend Kyer.  After that it’s down the rabbit hole, discovering what he never knew about and how it changes his view of everything.

I seldom read YA books.   I’m not sure why, I just don’t.  I’m so glad I read this one.  I really thought about how this might be like a LGBT teen discovering him/herself.  The secrecy, the fear, the repression, the attempts to change them back by others, the shame, and, for some, the fact that they would have to leave everything they know as safe to be true to that discovery.

The writing is excellent.  The author did a wonderful job building up the world.  I do admit the world isn’t far off from some that I have heard described before but the author still needed to build THIS world.  The character building was well done.  Aine’s change in the book is done in a way that is believable and revealing.  I easily connected with his character and could empathize as he went through the shame, joy, fear, and outright terror.

In regards to this being a YA book and therefore aimed for them, I think many teens would enjoy the story.  They can relate to Aine and his struggles and triumphs.  It teaches that sometimes questioning what always is is not a bad thing and to be different is normal.  I admire that the author has done such a good job relating the story to youths and creating a story that can speak to them.  For me this was soooooo close to our top rating!

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