Freedom Series by Jessica Freely ~ Reviewed by Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰

This review is a tad unconventional. What can I say? That’s me. I’m reviewing all three at once due to the fact that they really should be read together. In for a penny, in for a pound.

16163477Titles: Unlawful, Undaunted, Unbound

Author:  Jessica Freely

Publisher:  Self-published/friskbiskit.com

From the Publisher ~ Unlawful

In a world where being gay is unlawful and slavery is legal, two men fight for their lives, for their desires, and for justice. Larke is a corporate lackey with a secret. Droje is a freedom fighter on the run. Each spells trouble for the other, but the passion between them will not be denied, no matter what the risk.

This is a short lgbt science fiction erotic romance set in the universe of Jessica Freely’s bestselling novella, His Own Devices. Previously only available for a limited time to readers who purchased His Own Devices during release week, it can now be enjoyed by everyone.
My View
I feel like I dropped into a story that was already happening and I needed to play catch up. There are an abundance of references that I had to try to make sense of with what I was given. At times I felt like Unlawful could be categorized as PWP with a plot which seemed counterintuitive. Not that I mind PWP from time to time, I just couldn’t make sense out of what was happening and had a difficult time discerning whether or not I was supposed to care. Well, that coupled with out of about 30 pages, 10 were sexy times.
The relationship development between Larke and Droje seemed mostly lust with a dash of instalove and a helping of reality suspension, but it is an alt world so… there is that. For Larke’s part, his behavior struck me as reckless not only in deciding impulsively to leave his life behind and join Droje but also, to a certain extent, on the kinky front. Let me ask you, if you came across a guy in a dark alley naked, bloodied, beaten, nearly unconscious who refused your efforts to contact the EMTs or the authorities would you (a) take that guy home and (b) then let that guy tie you up? No worries. It’s a rhetorical question.
The prose read choppy and it felt rushed. From merely a personal preference standpoint, I would’ve enjoyed a bit more sexual tension between Larke and Droje. The character development at this point is cursory as is the world building; however, I’m intrigued enough to continue on to the next. Overall, I’d rate the first of the Freedom series in the 2.5-3 Star range.
Undanted
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Larke didn’t know Droje was a rebel when he found him beaten and bruised in an alley. Now they’re on the run and there’s no going back. While Larke can’t get enough of Droje’s hot body, the man’s radical ideas — like freedom and justice for all — challenge his whole worldview. There may be more to life than illicit sex and survival, but unless Larke can get Droje to the safe house in time, neither of them will survive long enough to find out.This sequel to Unlawful is the second short story in the Freedom Series, set in the universe of Jessica Freely’s novella, His Own Devices.
My View
Undaunted is a much better effort. The story arc starts to unfold and we learn that Droje is a Freedom Fighter for the Movement which essentially means he’s fighting for the equality of all species not just in a class sense but on the sexuality front as well since it’s illegal to be a “drake” (gay)  in this world. We’re introduced to some of the other species in Gar and Fel as well. There is also a bit of action/adventure which kept the pacing up.
Larke begins to question his sanity and realizes how little he knows of Droje which facilitates the relationship development nicely. Other than his angst filled insights, we still know very little about his life and what would propel him to run away from it. We begin to learn a bit more about Droje, his past and the genesis of his involvement with the Movement.
The prose didn’t read as choppy in this episode. There could still stand to be a bit more world building in my opinion, but I did enjoy this episode more than the first. It’s a solid 3 stars, possibly 3.5.
Unbound
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When Larke met Droje his whole world changed. Now he’s left behind everything he’s ever known to join Droje’s band of freedom fighters. Life on the run is full of perils but Larke doesn’t care so long as he’s by Droje’s side. Every day he’s discovering more — about who he is, who he can become, and the unprecedented feelings he has for Droje. But when an enemy from within nearly costs Larke his life, Droje’s efforts to protect him could end their relationship and rob Larke of his chance to help the rebellion as only he can. In this third volume of the Freedom series, Larke learns that before he can free others, he must first free himself.
My View
Unbound focuses primarily on the relationship development between Droje and Larke. They begin to know each other better and work out the ah… kinks in their relationship. We find out quite a bit about Larke’s history and upbringing; the question of what would motivate him to leave it all behind is answered. Both Gar and Fel contribute to the relationship development as well in positive ways.
The action/adventure component compliments the story arc. I still feel like there are questions left unanswered and I’ve no idea if this is the final installment of the series or not. I will say the zero gravity sexy times was AMAZING. Truly. Ms. Freely has skill in this department. I’d give Unbound a solid 3 Stars.
The series overall I would rate 3.25 Stars. I think you’d be doing it a disservice if you don’t read them all, although the series might be better served by reducing down to one book instead of three installments. Then again that may be me projecting my increasingly apathetic attitude toward this growing serialization trend.
Generally speaking, I liked the characters of Droje and Larke but I had trouble feeling engaged with them and their story; there’s very little depth. There were a great many things that were creative about the series-things that I wouldn’t necessarily consider which I enjoyed immensely. The world building could use some work in my opinion. However, Unbound does end on a vague note so perhaps there is more to come. It’s worth a read and all three in the series are quick reads.
Where to Buy

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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6 thoughts on “Freedom Series by Jessica Freely ~ Reviewed by Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰

  1. Jessica Freely isn’t exactly a newcomer to M/M fiction so I kind of expected a little more from her stories. I have Unlawful (since it’s a free read) but haven’t had the time to read it but from the looks of your review it seems the series gets better (err…stays average?) with every installment. Thanks giving us insight into what to expect in the series…it give me something to think about.

  2. I’ve read Unlawful which I found to be good light entertainment, I’d consider reading the other 2 just to follow a story I’ve already started 🙂

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