Author: Darcy Abriel
Publisher: Amber Allure (Amber Quill)
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/15/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Apocalyptic/dystopian, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction
Earth of 4035 is a wasteland populated with sectors of penal colonies, seeded through the generations by its life-long inhabitants of criminals, lunatics, political prisoners, and DNA-spliced mutants, all ruled by a powerful conglomerate of scientific researchers called the Nucleate.
One such sector, Pandemonia, is situated on the former European continent in the vicinity of Paris, now a hunting ground of a world gone horribly awry.
Drayce Eth, of dragogen-spliced DNA creation, rules one quandrant of Old Paris with a strong hand. He has never mated, never taken a long-term lover, and has always denied the instincts of his dragogen-spliced DNA. But then he encounters an attractive disciple and slave of his arch-enemy, Dr. Francois Beljon, and a simple game of poke-the-bear to relieve his ennui may just result in more than Drayce ever expected. It may also be exactly what he needs when his mating instincts are aroused by this least likely of potential mates.
Crispen Wills is a product of the mean streets. He’s a survivor—a dancer, a liar, a scavenger, and whatever else will serve to keep him alive. But when he becomes a desirable pawn in a treacherous game, it could easily cost him his life. What Crispen never expects is to fall in love with the powerful dragogen that his master has sent him to destroy.
Passions mix with danger in a highly flammable game devoid of rules and safe words, where all’s fair in love, lust…and death. Only a fool would dare to risk everything for a fleeting chance at love, especially when that lover could easily barbecue you should you make one false step…
This was a weird story, but in such a good way. It was dark and intense and set in a world where matings were driven by biology and emotions and romance were things of the past. Yet, I was left feeling oddly satisfied with the pairing between Crispen and Drayce.
I was unaware that this was book two in a series. However, I do not feel like I lacked anything necessary to enjoy this story. The world was fascinating and well described. Set far into the future, Earth had basically become a prison planet full of criminals, political prisoners, and genetically spliced humanoids left over from scientific testing. By default, a new society had arisen lead by some rather corrupt folks with underground factions warring for power. The author painted a rather bleak picture, but it was so creative and entertaining. I want to know more about this world. I will have to go back and grab book one!
I loved the humanoids and the genetic splicing. Dragons, wolves, cats, and more, each with unique abilities and personalities. Drayce was a dragogen having been crossed with genetic materials found during an archaeological dig. He was fierce and full of anger, much like a creature full of fire would be. But there was so much more to him. I wish this story would have been longer and gone into more depth about him. What I found most fascinating was that for all his hard exterior, for all his hatred of politics, for all his mistrust, he was still able to find a bit of peace with Crispin.
Crispin was a mystery to me for the majority of this story. Some of his history was revealed, and his purpose was eventually exposed, but I never understood what he was. There were hints that he had abilities to soothe others, but they were not explored. However, I still connected with his character and felt for him as he really was just a poor pawn in a political game.
I was also intrigued by the dragogen mating. This mating was nothing resembling anything normal. It was weird at first, but the author somehow managed to make it HOT. I really don’t want to describe it here because I don’t want to give things away, but let’s just say that dragon tongues are awesome things. I am now curious about the other genetically altered beings, will their matings be strange and fascinating as well?
I was not sure what to think about this story at first, but in the end I liked it. For all its oddities and dark intensity, I had fun reading it. This series is looking to be outside the norm and for me, that is a great thing. I am always looking for something to grab my interest in unique and entertaining ways and this story hit that nail perfectly on the head. If you are looking for something a bit dark and twisted but still satisfying, give this one a go. I enjoyed it and know others will too.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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,
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