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Posted January 28, 2014
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Brilliant! That about sums the book up. If you enjoy a good paranormal/mystery story then you must read this book. Has a strong X-Men feel to it.
The book takes place in a dystopia world. Scientists developed fredamine, which was created to cure neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s. Little did the scientists know that fredamine could potentially alter the genes in some children and cause them have special abilities. Those children that survive birth are called variants.
At the beginning of the book you meet Damien. He is an extremely rare variant called a locator. His ability is to locate individuals. Damien is a fantastic, complex character. He is very neurotic, suffers from OCD, and when he is pushed beyond his limit he violently lashes out. He comes across as needing protecting from the world around him, but he truly only needs protection from the turmoil in his head. Such an incredible character. Damien is contracted out with the Guild to find missing variant children. Though he usually works alone, due to the amount of children missing he is paired up with another variant, Blaze.
Blaze is the bad boy everyone loves. He is snarky and enjoys annoying people. He also has a huge reputation of being a bad ass and loose cannon. It is hard not to fall in love with Blaze. From the moment he meets Damien, he is drawn to protect the other variant but he also pushes Damien’s limits. Underneath is tough exterior Blaze has a heart of gold, though he might kill you if you say that to his face. These two make a great pair.
During Damien and Blaze’s search, you meet some great side characters. Martinez does an outstanding job creating a vibrant plot and well developed characters. Once you get started, you’ll have a hard time putting the book down. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Posted January 27, 2014
4.5 out of 5 stars
***This book was provided free by the author in exchange for an honest review, through the Goodreads “Don't Buy My Love” program***
When I first started reading this book, I was struck by the similarities in this fantasy world to that of the X-men movies, to the point that it seemed like fanfiction, albeit extraordinarily well done fanfic. But the longer I read, the more I was drawn into the adventure, and I quit thinking of X-men! The setting is a future United States where the interior of the country has become almost entirely depopulated due to a variety of man-made and natural disasters. A miracle drug, Fredamine, had been introduced years ago, and though it cured many previously incurable diseases, it had the unforeseen property of leading to the birth of “variants” – like the mutants of the X-men – who have all kinds of superpowers. Some of the variants joined together to form the Guild, which works with government agencies to keep the peace and protect the populace. But, again like the X-men movies, some humans are suspicious of variants, and want them destroyed, locked away, and experimented upon.
The story starts with the disappearance of 20 or so children from the Western Variant Academy. The Guild steps in to solve the mystery and recover the children, and they contract Damien. Damien is a locator, who's variant ability is to find people by following invisible trails with his mind. He is profoundly distrustful of everyone, cannot bear to have people touch him, has severe OCD and anxiety and usually lives in an isolated cabin. He only leaves it because he cannot turn down a call to help variant children, but he usually works alone. Because this assignment is more dangerous than usual, the Guild also hires Blaze Emerson, a sparker who can control fire, to protect and assist Damien. Blaze is unpredictable, and used to people assuming he is violent and uncontrolled. The two men don't want to work with each other, but they have no choice, as for both this is a job they can't turn down.
There is fast paced adventure, surprising twists and turns, danger, bravery, and mystery. I couldn't put it down, and read to the wee hours! The characterization is amazing – I loved how there was a gradual revelation of what happened in the past to make Damien and Blaze into the damaged men they are now. As they discover and follow the trails of the missing children into the wilds of the interior, they reluctantly start trusting each other, and eventually become lovers. They run across Shudders McKenzie, a variant activist (or terrorist, depending upon viewpoint) and old lover of Blaze's, whom they recruit to their mission even though his presence creates a pseudo-love triangle and threatens to disrupt the fragile bond forming between Damien and Blaze.
I really want to see more of this story – it just seems like the perfect start to a series! (I see that it is listed as Variant Configurations #1, so I am hopeful!) I want to see Damien and Blaze go out on another mission, and I want to see how their relationship prospers (or doesn't!). I want to see Shudders continue his crusading for variant rights. I want to see more of the Guild, and the variants outside the guild. I want to know more of what happens to the humans and variants out in the wilderness that was America's heartland. I want to know the history of this world as well as it's future. Ms. Martinez is an exceptionally talented author, and I would love to see her take this story and continue to move further away from the X-men similarities. I gave the book 4.5 rather than 5 stars only because the ending seemed so abrupt, but I'll change that if/when a new book comes out!
Posted January 26, 2014
(This book was received free in return for an honest review)
The author has created an “x-men” world of human variants all with different powers. Many of the characters assume names in regards to their abilities, which made them easier to remember. I loved the banter between the main characters of Damien, a human GPS-locator, and Blaze, a sparker (fire-wielder), and enjoyed how the background of each character comes out as they open up about themselves to each other. I was certain there was going to be an evil villain and ended up surprised with a possible government conspiracy. The author has set the stage well for additional books in the series and I look forward to reading them.
Posted January 26, 2014
This book was given to me for an honest review.
The earth time period of this book is in the future after the disasters , super plagues and mass starvation of the late 21st century had wiped out 80% of the population. The population has come back with the help of gene manipulation. The people with this manipulation are known as Variants. People with gifts. Of course not all come out unscathed. There are many that are born with side effects, some with weird disorders or deformed so badly they don't make it. There is an organization known as the Guild, which is made up of Variants who are kind of like super hero's who go out and save people. Of course there are the people's right groups who want more control over the Variants and the Variants protesting againsts these controls. Ok so that basically describes the world.
The story is about these two variants, Damien who's gift is locating people, also a slightly neurotic OCD loner, and Blaze a tracker with a reputation for being a badass. These two, who are not a member of the guild, are asked to join together and find about 40 children missing from the Variant Acadamy. During the search the two men find their issues are accepted by the other and they become close. The search finds runaways, murder, kidnappings and possibly goverment involved lab testing.
I liked the fact that the "romance/sex" didn't over do the rest of the story. It is written well with side characters who's personalities round out the story. Who is behind the Lab testing? The government? I guess we'll see in the future books.
Posted January 26, 2014
A copy of Rarely Pure and Never Simple was provided by the author, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.
Fast forward to a time on Earth when viruses have wiped out most of the population. Genetic engineering has cured most of the world's major illnesses, but with unintended consequences. Variants are a small portion of the population who are born genetically enhanced. Sometimes this is a good thing as they can be gifted with strength, the ability to manipulate the elements, see into the future.... think X-Men meets magic. What the government doesn't want advertised is that some variants are plagued with terrible side effects, are barely able to function in society, and that a portion of variants are born with mutations so extreme that they are unable to survive.
The Guild, an organization tasked with blending variants into society, is as politically influenced as any large organization, and not all variants trust their motives.
Enter Blaze and Damian, two variants who find themselves reluctantly drawn into service by the Guild. When variant children begin to mysteriously disappear these two are assigned the dual mission of locating the missing children as well as discovering who is taking them... and why.
Damaged by their own traumatic experiences, untrusting of the Guild that is now employing them, and reluctant to trust themselves, let alone each other, the mission becomes more complex by the moment. The nearly irresistible attraction growing between Blaze and Damian is not making working together any easier.
Angel Martinez expertly weaves a depth of emotion into her damaged characters that effortlessly draws readers into her world. Well written and edited, this book is a pleasure to read. With futuristic settings, complex and engaging characters, descriptive landscapes and enough action and adventure to satisfy any reader looking for more than a contemporary romance, Rarely Pure and Never Simple is sure to appeal to a broad reading audience. There is truly something for everyone in this book. This steamy romance is sure to light a fire in your imagination, making this a story readers are reluctant to put down!
Posted December 6, 2013
No text was provided for this review.