Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 2.5 out of 5
Fay is a member of the Dirt Dwellers, a people who live beneath the earth’s surface. Hundreds of years earlier, her ancestors created a sterile environment with ill-gotten funds from poorer earth inhabitants. Then, the remaining population of the earth was almost destroyed by a catastrophe these rich survivors had known was coming. Those who didn’t die on the surface are called Airbornes and the government for the Dirt Dwellers has decided they want to eliminate them and come back to the surface. Fay is a mind traveler who can “see” between dimensions and she spies for the Dirt Dwellers. But she discovers information that her whole culture is based on lies and murder and her loyalty to the Dirt Dweller government is destroyed. She escapes to the surface and is picked up by Logan, Arlo and Dakkan, three Airbornes brothers who are immediately attracted to Fay. They think she’s a spy, and Fay is caught between the government that will kill her for having desire and the three men she wants more than anything else.
The concept of this book is epic and there’s a lot to digest. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the book tried too hard, but I don’t have issues usually with books that are fast-paced and complicated. My biggest complaint about this book is regarding Fay. There were too many eye- rolling moments and she seemed to vacillate from “Too Stupid To Live” and “Kick Yo Ass”. To begin with, she’s from a society that views sex as functionary, not pleasurable. The strict rules of sexual engagement were enough for me to doubt the responses she had when faced with erotic situations. Don’t get me wrong. There were times when she seemed as innocent as she was supposed to be. But too often, she responded to things as if they were normal. She didn’t know what a tree was, but she argued with Logan like a woman who was raised in his rough and tumble society, not her straight-laced upbringing. As a heroine, she was inconsistent and confusing. She confesses love for three men almost immediately. There were a lot of plot devices used pretty blatantly to excuse all of it.
Having said all that, I want to talk about what was right about this story. This is a fascinating world with lots of twists and turns. The science fiction world here is complex and enjoyable. The men were hot and sexy. The faceless villain was evil. The action scenes were really well done. Though the story teetered on the edge of being a “hot mess”, it somehow manages not to fall into the abyss. I wanted to read to the end and the happy ending was satisfying (including the sequel baiting. I love sequel baiting).
The kink in this story is…okay. There’s some build up and discussion about Logan and Dakkan’s “kink” but for some reason, it doesn’t deliver. It doesn’t make the book any less hot, but this isn’t a book with a lot of deviant sex.
It’s a wild ride and if you like your science fiction with lots of action (as I do) you might give this author a spin. I’d like to read the sequel and more about the world the author has created.
Reviewed by Jennifer Leeland