Please note: I received am e-book copy of this novel from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced the opinions in my review.
Synopsis (From GoodReads):Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.
Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.
When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.
Review:I didn't know much about this book when I found I could get it from Edelweiss. I follow the author on Twitter, and some of the other book bloggers I know said it was a good read. So I took it on faith that this would be entertaining. Well, I need to listen to these guys more often, because once I started this book, I could not put it down! It was engrossing, exciting, and just a wee bit erotic! I binge-read this, completing it on a lazy Sunday.
The story centers around Eros a half Human, half Sepharon teenager. Most half-blooded babies are killed at birth if they are around Sepharons. But Eros, instead, is raised by an adoptive human family. Because of his heritage, he is despised by the human nomads he and his human family live among. As the book begins, Eros is captured by the Sepharons. But rather than being executed, he is picked by Kora, their queen, to become her personal guard. Eros bargains to let the other captured humans go in exchange for his loyalty.
There is immediate attraction between Eros and Kora. Eros feels conflicted because Kora is responsible for the deaths of many of the humans. Kora knows that, because of his half-blood status, Eros is considered untouchable. I enjoyed how the two characters interacted and fought their attraction to each other. Both found ways to look beyond each others social status and see the actual person beneath. Both felt mistrusted by society and had to prove themselves.
There were many other interesting characters populating this universe: Gray (the leader of the human nomad is a unsentimental commander looking out for his people), Kora's jealous twin brother, Dima (who is looking for any excuse to steal the throne from Kora), Jarek (Dima's second in command), and Serek (a royal suitor of Kora's). These characters round out the book and create an epic saga of rebels and royalty. There are some inventive plot twists that kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.
I think the world building was imaginative and the details of the technology such as the nanites and transportation were fun without being distracting. I think this would make an excellent movie...
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Recommendation: Science fiction fans will enjoy the world that author Ava Jae creates as well as the heat between the main characters.
Will I read more from this author? Yes!