Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In what promises to be quite an epic sci-fi series, humans now travel the stars, and a rare few have psychic abilities. They are called psions. Sometimes these abilities come to the fore after/during traumatic experiences, and that’s the case for Luka, an abused, young psion with extremely powerful abilities that he has no idea how to control or live with.
There are two organizations that deal with psions. On planet Aurora, Pat Cottrell is a psi hunter working for Federation Security. He tracks down dangerous psi criminals who misuse their power. Kyn Valdari works for the Institute for Psionic Research, an organization that helps psions learn how to control their psychic abilities and keep their sanity. Kyn and Pat were close friends until Kyn walked away three years ago after a passionate night took their relationship beyond friendship. The two haven’t spoken since. When Pat’s partner is out on leave, he is paired up with Kyn to investigate a string of murders that appear to have been committed by a psion powerful enough to kill with his mind. As they work together to locate and then help Luka, the two men find themselves struggling with feelings for each other and fighting for their lives.
The world-building in this series is outstanding and intricate in its detail and scope. In this world, there doesn’t seem to be any angst over being gay (yay!) but there is suspicion and lack of acceptance when it comes to psions. I pictured Downtown Riga as a sort of galactic ghetto slum version of Vegas, and the safe island was so idyllic that I want to visit.
The characters are complex, nuanced, and very believable. They don’t always do the right thing, and they pay the price for their bad choices. There were times when I wanted to slap some sense into a couple of them, but isn’t that how it is in real life?
In an unusual twist for a M/M romance, the person I see as the main character of the story, Luka, isn’t the one involved in the romance. This may seem strange, but trust me, it works. Luka’s story is heartbreaking, but watching how he grows throughout is a part of what I enjoyed about this book. But never fear, there is plenty enough angst and tension between Kyn and Pat to make for a very hot romance. Actually, its the strong and stable Pat who ended up being my favorite characters in this book. In addition, several of the characters I’d wanted more of after reading Facing the Mirror appear, including Miko and Cameron. I enjoyed seeing how their lives had progressed. I’m crossing fingers to see them and also Luka get their own HEA in future volumes.
There were some extremely touching, sweet moments near the end, most of them were created by Kyn. That pleased me since I’d wanted smack sense into him several times in the story. I could forgive him for the I’m-not-good-enough-for-him maneuver, but when he turned that around later and becomes self-centered (or maybe self-focused) at being deprived an assurance most never have, that threw me. I’m sort of a trust freak, and I was disappointed that Kyn didn’t trust in Pat and his love for a while there, mainly because I’d seen nothing in Pat’s behavior that would seem to warrant it. The story and characters are all kinds of amazing. I strongly recommend this series and am eager to read onward.
The cover by Cinchbug depicts Luka rather than the romantic couple in this story. Appropriate, as it really seemed to be his story. The dark tones used on the cover work well as does the creepy feel that comes from the blood flowing from his head/mind.
Sales Links: Smashwords – Amazon Buy It Here
ebook, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #1.0