Review: Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Varient Configurations Book#1) by Angel Martinez

Rating: 5🌈

Angel Martinez is a auto buy for me for a reason and Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Varient Configurations Book#1) is a fantastic example why.

We get a taste of the world the events take place so quickly. So typically Martinez. Breathtakingly simple in her ability to deliver a picture of a world rendered apart, catastrophically environmentally destroyed in the not too past, by some stark concise phrasing.

Same goes for the Varients. Humans , that appeared during the chemical wars, with genetic alterations that allowed each to have specific, if undetermined or not understood talents.

Varients are feared , misunderstood, and of course, used by various governments for their talents. Yes, the Varients vs Real Human movement should strike many nerves. It’s right on point.

This is outside or rather flows around the main plot of variant Damien Hazelwood. He’s a locator, only of humans. Damien’s a very damaged soul. His brutal background is one that will be revealed slowly over the story.

I love Damien. He’s broken, has so many layers, and yet still reaches out, despite himself. What an amazing character.

The other person to accompany him on the mission is another infamous variant. Blaze Emerson, a tracker and a person capable of handling dangerous situations they might come into contact with. Blaze has a reputation that precedes him as a angry personality and someone who’s hard to get along with.

It’s justified. He’s also had a past where he’s been unfairly judged , he’s been left, and hurt. He’s a complicated man. Blaze is so undeniably believable that you feel the anger and mistrust radiating off of him.

Their mission? Find 40 missing varient kids.

It’s a chilling mission made more so by the fact the men need to find a way to at least work together, tolerate each other’s differences, especially when things start to go wrong.

I really don’t want to say too much here. There’s another character that’s intriguing that’s brought into the mix. The dynamics that begin to grow between Blaze and Damien is halting and slow, as it should be due to each man’s tumultuous history and emotional damage.

But that ending. So full of hope. I need that next story. And I need it now. These are compelling people. And Rarely Pure and Never Simple (Varient Configurations Book#1) by Angel Martinez is proving to be one of those quietly moving but addictive starts to a new series I can’t and won’t resist!

So I’m highly recommending it! And anxiously awaiting the next in the series.

Varient Configurations :

🔹Rarely Pure and Never Simple #1

🔹From the Noblest of Motives – fall 2022 › showRarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez – Goodreads


Variant children are vanishing at an alarming rate. It will take a uniquely mismatched pair of trackers to untangle a web of conspiracy and misdirection to find them.

In his isolated cabin, variant Damien Hazelwood avoids human contact as much as possible to prevent attacks of blind berserker panic. But his rare talent as a locator makes him the go-to contractor for tricky missing person’s cases and when agents bring him a troubling contract involving missing variant children, he finds it impossible to refuse.

Licensed tracker Blaze Emerson can’t help being irritated when he’s expected to follow the strange, twitchy locator’s lead on his latest case. He works alone, he’s damn good, and as a variant sparker, he has both the fire and the firepower to take on anything out there. Though he has to admit there’s something intriguing about a man who can find people with his brain.

With vastly different temperaments and backgrounds, Damien and Blaze need to negotiate quickly how to work together if they’re going to crack this case. Add in the sudden appearance of Blaze’s outlaw ex, the perils of tracking in the wilds, and a maddening lack of discernible motive or method, and they soon find themselves in as much danger as the kids they’re trying to rescue.

Variant Configurations takes place in a future Earth where humanity is reclaiming its spot in a gradually healing world. This book contains mentions of past abuse, action-adventure style mayhem, and the beginning sparks of a slow burn, series-spanning relationship.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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