From The Noblest Motives picks up directly after the events that happened in Rarely Pure and Never Simple, the first in Angel Martinez’s complex and utterly unique series. It’s world is one where , accidentally, a new type of human, a Varient, has been created. Now human Variants, each with their own unique abilities and talents, are multiplying, to the consternation of the normal population who immediately start to fear those they neither know nor understand.
As different governments react in various ways to the Varients in their countries, from protection laws to increasingly authoritarian policies to control the Varients, it’s a increasingly unfriendly, harsh reality for Varients and their allies.
The first book introduces our main complicated characters, the vast organizations and employees they interact with, and those people who are determined to make the Varients suffer and disappear.
Shudder McKenzie, Varient activist , Blaze Emerson, tracker and ex lover of Shudder, and Damien Hazelwood finder of people, are our main focus. Each had intimate moments with each other under extremely intense circumstances but at the end, they went their separate ways.
Now events bring them together again and force them to be honest with each other about their shared feelings.
It’s hard to describe the convoluted storylines and fascinating tormented characters that are at the heart of this story and series. Especially Damien with his abusive past and struggles in the present. Now Shudder is caught up in the government crackdown and conservative hysteria surrounding Variants.
Martinez writes with a gritty realism about Shudder’s experiences as he passes through a mockery of a judicial system and into a nightmare of a prison. His time there will leave him traumatized in a manner that only Damian can best understand.
Standing close is Blaze Emerson, tracker and one man army to loves them both and desires to see them safe despite unknown enemies and a conspiracy that deeply affects everyone and everything around them.
This is one of those stories that you can’t put down. It’s high action, deeply emotional, full of twists and suspense.
And the author ramps up the stakes with every event and new discovery to make the dangers our group is facing feel more real and ever increasingly powerful.
At the end I wanted to reach for the next book, knowing it’s not yet available.
Two books in and I’m addicted. Tightly plotted, beautifully written, with characters so well crafted they are believable and raw with depth and complexity. I’m highly recommending both books but they absolutely must be read in the order they are written.
Varient Configurations series:
✓ Rarely Pure and Never Simple #1
✓ From The Noblest Motives #2
Fantastic covers btw.
The Fredamine Project was just the beginning. Shadow dealings and conspiracies regarding variants intertwine until Damien and his cohorts can no longer tell who the bad guys are.
Several months have passed since Blaze and the infamous Variant activist Shudder McKenzie helped Damien rescue the captives of the sinister Fredamine Project. Professionally, everything’s great. He’s back to working with Damien again and they have a new lead on the three kids who are still missing. Personally, not so much. Blaze has made his peace with Shudder, though nothing between them has even been easy, but his relationship with Damien has taken several steps back. Blaze no longer has any idea where he stands. Adding to the tense atmosphere are the anti-Variant members of legislature who have been slowly gaining popular approval, and the cryptic messages Damien receives from an unknown source.
Shudder’s back to his old haunts and his old tricks, trying to raise public awareness of imperiled Variant rights—such as the draconic Horace Act that strips due process during Variant trials—and to rescue Variant kids in trouble. His almost mythical luck runs out though when he’s arrested for murder only three days after the passage of the Horace Act and a whirlwind trial and sentencing lands him in the most notorious maximum security facility for Variants—San Judas Tadeo.
With too many conspirators on both sides of the aisle, Damien, Blaze and Shudder no longer know whom to trust. Peeling through the layers of deceit and half-truths puts them on shakier ground with every discovery and in greater danger than ever before.
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 sparks of a slow burn, series-spanning relationship.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer