A BJ Review: Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern #3) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★

Ghost in the Mythe coverAs a child, Miko Asada was the only survivor of a jump drive accident on a space transport, and the event altered him forever. Beautiful and unable to speak Miko is a bit of an enigma even to those who know him best. Cameron, the man who rescued him from a life of being shared him as a sexual slave, doesn’t even understand or quite believe him when he speaks (voice synth) of dragons and the Mythe. Alone and misunderstood, Miko is losing his desire to remain a part of the human world… until he meets someone who understands and knows all about the dragons and touches the mythe.

Tarrin Rhivana was an Ajhani Guardian, one charged to protect his clan and its artifacts, but was exiled when he used the mythe to kill a thief and save his closest friend, Vaya. Even his mother, a Dragon Speaker, cannot save him from his fate after breaking one of the clan’s strictest laws. When Tarrin attempts to leave his world aboard a ship belonging to the Sky People, he doesn’t realize that in order to get through jump space, he needs to be drugged. But a beautiful ghost comes to his rescue and Tarrin wakes to find himself on Aurora at the Institute for Psionic Research. And there he learns that the beautiful ghost who saved him is very real.

Tarrin learns that one of the Sky People has bonded to one of the ancient artifacts the Guardians are sworn to protect. Now it’s Tarrin’s duty to return to his clan and convince them of the danger the Sky People represent… even if that means he might be killed for violating his exile before he can deliver the warning.

This is book three (okay, four if you count the short Facing the Mirror) of the series and it’s my personal favorite so far. I’d give this book TEN stars if I could, but since I only have five to give, I wish I could make them all shiny and bright and drape them with tinsel.

First, I’ll touch on the characters because they are the heart of this story. You know how in a series, if you have a favorite character, then you wait with baited breath each novel to learn more about that character and then finally… finally there comes a point where it’s their time to shine and grow and find love. This was that book (well, for Miko… still waiting on my other fav, Draven). We met both of these guys in book 0.5. I was patient, and it does not disappoint. I cannot tell you how much I adored the resolution of Miko’s inner struggles (well, his main one I guess, as he does continue on to have important work in the series).

Miko is a bit of an enigma in the first stories, but that’s because they are from other’s POV and no one truly understand Miko. Which meant the we, the readers, were intrigued but didn’t totally either. In this book, we finally get to be inside Miko’s head. And omgosh was it ever worth the wait. Miko is stunning and every bit as broken as he’s been painted through the eyes of the other characters but he’s also strong and such a pivotal characters to the whole series. Love Miko.

As I was reading all the other books, I’m thinking, who in heck is ever going be able to get through to Miko? I needn’t have feared. Enter Tarrin. The man is a saint… okay, he’s not really. He has his flaws, but he’s just perfect for Miko. I loved them together, love the slow burn of their romance, and their tender, sweet sex scenes. And what brought them together initially? Finally someone could understand and relate to him rather than thinking he was a mysterious, broken, powerful psion who was also a nut job. Which he so is not. The way the author handled Miko and Tarrin’s love story was perfect, and given Miko’s background there was just no other way I could have seen it going. They were beautiful together.

Parts of this book had me in tears, because Miko’s journey toward the end, which I will not give away in spoilers on as you must read it for yourself… its that perfect. It’s about accepting all the parts of ourselves, and I absolutely freaking loved that. So yeah, it had me in tears, I admit it. And I am not a crier.

The plot of this series as a whole is fascinating and so complex. I, personally, think that this series is really best read in order as each builds on the other with a central plot woven throughout. None of them end in cliffhangers. Although we are sometimes left with a little tease after the main conflict is resolved, as in this book. And I eat that shit up.

I feel like I know all of these guys and in nearly each story I meet someone new and fascinating and find myself hoping that we will hear more about him. (In this story, that would be both Tarrin and Vaya… oh, I do love me a lost boys). But I am absolutely chomping at the bit for Draven and have to wait until book six. Huge groan.

Miko first appears in book 0.5 right at the beginning of the series and his journey so far is beautiful. I am so glad it’s not totally over; he does continue to appear in the series as he has a big role.

And the cover by Cinchbug… okay… this is me standing up and cheering because I love that image of Miko so much. Beautiful, alluring but innocent and you can even sort of see the sadness there. Love the colors and the fractals representing the mythe behind him. It’s damn close to perfect.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 331 pages
Published June 6th 2015 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published June 2015)
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern

Guardians of the Pattern series
4 authors, 4 primary works

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

Guardians of the Pattern Series:

Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern 0.5)
Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2.0)
Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

Guardians of the Pattern Series in the order they were written and should be read.

 

 

A BJ Review: Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

Gremlin's Last Run coverCaptain Rhys Tyler is so sensitive to the feelings and pain of others that it’s impossible to be around them without drugs. A simple human touch can send him into a seizure. As the Captain and sole crew of the Gremlin, he hauls cargo through the emptiness of interstellar space. His ship, left to him by his deceased uncle, is all that’s allowing him to survive… and now the Gremlin is coming to the end of her useful life.

Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent whose latest mission has gone terribly wrong. He’s managed to escape after being kidnapped and used for illegal psi experimentation, but the after effects have left him psi crippled, in pain, and with very limited options available to get home and report to his superiors.

Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin and is surprised when the Captain turns out to be another psion, a powerful empath that has no idea what he is. As the two men struggle to keep themselves (and each other) alive, they form a bond much deeper than either had expected.

This story grabbed me by the throat from page one and would NOT let me go, something I cannot honestly say about very many books. The pacing is outstanding, enough so that it was hard for me to put it down.

Alek and Rhys are nuanced, real, and vividly alive. I’d already met Alek in a prior book, and I adored Rhys from the start. When faced with a stowaway, Rhys’s initial response was to either send him into space or return him to the authorities, but one look at the man’s face as he pleas for his help chances his mind. Not enough that he isn’t still careful though. When Alek discovers that Rhys is an psion and explains it to him, offering him a way to finally live a more normal life, Rhys understandably doesn’t immediately believe him, which I’d expect from his background. But as they work together to help each other, the development of the feelings and trust between them seems natural and right. I adored Rhys. He grew so much, going from being almost suicidal due to his lonely and hopeless existence, to learning to trust and love. And I adored his voice in this story.

By the way, for those who find series in which many people who know each other are gay to be unrealistic, then please read this book. Because yeah, there are a large number of gays in this particular organization, but this author tells you exactly why in a totally believable way that I just adored.

This series continues to draw me deeper and deeper into a fascinating world and the characters that populate it. I’ve read other series that concentrate on one couple in each book with nearly the entire focus being on the main couple and others just cameos, but that isn’t the case in this series. In each book, I’m getting to know new guys, but there are also the old favorites that are still growing and changing. No little snippets thrown in just as an update here. It’s a richly interwoven world where everyone we keep seeing nuances of character revealed that we didn’t see before.

For example, I enjoyed book one, but Kyn was quite an asshat at times and hard for me to love. In this book, I can see the growth in him that has come from accepting himself as he is and also from being in a stable loving relationship over the few years since the prior book. And Luka… wow, he has matured and is now a teacher who is a far cry from that frightened lost boy. Yet he’s the same in all the ways that make him uniquely him. Two of my favorite characters have yet to have their own story, and I can’t wait. One of them was a very bad boy in this book, which gave me some grief, but only intrigues me more. I adore anti-heroes and cannot wait to see the world through his eyes.

The cover shows Rhys on the Gremlin and does a good job of setting the tone of the story.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) |  Amazon |Buy It Here

Book Details:
ebook, 299 pages
Published October 20th 2014 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published October 19th 2014)
ISBN139781311912886
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #2.0

Guardians of the Pattern series

4 works, 4 primary works

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

Guardians of the Pattern Series:

  • Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern  0.5)
  • Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, #1)
  • Gremlin’s Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern #2.0)
  • Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, #3.0)

 

A BJ Review: Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern #1) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

PSI Hunter CoverIn 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

Book Details:

ebook, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781311081643
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.smashwords.com/books/view/414055
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #1.0

 

A BJ Review: Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern #0.5) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Facing the Mirror coverSpecial Agent Cameron Asada has spent four years undercover in an attempt to bring down a large drug cartel the Sapphire Guild. The things he’s been forced to do in order to maintain his cover are weighing heavily on his soul, and Cam is beginning to have trouble facing the man he now sees in his mirror.

Cam finally has the opportunity to get what he’s been striving for the last four years, working for the boss himself. There Cam meets Miko, the boss’s beautiful slave whom he uses to reward his associates for jobs well done. Miko is a psion who does not speak, but he is very loud in Cam’s head when he’s hurt/used. Can Cam ignore the young psion’s pain and keep to his mission? And who is the mysterious, powerful and quirky Draven? Friend or foe?

A well-written free short that acts as a prologue or prequel to the series. This introduces many interesting characters who are key players in the Guardians of the Pattern series, which I highly recommend. When I first read this short, I hadn’t explored this author much or the rest of the series. Months later, after reading other books and finally picking up book #1 of this series, I found myself compelled to go back and read this on again. Now that I wasn’t expecting it to be a complete romance in itself, I came away with a much different feel for the story. Read alone, I rated this as a 4 star story and wrote this: “I was most intrigued by Draven and Miko and would like to learn more about them. This particular short story wasn’t actually a romance and was quite dark. But intriguing.”

After reading book one and meeting Cameron and Miko again under different circumstances, I have a better understanding and insight that lends an extra depth to the story. I re-read it specifically seeking to refresh that background, of these two.

What I hadn’t expected was how much more I noticed than on the first read… and how very, very much I need to read more about the mysterious Draven.

This isn’t a romance and it isn’t a sweet story. Its dark and there is non-con. But it is a tightly woven, intense short story with excellent characterization, mystery, action, and world-building. Rare to see a short capture all that so well. For that reason, I re-rated this to 4.5 rounded up. I love the title, too.

The cover by Cinchbug shows a man looking into a cracked mirror. The haunted stare of the man seriously creeps me out, which is the point because the man is seeing himself slowly turning into a monster.

Sales Link: Amazon Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 53 pages
Published 2013
edition languageEnglish
seriesGuardians of the Pattern