Author: Alicia Cameron
Genre: m/m fiction/erotica
Print length: 476 pages
Publication date: January 31, 2013
Rating: Three Stars
Blurb: Life was never the same again after The Fall, especially for those born with certain gifts that set them apart from others. Gifts that doomed those like Wren to a life of slavery with no hope of escape, or turned a man like Jere into an unwilling master. When a fiery tragedy brings Jere into Wren’s life it becomes clear that this new master is like nobody else Wren has ever known. How does a slave protect himself from someone unpredictable? Can love really exist between master and slave, or will it destroy them both?
This sort of went along the usual ‘abused slave/kind master’ line. The mind gift vs. physical gift was definitely a good set up; it struck me as something that the author had devoted a great deal of thought to throughout the story. Some research was done into the historical facts about slavery too which was another thing I did not expect. You can actually feel the hopelessness of Wren’s situation; it’s nearly impossible to look at things from his perspective and not feel defeated. Jere on the other hand, despite being depicted as a down-to-earth man, a genuinely good man, sometimes fell a little flat. As a reader, you may find yourself having to piece his character back together.
I wasn’t fond of some of the graphic abuse happening with the supporting characters. Not so much for what it was, but for its lack of purpose. We already knew how things were being done among the cruel masters and their slaves. We already knew that Jere was a good man and would do anything he could to help. As an additional display for either of the above named, it felt like an overkill. As a story filler, it struck me as vaguely tasteless.
There was some humor here, I have to say. Not a lot, but well done either way. I chuckled in quite a few places.
The ending totally didn’t work for me. We spend all this time learning about the cruelty of the slave state system so we can… do nothing with it. It was a ‘We’ve reached an understanding and are now emotionally connected’ ending. Which is nice. Happy ending, yippy-yay. Still, you find yourself looking at the last page and thinking, ‘463 pages and over 9500 locations and this is where we are?’ It made the whole thing feel weirdly disconnected.
Mainly it was the dedication to the created world and the system within it that gained the most point with me, even if it left me feeling unsatisfied with the ending. I believe this author has potential.