I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Below is the summary of the book, available for purchase now, and my review.
“Our world is no longer our own.
We engineered a race of superior fighters–the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities.
Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.
In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource and their only means for resurrecting their society: information. Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.”
What I’d Pay: $12
This book was better than I expected overall, but it had some awkward moments. It is described as a sci-fi romance, and I definitely agree with that description, although I was pleasantly surprised at how well done the sci-fi part of the story was. I’ve read so many books where the romance becomes the entire focus and the world-building and conflict isn’t quite up to par, but this book does not have that issue. I was very intrigued by the setting and legitimate moral questions this book raises about the possibilities of future genetics and the interactions between humans and genetically engineered super-humans. The romance side of the book, however, is a little less of a home-run for me. There was definitely chemistry between the main characters, but it was one of those instantaneous connections that are just a little unbelievable for me. Plus, throughout the book there are very exotic “inter-species” relationships, since pure humans are dying out and the intensive genetic manipulations have led to multiple, mostly-human individuals. If that’s something that bothers you, this is not the book for you. Finally, there are some graphic sex scenes towards the end of the book that make me rate this one an R, and kind of took away from the rest of the book for me. I liked the plot and characterization so much that the sudden input of those particular scenes near the end seemed a little out of place and jarring. Sometimes, I think leaving a little to the imagination is not a bad thing.
Bottomline: This was a fun, exciting sci-fi read with a strong romantic element to the story and I enjoyed the book overall. If you like both sci-fi and romance, definitely pick this up, but if you are looking for something that is more of a traditional sci-fi, then the heavy romance and sexual elements of this book might not be for you.