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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed

Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (370 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

The first book included in Infected: Prey hooked me from the first chapter with its gritty and fascinating voice coupled with a unique and well developed world building style that was staggering in its completeness.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started reading this book but I ended up being totally and completely engrossed in the story. This is not a sex romp; this is a real honest to goodness who-done-it story with missing people, a race against time, bad cops, murder and a couple of heroes with serious personality quirks. Ms. Speed has written an awesome, well written and vividly detailed story that impressed me with its scope and the humanness of its characters despite the fact that they are more than human. I liked the originality of how they came to be shifters and how society views them and I appreciated how the author included snippets of current technology to give readers a connection to the world building that goes on during the tale. Ms. Speed didn’t miss a trick in this story and the suspense and mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. I think I might have even bitten off a nail at one point, it was so intense. This is my kind of book and I’m ever so happy I read it.

Roan is a strong character in so many ways. That is why it is humbling to see him have all this insecurity. I think for some reason, he doesn’t see himself as deserving of love and yet he seeks it. He’s afraid of it, afraid of admitting his love for Paris but he is more afraid of living without him. The author did a wonderful job of expressing just how deep and profound Roan’s love is for Paris not so much in words but by his actions. He is worthy of being called a hero because of how he acts, what he does and the reasons for it. And yet, he never sees himself as anything other than flawed. I have great empathy for him.

Paris is the unspoken love of Roan’s life. He understands Roan as best he can even with Roan being as tight lipped as he is. I love the fact that the author wrote Paris’ character as the one everyone underestimates. He’s a great counterbalance to Roan and I enjoyed his short bursts of POV although the book is mostly told in Roan’s point of view. When it’s Paris’ turn, it packs a powerful punch because it’s at critical times during the story.

I liked both men and I really hope they get their complete happily ever after. As it is, I’d call it a happily for now because there are still issues to work out between the men but the love is there, the case gets solved and it was a thrill ride from beginning to finish. I am really wowed by this story and it gets a major recommend from me.

The Second Book of Infected: Prey had Roan and Paris on another case. There were characters from the previous story in this one and they played a role in setting up the plot and making it work. The drama, intense environment, descriptive wording and dialogue were just as gritty and powerful as in the first book. And yes, there were fights, shoot outs and blood spilled in this tale as well.

I got to know Roan a bit more and was pretty impressed with how the author handled Roan’s virus morphing into what the experts say is impossible. Paris got to show more of what he’s made of and it was great to see his character expand and be more of an equal partner to Roan in the investigative business. Roan finally reveals how he got one of his major scars and I felt like Paris did after the revelation. It was emotionally tugging that’s for sure. As in the first book this story also ends with a happily for now but it’s bittersweet because Paris reveals something during the course of this story that makes me gnash my teeth in frustration. The author simply cannot end the series here. I need to find out what happens next. I really like Paris and Roan and I understand the reality of the situation based upon the world building that Ms. Speed has set up, but I don’t have to like it nor do I want to accept it. The author has created two well fleshed out and sympathetic characters that I really connected with and I want to visit with again. I like them both too much to let them go. I think other readers will feel the same.

What happens next, Ms. Speed? I crave their happy for now turning into a happily ever after. The next book is an auto-buy for me without a doubt because I simply have to know.

1 comment:

andys said...

Thanks so much for the terrific review! I hope Infected: Bloodlines doesn't disappoint. Or at least doesn't make you want to kill me. :D