Series: Zodius #1
Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
I really enjoy it when an author introduces me to a whole new world with good strong characters and a plot that holds my attention. I think this is because there are elements of several genres represented in this start to a new series. It is SciFi-ish because the super soldiers are created from alien DNA. The conspiracies and plotting make it like a romantic suspense. And it has the feel of a paranormal romance series.
The story develops from the point, Cassandra Powell, a social worker-type person comes to work at a top secret military base (Area 51 exists in this story, folks) to work with the soldiers who have been transformed into something more- something other. The men were hand-picked for assignment and then instead of getting immunization shots they were pumped full of alien DNA turning them into super-soldiers with skills and abilities far beyond a human’s. Cassandra comes not at the beck and call of the general who happens to be her father (and a real piece of work let me say) out of duty, but because her father was the one who planned and perpetrated the whole thing against these men all in the name of his ambition which he cloaked as patriotism and duty to country.
Cassandra is slowly learning about the G-TECHS (name given to these new breed of soldiers) and knows that they are fast, powerful and able to heal quickly. They have the ability to Windwalk (teleport in the wind just by thinking their destination almost instantaneously) and some are even developing other abilities that vary. Another affect that is discovered as the men are dating and seeing women is that there is such thing as a lifebond between the man and a woman who is his match. The woman develops a tattoo like mark on the back of her neck and becomes G-TECH when the man bonds with her.
Shortly after her arrival, Cassandra meets and attracts the attention of the legendary Michael one that even other G-TECHs treat with a healthy respect. There is immediate attraction between them and it is not long before they form a relationship. Michael and Cassandra learn that she is his lifebond just before everything changes rapidly due to the plotting of her father and another. And that is the point where the story jumps into the thrilling romantic suspense with twisty ‘who can she really trust’ type plotting.
I really enjoyed the story- both the first part where the world of the G-TECH is given explanation and the second part where the fall out of greed and meglomania leave a mad scramble to acquire the tools needed to fight a three-cornered war. The only thing that I didn’t like was how it seemed that certain key moments were either not told in the story or were just referred back to in small flashbacks. It seemed great detail was given to explaining aspects of the world-building while the romance between Michael and Cassandra in those early days was told in fragments like it was assumed that the reader would fill in the gaps which I did to a certain extent. For example, they went from Cassandra saying ‘no’ to having coffee with Michael because she needed to keep things professional to dates that lasted overnight. Later in the story, there were references back to things happening early on between them that happened during the gaps. It didn’t destroy the story for me; it just caused a few minor disconnects with the romance element for me.
The characters were really great. The wounded hero types are a soft spot for me and Michael does have a dark side that he is constantly fighting to be a good man for Cassandra and he is constantly the man who has the dirty hard jobs. Cassandra got my sympathies too because she was used and betrayed more than once by someone close to her. After Michael and Cassandra re-connect, their relationship is more like a personal war as they both struggle back and forth first with trust and then with fears. Some times this relationship struggle caused the pace to bog down a bit, but not so bad that the two got annoying because I really wanted these two hurting people to get together.
There are many secondary characters in this story that are very well written from the villains I loved to hate, to the duped villains that I pitied, to the good guys. I look forward to seeing where this series will go.
I can recommend this book to a wide audience that includes Sci-Fi Romance, Paranormal Romance and Romantic Suspense lovers.
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