A sordid tale that is kind of like Starman
meets Natural Born Killers.
Firstly- I have to warn anyone that if you can't handle reading about extreme sex, or horrific elements, or slavery, or non consensual sex, or rape this book is not for you. Which isn't to say you have to enjoy those things necessarily to enjoy this book but if you're sensitive don't torture yourself lol.
I think this book is about 600 pages long (according to all the commentary I've read online- the page count is not listed on Amazon where I purchased this, it's a Kindle book) and I read this over the weekend. A lot of times I will complain about the length of a book, usually because a lot of indie books are too short. I hate that because the ideas and plot could be explored further and developed more. Even at however long this is 28,000 words or whatever it is it felt perfect in length.
Two male aliens, two human women, all on Earth striving toward opposing goals.
First you meet Kane- he's an amoral, selfish, dangerous Jotan criminal bent on making as much money as possible off of human slavery and collection of dopamine culled directly from humans. As you can imagine, culling dopamine directly from a human is hardly a pretty process and kills said human. Kane was raised as a slaver and knows his craft expertly. I don't know how Smith does this magical thing- but even though Kane is your enemy, he's the worst sort of alien you'd ever want to meet, he's a sociopath, you just can't help but at least enjoy his performance. He is the best character in the book by far. (They're all good though). Kane doesn't apologize for who he is, doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks and does what he wants. He is intelligent, cunning and frankly, quite cool. He's like a comic book character- even though I hated every damned thing he did I couldn't help but admire him. I despise slavery and always root for the underdog in stories, films, video games and in life yet I couldn't help myself from admiring that Kane knows what he is and just IS. He doesn't grandstand like a fool and make cackling speeches he just DOES (One of the best scenes that display what I'm describing is the Bike bar...quintessential Kane). Kane lands on Earth to collect enough dopamine to develop more Vahst (the drug that Jotans use like Viagra) and fund his criminal empire. The major problem he encounters is the incredibly hot summer on Earth. He lands in an area that he recalls from his father's slaver hunting trips where it is supposed to be cool. This is critical for Jotans since they go into Heat when the weather is too hot- and need to mate or else experience pain (ah I know men wish they could claim that LOL) so he runs into a young prostitute, Raven, who is having an altercation with two fool john's and kidnaps her. Raven is terrified but brave- she is scrappy and intelligent and deals with Kane and his horrors to the best of her ability. Raven is a strong young woman and she and Kane pull a Bonnie and Clyde plowing through humans on Earth.
The counterpart to Kane, is Tagen. Tagen is an extremely honorable officer from the Jotan forces tasked to pursue Kane and bring him back for justice. Tagen has the same issue that Kane has- he experieces an unprecedented Heat and his human "host" Daria and he have to come to terms with this. Daria is a repressed traumatized woman who lives like a hermit and a great target for an alien that needs to navigate Earth with so little knowledge. I think that Daria and Tagen are the weakest point in the book but they aren't annoying to read about (so much) and don't drag the book down too much. The problem with this couple is that Tagen is so honor bound and earnest and Daria is an idiot that cannot stop cleaning and apologizing and just won't stop blubbering. There. I said it. It's my major complaint for this book. If you read this, I think you'll find it highly ironic that Daria has spent years holing away like a scaredy cat..meanwhile Raven ..well you'll see what Raven goes through and she just keeps on keeping on like a boss. Everyone deals with things differently, yes, but I still had to laugh at this glaring difference between the two women. You know, Daria is yanking out a weed and screaming at Tagen I'M AN UGLY LINDARIA!!!!! Meanwhile Raven is crying because her body is responding positively to being raped. Yeah- it really makes you want to send Daria an email with an image of "1st World Problems!".
The Jotans have quarantined Earth permanently and send Tagen off on his mission telling him that he will not be officially acknowledged if things fall apart for him on Earth. Since Earth is quarantined the Jotans have severely outdated information about humans. The only humans that normal mainstream Jotans know about or come into contact with are recovered slaves from the like of Kane's brethren. Humans are being trafficked between a few different alien races and the Jotans are against this like Americans are "against" illegal immigration. The other races consider humans inferior. Those humans that are recovered slaves are stuck on a moon and left to their own devices- they want nothing to do with thier alien overlords. But they can never go back to Earth since it's quarantined and the aliens don't want Earth to know exactly what's going on.
So the hunt is on- and who will win?
The ending was awesome IMO this book was a whole lot of fun.
I agree with other reviewers on Amazon that said "if you like this kind of book you'll love it..if you don't like this kind of book you'll not want to read this". HAHA- so very true.
I'm going to read some other stuff by this author and see if she has more that I like.