Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Storm That Is Sterling

A decent read.  If you liked the first Zodius novel, The Legend of Michael, you'll probably like the second one too.  In terms of tropes, you're looking at a special-ops/soul-mate/genetic experimentation romance thriller series.

The premise for the series is that a group of soldiers were inculcated with an alien virus (against their knowledge) that gave them special powers.  They're all called GTech.  They can all wind-walk and heal extremely fast, and some of them also get additional unique powers.  Each book features a new romantic pair as well as movement in the various plot lines.

In the first book, some of them turned evil and then the evil group split up and the government doesn't trust any of the turned super soldiers, so we're looking at a setting that includes at least four major factions: US government, Zodius (bad supernatural soldiers), Renegades (good supernatural soldiers), and General Powell's camp (he who started the mess in the first place).  It has a definite soap opera complexity to the story arcs.

Sterling, the titular hero, was portrayed in the last book as technically gifted, laid-back, charming, and a trusted lieutenant of the Renegades.  As a character, he was a nice foil to the previous hero, who was all dark and brooding.  In this one, we find out that behind the charm is a troubled past (broken home life) and current baggage (insecurity because his powers aren't as strong as the other GTechs).  I know, you're shocked to discover the angst.  The heroine is his high-school crush.  She's also a brilliant geneticist wanted by at least two of the sides.  And she's dying dying from cancer.  Oh, the humanity! Of course, they're soul mates (called life-bonds in this series), and there are hurdles of both the emotional and action type to overcome before HEA and defeating of the bad guys.

Anyway, I know there are other series out there with the same combination of tropes, but the only one I can recall right now is Lora Leigh's Breeds series.  I think the science is pretty comparable in terms of believability.  Which is to say, hold your nose and chant "suspension of disbelief" a few times before contemplating any scientific explanations or plot points.  So far, at least, Jones writing is more even than Leigh's in terms of quality, and her approach to sex is more mainstream (e.g. less porno-with-a-side-of-plot).

I don't think I'll be able to remember much about this book a week from now - there's nothing that distinguishes it from similar series.  But, if you're addicted to series like this, then this seems like a good one to be your fix.

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