Mari wakes naked, on the cold metal floor of a cargo cage. She has been captured by an alien trapper, Ekkatt, a man of Attun-Ra. Her destination is the meat market. Her only hope of survival is to connect with Ekkatt. She never expects to fall in love with him.
First thing I have to say is: I so love science fiction! I really adore this genre with all those little techy things in the mix with great action and a bit of romance or even erotica. I always enjoy reading about the social problem in foreign societies as a mirror of our own- present or past. In my opinion, we grab these things better when we have a little distance to the ones that are accused. And isn't it a nice way when the accused are sexy big men with long silky blue-black hair and yellow feline eyes? Very nice way in my opinion.
The book starts a bit alarmingly. We wake up together with Mari in a room full of naked woman in cages, not only human ones but many different species, and two hunky men watching over them. First thing I thought was: OMG not the Stockholm syndrome again! But after that I thought: isn't it greedy to have a whole ship of sex-slaves? But as it shows it's not the way my dirty mind pictured it. The women aren't kidnapped to being raped, their even worse future is being sold on the meat market. Yep, you read that right! There are species enjoying nothing more than a human steak. So ick!!!! But okay, we need a bad party in this book. Even worse for me was the attitude of the "smugglers"(who are vegetarians by the way- love that part). They think humans are nothing more than animals without any feelings and higher cognitive functions. You feel charmed already?
So how does it work out that Mari fells in love with one of them? Ekkatt isn't like the most of his species. He sees from the first minute after Mari woke up on the ship that she is different than all the other women he has transported. She's brave and totally able to form coherent sentences and to argument with logic. Why is that so surprisingly for him? Because no women ever before woke up on a transport.
Mari is a real strong heroine. She doesn't cower even in her severe situation and tries to be brave enough to live through it all. Her will to live is unbreakable and she sees her chance in the handsome Ekkatt. She notices that he isn't convinced of her being a stupid animal. So she grabs all her wit and courage to make him free her or at least help her.
Ekkatt's character is unbelievable open for someone being raised in such a society. He is headstrong and has a pure moral attitude towards life no matter the species. As soon as he realizes what the authorities plan to do to Mari he has to do something to prevent this. This decision is a really big one and if someone catches him he will be punished by death. But nothing will sway him from this point.
These two have seriously chemistry going on and I'm again surprised that luckily the aliens fit us anatomically. LOL I enjoyed reading about these two. Their interactions are lovely and they are both so concerned for each others- that just melted my heart. The way Mari showed Ekkatt what kissing is was adorable. I loved that Ms. Barrett also include a language barrier between our couple. The way Mari described some words to Ekkatt was just hilarious.
As you may have noticed, I really liked this book but 2 things were a bit of a letdown for me. First, there was a revelation from Mari's near personal past I found a bit too much. I thought this(Sorry I can't say what) would influence her decisions differently but I can accept that as a minor fault. The bigger problem for me was the ending. It was kind of abrupt and I still had so many open questions. It was a bit unsatisfying to end this book at exactly this point. But I hope we will get a second book in this world that will hopefully answer my questions.
After all I recommend this book to all of you with at least a small interest in science fiction with the right amount of social struggles and a hot romance in the mix.
To learn more about Julia Rachel Barrett please visit her website here and her blog here.
And please come back next Tuesday(Jan 19th) for a guestpost and a giveaway with Julia.
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