Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: Zodius, Book 1
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*Novel provided by the publisher for a honest review
For more information please visit Lisa Renee Jones' website.
HE IS A LETHAL WEAPON…
One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.
HE IS HER ENEMY…AND HER DESTINY…
Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.
But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same.
The Legend of Michael, the first in the Zodius series by Lisa Renee Jones, is an action packed paranormal/science fiction romance that is a promising beginning to an adrenaline filled series. With great world building, alluring characters and never ending action and romance, this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat late in to the night!
The world building is without a doubt superbly done, mixing military aspects with an innate sense of the paranormal. Jones does a wonderful job of melding the 'before' and 'after' aspects of this paranormal force that was thrust upon unknowing soldiers creating a two part novel that introduces you to what these super soldiers begin as and what happens when power corrupts. But, it isn't only the soldiers that are able to suffer from this particular flaw, showing that alien DNA isn't the culprit behind the evil deeds that men are capable of. In fact, there come to be two distinct contingents between the GTECHS, the Renegades who fight on the side of humanity, the Zodius who fight to rule the world and then there's the human Military who wants to control everyone. As a result of all of this conflict there's a great atmosphere of tension and never ending action that really propelled the story forward at an extremely quick pace.
But, a lot of the tension and swift pace is due in large part to the characters. The bond between Michael and Cassandra is almost instantaneous creating a great spark that results in a scathing inferno of passion. Truly, I loved the connection between these two characters as well as their individual personalities...to a point. Obviously, Michael who is referred to as 'The Punisher' and 'The Dark One' is something of a tortured hero always so sure that he's a monster simply because his father was. Add to the mix that he is able to do what most others are incapable of doing, such as submerging himself in the Zodius ranks as Adam's second in command, and yet still cling to his humanity. He literally tortures himself throughout the novel desperate to drive away the one person that he actually loves for fear of hurting her. But, Cassandra is just as tough as he is, built from strong emotional fiber that allows her to take all the slings and arrows hurled her way from both Michael and his self deprecation and her father, a man with a serious god complex bent on creating and controlling a mutant race of soldiers that will ensure him complete control over everything. So needless to say, there is a lot of tension between these two despite the desperate passion between them. This is where I was a little thrown off. I understand hesitance and trying to protect the ones you love, but there was an ever present struggle of wills that simply boiled down to 'I'm leaving you, I'm not', 'I can't live without you, but I will', and my favorite 'I won't touch you, but I am'. After a while this back and forth became something of an irritation and I couldn't have been happier when they finally gave in to what their Lifebond and their hearts had been telling them all along.
The premise of the story was also quite intriguing. I loved the splash of science fiction in the aspect of alien DNA that was injected in to the soldiers and the twist of the supernatural that comes with their new abilities. The play between good and evil was definitely a bonus creating a thrilling battle that I can't wait to see more of. Jones' writing style played a large part in this, creating a flow and insight into the world and characters that had me hooked. I constantly wanted to know more about the origins of this DNA and ultimately what it means for the GTECHS and their Lifebonds. There is so much there to explore and as this is just the first taste, I have to say it explored quite a bit while leaving plenty hanging in the air for future novels.
My only real issue with this novel were the time jumps due to the fact that the novel takes place over long periods of time with a lot being glossed over. I know this is probably me just being picky, but I hate feeling like I'm missing something. For instance, I would have liked to know more about Michael's time with the Zodius. What happened? What was he made to do? How was he helping the Renegades in that time? Or Cassandra, how was she coping with thinking that Michael was a traitor? How did she feel knowing that her father was something of a traitor himself after allowing his power to corrupt him completely? These were all things I would have loved to know more about, but then again, I do realize this novel probably would have been the size of the dictionary if Jones had gone in to it all. So in the end, I suppose this issue is moot, but still, one that maybe will get delved in to with future novels.
Over all, this novel was a great read perfect for anyone who loves a splash of science fiction with a whole lot of action, romance and just a twist of the paranormal. I definitely can't wait until The Renegade Conquest comes out, the second novel in the Zodius series which promises to be even more compelling!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars
Advisory: Strong Sexual Content