Sunday, February 9, 2014

ARC Review: The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell

The Experiment
From the blurb:

In the distant future, humans wage war against the alien planet Caeorleia, with no tactic off-limits if it will help the humans get their hands on Caeorleia’s resources. Ask Ryker. He thought he volunteered for a simple experiment that would help his government in the war. He didn't realize sadistic doctors would turn him into the experiment—by injecting him with blood from a captured Caeorleian, Seral Iorflas.
Nor did Ryker realize he’d be sent to sabotage a planet full of the very beings his world is battling, beings who kill humans on sight. But then, thanks to the experiment that irrevocably changed him, he isn’t exactly human any longer—and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he's on.
Heather's rating:

This book will have wildly different ratings depending on the reader. Some people will love this one, unfortunately, I didn't.

From the blurb, I anticipated a gritty alien-torture sci-fi with a slow-burn romance. That isn't what this book is like at all, so be forewarned. It is much more similar to yaoi-style books: Insta-love (or close to it), forced mating, a top and bottom with defined roles... you get the idea. However, I actually like some yaoi books, so I could have adjusted to the change from my expectations to the reality of the book. My main issue is that this book is very similar in concept and feel to "The Last Pure Human" by Twisted Hilarity (, which is unfortunately no longer listed on Goodreads because the librarians have been removing unfinished works. However, "The Last Pure Human" was much better in every way, I'm afraid. I'll try not to compare the stories too much and just analyze this on its own, but it will be a struggle because I compared the two stories often while reading.

I'll go into some of my biggest problems with this story. For one, I didn't feel the chemistry between the two MCs. Ryker was way too accepting of Seral, especially considering his history of abuse while in captivity. Ryker seemed to just glide into a healthy relationship and welcome his new role as alien-husband with ease. I wanted much more emotion, more tension there. I felt like it read really false. I think that even though they had binding marks on their bodies, the romance should have been more slow-burn.

I also had some issues with the world-building. It felt underdone and half-hearted. Except from a few strange fruit and animals, Ryker didn't seem too surprised at the alien world. He fell into step too easily and I think it was a missed opportunity to add some excitement into the story.

What I really struggled with, though, was the style. It felt a soap opera-ish and I didn't love the shifting first person POVs. I sometimes love first person POV, but here, it felt like the easy way out. I felt like I was being told, rather than shown, how the characters were feeling. I also often found myself growing bored and it took some real effort to force myself to finish.

Like I said earlier, I think many will really like this book. It isn't bad, just not my tastes and not what I was expecting. I think fans of books like Slave Auction by Stormy Glenn will enjoy this story.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Buy this book: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Kobo

Thanks for reading my review, friends!!!

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