on March 10, 2009
You know that you are reading something special when the main character has a distinctive, alluring voice starting on the very first page. This was my reaction to the first of the Psycop series, Among the Living, (available in print in "Psycop: Partners" with book 2 Criss Cross). My appreciation for the series has only grown with every installment. Victor identified as having psychic ability, seeing ghosts, is recruited to work as a police detective. He lives something of a half-life, trying to cope with his inner demons and the spirits he can't escape. Some ghosts are silly, some useful, some terrifying, but most are just sad. That is until Vic meets his lover Jacob in the first book, a fellow police officer who falls hard for the reclusive Victor. Because of his new relationship Vic is motivated to get more control of his life. Throughout the series the training facility where Victor was institutionalized and evaluated for psychic ability has been a threatening specter, prompting panic attacks at the mere thought of Camp Heliotrope. Finally, we learn about his trials at Camp Hell in the fifth, and best book in the series. Secrets are revealed, hot sex is had, hotter sex is had, the mysteries of the psychic universe deepen, and Vic's voice has never been snarkier and paradoxically more vulnerable. JCP's dialogue is flawless. Her language is spare, but lush with meaning and emotional complexity. This series should be read in order and is not to be missed!
on July 2, 2009
Camp Hell is the third in the PsyCop trilogy, following PsyCop:Partners and PsyCop:Property. All three of them were such a delightful read that I grieve that there is not a fourth. Camp Hell is the name given Heliotrope Station(one of the first Psych training facilities), by the psychics who were "guests" behind it's razorwire fence. Victor Bayne was one of those guests and has the emotional scars to prove it. I adore Victor Bayne, the frail, flaky, totally disorganized,(often panic-stricken) psychic gay cop whose ability to see and communicate with ghosts is so completely off the charts that he has to fake a certain amount of "inability" so no one will know how talented he is. There are few people he trusts because he is aware that his talent puts him in danger of being exploited by unscrupulous people. He has to stay doped up most of the time to keep the ghosts at bay, and of course one of his problems is that he likes his drugs a little too much. He is shy, unsure of himself, doesn't have much to say, and is completely unaware that his slender, somewhat androgynous looks are extremely "hot." His big gorgeous hunk of a PsyCop boyfriend Jacob Marks is totally turned on by him (as reflected in their passionate and frequent lovemaking)and devoted to him, as well as infinitely patient with Vic's peculiarities. The plots in these stories are action packed, and exciting, the stories very erotic. These books are undoubtedly the best gay erotica I have read. Please, Jordan Castillo Price, give us another one!
on April 8, 2009
"Camp Hell" by Jordan Castillo Price continues the brilliant roller coaster ride of romance, fear, laughs, and horror that is the PsyCop series. This, the fifth book, has an ingenious, Kafkaesque plot that twists and turns unmercifully. I couldn't, nor did I want to, put it down. I sat up half the night compelled to take this journey with Victor Baynes, a PsyCop who survived the government's psychic testing facility that the graduates/ human guinea pigs call Camp Hell.
Victor is the antihero you can't help but love and root for; even his bad choices make complete sense, given his background of betrayal and abuse. What is wonderful about this character is that he doesn't wallow in his torturous past or become a victim of it--he is resourceful, impulsive and uses a wicked sense of humor (and anti-psychic medication) to deal with whatever life brings him. He is deeply impacted by his past but has the drive to survive at all costs.
His journey is intriguing and genuinely moving. He has only vague impressions of his time at Camp Hell, although he immediately breaks out in a panic attack at even the slightest recollection. His quest to uncover his past certainly reminded me of the old joke in the mental health field: "just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after me!" In this story, there is a very real sense of danger and paranoia that flavors all of Victor's relationships.
This book is filled with complex, vivid people, like Victor's lover Jacob, a masculine, sexy alpha male who is ferociously protective; their numerous sex scenes not only moved the plot forward, but also were aggressive, sensual, and hot! There is also `human lie detector' Carolyn, Crash the empathetic, sexy bad boy, owner of a new age shop and ex-lover of Jacob, and Zigler, Victor's PsyCop partner, a fireplug of a man who plays by the book, mostly. Even the fellow survivors of Camp Hell are fully developed and add excitement and motivation to the plot. The characters add such depth and realism to this tale; they feel familiar, like real people.
If you have read the previous four books in the series, what are you waiting for? Buy this book!!! If you have not read the previous four, they will add some depth but, even without reading them, this book will grab you by the ... well, lets just say you're in for a hell of a good ride! Highly recommended! Enjoy!
on April 5, 2009
This book is well written, engaging and quite a bit of fun. We get to see Vic as we've never seen him before (especially in his interactions with people from his past), and we learn something quite special about Jacob, as well. The new villains are pretty damn creepy- they don't easily fit into the 'bad guy' trope, which just makes them all the more disturbing.
This is a series which really should be read in order if you want to get maximum enjoyment from it. Also, this novel is quite a bit longer than the previous ones- it's probably about the length of books 1 and 2 combined.
on November 16, 2015
I really liked this one, definitely more than the previous book!
I loved learning more about Camp Hell and Victor's experiences, even though they were painful. The FPMP was spooky and interesting and I really do like that whole plot. I also adored Victor starting to come into his own, acknowledging that he'd been suppressing and downplaying his ability as a way of self-preservation. I really look forward to him become more comfortable with his ability.
I also thought Jacob's new-found ability was super cool, and I just loved his reactions.
Victor and Jacob's relationship felt more even in this one, though I do still have a bit of a problem with how Victor can't ever actually stay mad at Jacob, especially when Jacob is in the wrong. There was a fair bit of secret keeping on Victor's part in this book, but it was never for long, and he seemed more to do it in order to get his head around things, not because he didn't want Jacob to know. Which is more than Jacob could say last book...
Glad they finally talked about Crash, and *super* glad they said no threesome. I just really don't feel like it would have been a good fit for their relationship as we've seen it.
The sex continues to be hot, though I was pretty grossed out by the margarine-as-lube scene, not going to lie.
on March 20, 2009
Jordan Castillo Price continues to win my admiration with each book in the PsyCop series, and this one is no exception. I adore his two major characters, Vic and Jacopb, flawed as they both are. I enjoy seeing the two of them grow in their comfort with their abilities and their relationship with each book. And in this one, we learn a lot of new things about the psychic abilities of both characters. Can't say any more without giving things away, but Vic and Jacob are each very good for the other and together they are awesome. Despite some tension between them that doesn't go enirely away. Easily deserves five stars and a recommendation to read and devour.
on September 29, 2011
Jordan Castillo Price's entire PsyCop series is remarkable. "Camp Hell," the fifth in the series (which now stands at six) is even richer, more complex, darker and more exciting than its excellent precursors. Price is not the only author today of high-quality m/m genre fiction that goes way beyond romance. But her two central protagonists, the level-five medium Victor Bayne (he sees dead people) and his live-in psycop boyfriend Jacob Marks, have a relationship of such emotional and physical intensity that it threatens to scorch the page. Price also creates a perfectly recognizable modern world (Chicago), in which the presence of psychic abilities are understood, quantified, and turned to the purpose of protecting public safety.
But it's not nearly that simple. Not by a long shot.
In "Camp Hell" we see Victor begin to truly come to grips both with his past and with the mastery of his own psychic powers. As he seeks answers about the huge gaps in his memory from his years in the psychic training program, Camp Heliotrope, known by the inmates as Camp Hell, Victor learns that there are a few too many people interested in his abilities as a psychic. He also learns that a rogue cop he put in prison may hold the answers to the questions that keep him awake at night.
At the same time, Victor's relationship with Jacob continues to evolve, and he realizes that, for all Jacob's 007 power and charisma, there are things that he needs that only Victor can give him. "Camp Hell" is a love story in a mystery in a paranormal adventure. It's a great book and a worthy volume in this remarkable series.
on July 18, 2014
5 stars...this series just gets better and better.
Jacob, I've already apologized to you. I am sorry, you know I have trust issues.
Vic is fantastically fantastic. Just love him.
Crash has grown on me significantly.
This one has some super hot moments, two really...holy crap the kitchen! Wow *fans self*
Things between Vic and Jacob have been somewhat strained and there are issues of--not trust as much as just being open--(they are different things!), I think. I was happy to see how that played out in this one, makes the relationship seem more realistic, if somewhat frustrating at times. Vic had a lot going on, with his partner and work, and the FPMP, Jacob and the whole thing with Stefan. I gotta tell you, I wasn't real excited about meeting him. There were times when I wished the "memories/flashbacks" were...different, but maybe that's not fair. I think it was handled well and it didn't make me feel icky or anything.
Lots going on, not sure who to trust or what's going on. Jacob got some good news, and that turned into something pretty cool. The ending was pure perfection.
Overall, loved it! Will of course continue with this series
on July 30, 2016
oh god oh god oh god, it's so god. Thank you Gomez for doing such an incredible job with the audio!
It was every bit as good as I expected it would be. Love, love Vic and Jacob. Really exciting story and great character development.
Audio version - fantastic!
on December 14, 2014
Once again I am awestruck with this series. I can not step away from it.
This time Vic delves deep into the secrets of Camp Hell, the place where those with psychic abilities are detained(?) to research their abilities and train them. Vic starts down this road when he runs into his past in the form of Stefan, past cohort and lover. While trying to discover the source of the high mortality rate at a local hospital, much is revealed about Vic's past and present.
This time the story is packed with revelations, and a surprise concerning Jacob. It is fun, sexy and an exercise on paranoia. This is my drug of choice for my reading soul. Great, great series