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Strange Little Band: Two psychics. One mega-corp. All-around bad behavior. Paperback – November 5, 2010
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About the Author
A geologist turned web programmer turned writer and graphic artist, Nancy Brauer has yet to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. She's been writing, drawing, and cracking open rocks for as long as she can remember. Nancy divides her time between freelance web and graphic design, writing, and assorted DIY projects. Her latest hijinks are on display at http://nancybrauer.com.
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I loved it.
Quick synopsis: In what I can only guess is an alternate reality to our own, Magic, strong psychic abilities (including telekinesis& teleportation) exist, and off-world travel is no big thing. A giant, murky corporation called The Triptych corporation controls it's employees with an iron fist.
Dr. Shane Myers is a half-human/half alien who has been trying to break his contract with Triptych for 20 years, having been conscripted by them when he was just a teenager. Addison Harris is the Queen-Bee-Diva pet of the Corporation. A top tier psychic with frightening abilities, she and Shane lust for and despise each other. The Corporation has used Addison once before to try to breed her abilities. The result was her daughter Ashlynn. This time they impregnated her and used Shane's sperm to do so. Now Addison is pregnant with Shane's human/alien/psychic child. Despite the Corporation's express wish that she would be nothing but an incubator and that Shane is to never know, Addison psychically bonds with the unborn-baby and, in a moment of malice, she informs Shane he is a father. Surprisingly Shane becomes fiercely possessive of the child. This sets off a 12-year chain of events that involve love, betrayal, evil corporation influence, hate, other lovers, fighting, reconciliation, more love, precocious kids, crazed shape-shifting ex-lovers, revenge, retaliation, and finally triumph and Happily Ever After.
Normally, the constant push-pull tugging of fighting and "I hate you", "No I hate you more" would be romance novel kryptonite for me. I despise that as a plot-propeller. But, crazily, it works in this book. And it is exciting because never once do you doubt that Addison and Shane are in love -- no, obsessed with each other. Yeah, they are mean, manipulative, snarky (which...I LOVED) but their Romeo & Juliet-esque travails are interesting as heck to watch. The story moves at such a snapping pace that you really feel like you are simply holding on for the ride. Moments of 'WTF?' get interspersed with the general normalcy of two "divorced" parents who exchange their kid for the weekend.
This is indeed a romance novel. But it doesn't color within the romance novel lines. As a matter of fact, it feels like the authors are gleefully, willfully avoiding the lines, with great result imo. This is exactly the sort of envelope pushing, genre-bending read that I am always looking for.
I also like that the two kids, Ashlynn and Jake, play such a large part in the story. They are bred to be brilliant -- and they are -- and they demonstrate this often. But they are also kids who grew up with two battling parents and after a time decide to take matters in their own hands. Yeah, there are moments when there was a little 'Deus Ex Machina' going on, but I didn't mind because I liked that the action in the book is decisive. The authors have a good instinct about not allowing things to drag on so stuff doesn't get too repetitive and tedious. At a little over halfway through, Addison and Shane have a revelation and the 2nd part of the book changes tone and becomes less about them fighting each other and more about them fighting together.
I take a half star off because what had been tight writing and plotting largely fell apart rather spectacularly in the last two chapters. The pay-off works in the end, but i felt it was sloppy and a little more complex than it had to be.
All in all though, what an awesome ride!
Well Addison is artificially inseminated by Triptych and the donated sperm is Shanes. Although Addison is instructed not the have any contact with Shane she tells Shane about the baby just to be irritating.
As Shane is not 100%human and he's psychic like Addison, he senses the baby and decides he wants to be a daddy and a part of the baby's life.
Okay ....so let the drama begin!
Addison and Shane connect strongly with each other despite their initial dislike of each other. The baby causes them to have an almost addiction to each in every way possible (mentally, psychically,physically, emotionally).
Well no one is happy about that especially not the powers that be at Triptych and they are bad news!
This story is well written and faced paced. And even though the story takes place over years and years (we get to see the kid grow to a teenager during the course of the book) the story doesn't get dull.
Addison and Shane do get their HEA but the road to get there was beyond belief. And thats what made the story so great.
The world building was phenomenal, and the writing and storyline truly original.
The story pace was different, jumped characters without notice as well as time leaps without notice. Quite a bit of the book was spent separated (reason totally explained and believable based on pa of the book) but not my personal preference.
Also lots of sex with OW/OM which again not my preference.
Loved the kids and the role they played throughout the book.