I’ve read this book twice, first the normal way some years ago, and I loved it, now the audiobook some years later, and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t feel all the emotions I felt the first time. But the difference in opinion could’ve been because I’ve gotten pickier, because of my mood, because I knew what to expect, or just because I didn’t love the narrator, so I’m struggling to decide how to rate and review this.
*Warning, if you really want absolutely nothing that could be considered a spoiler, don’t read this review, It mentions a couple things you don’t immediately find out (what type of supernatural one of the characters is, how the romance plays out). But I don’t consider them spoilers, and they’re things I was glad to know because they made me more interested.*
I didn’t review books back when I read this the first time, but I did keep personal notes, so here are some of those, verbatim from past Kristen:
“This book was so good! It was dark, intense, and emotional. The relationships between the characters, especially between Vance and Simon, were heart-wrenching. I loved it. AND THEN THAT SCENE WITH THE BOOKS. The characters were great—all different from each other, likeable. The plot wasn’t a major thing until late in the book, but I knew what the end goal was, and I wasn’t concerned with the general lack of plot because the book was VERY character-driven and focused on their emotions and relationships. The writing sucked me in and set the mood. The whole thing sucked me in.
“The one issue I had was the way the romance played out. It was enjoyable and tingly when Chris and Vance were getting to know each other and falling in love. It was heart-wrenching when I realized Vance and Simon both still loved each other. It was unbelievable though when suddenly Simon and Chris were also in love, and Simon and Vance were back in love, and everyone was in love. It was too sudden and too easy. It didn’t make any sense WHY Simon and Chris had these feelings for each other all the sudden.”
This second time around, I felt that, despite the bleak setting and situation the characters were in, this was a sweet, surprisingly not-dark, low-angst, polyamorous romance. (Really goes to show how the way you view things can change!) The characters had some minor hiccups in their relationship, but they found their way to love pretty easily. Some of Chris’s psychic powers were cool. There was a vampire, and I always like those! I had two real issues though. One, again, I didn’t fully feel the feelings between the men; it felt rushed and like they just ended up together because they were all each other had in that hell hole. And two, I felt like they could’ve escaped a lot sooner and easier had they just communicated better and made better decisions.
As for the audiobook, I can’t say I loved it (but do keep in mind I’m a very picky listener). I didn’t love the voices the narrator (Jack LeFleur) did for the characters, but it was easy to tell characters apart, and the non-dialogue narration parts were good.
Overall though, what past and present me seem to agree on is that the book had likeable characters, a nice M/M/M romance, and a good story!
*Although this is part of a series, it works perfectly well as a standalone, but I do recommend continuing (especially if you like Matt as much as I did) as I liked the second book even more and it ties up some loose ends.*
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*
4.5 Stars (1st read – 2016)
4 Stars (2nd read – 2020)
Anyone who likes M/M/M relationships, paranormal romance, and slow, character-driven books.
More Books in the Series:
Data Collection by Dalhousie, Dr. Donna L.
New, confused. Powers unknown.
No longer viable in the test pool, he remains in isolation.
Reclassified to staff status. Useful, malleable.
Confined in a sterile research facility and treated like a lab rat, Chris is alone and terrified. His special powers are his only escape, allowing him to psychically connect with other patients.
Alone in his cell for longer than he can remember, Vance is hungry. When newcomer Chris makes a mental connection, Vance is intrigued and wants more than just conversation.
Chris and Vance seek comfort with each other, and with Simon–the only staff member who’s shown them a hint of compassion. Their relationships develop during stolen moments, and they turn their thoughts to escape. But as Dr. Dalhousie’s madness spirals, more than cell walls threaten to keep them apart…
Book Author: Christine Price
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: The Society
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4
Series/Standalone: Standalone within a Series