Luke is dying of leukemia. When a naked man shows up at his door, followed by some strange looking wolf-like creatures, Luke can do nothing but trust the guy is not going to end up being the psycho he fears he is—especially since he claims he knows Luke’s deceased brother, Koda. What begins as a strange type of rescue from the terrifying beasts that seem to want to kill Luca turns into a mad flight for survival with the man who only knows that he must keep Luca safe at all costs.
As the epic paranormal novel, NoX, unfolds we discover that scientists have unlocked a deadly and ancient ichor named Anubis that can reanimate the dead and turn them into sophisticated killing machines. NoX is the sole survivor of a cell group of betas whose alpha, Koda, has given him a final mission—keep his brother, Luca, safe at all costs. Now with the military, a rogue cell of Anubis, and a doctor who regrets ever playing with life and death on their heels, NoX and Luca try to keep one step ahead of death all the while fighting the strange attraction for one another that they feel growing stronger every day.
Honestly, I am not sure where to begin this review. I can say with certainty that author Adrienne Wilder takes the wolf-shifter paranormal trope and sets it on its ear with this novel. This book is creative, brilliantly crafted, exciting, and absolutely riveting. I devoured this 500 plus page book in two days and it took me that long only because I had to sleep and eat occasionally. While there were several passages that had some fairly hefty science jargon and explanations of everything from quantum physics to the bending of time and space, I never felt overwhelmed by the explanations offered up. Instead, these moments in the text blended seamlessly with the action. There were definitely some very violent and gore-filled passages, but the author forewarns us that is going to happen and again they never felt gratuitous, but rather part of the attempt by NoX to keep he and Luca alive and safe.
Perhaps what I can say seemed a bit much to me may have been the physical aspect of Luca and NoX’s growing attraction. Here we were made to understand that the Anubis needed the physical contact and sometimes explosively violent sex in order to bond with what it perceived as its alpha. Since Luca almost handily became that for NoX, as did his brother before him, the idea that sex was going to be frequent was made very clear form the onset of the story. Still, it was a bit shocking to see them going at it pretty much every moment they could—typically after they had just been nearly killed by other rogue Anubis. However, again, (I feel like a broken record) it all fit into the overall story arc and therefore, while it did seem excessive at times, it still made sense.
Author Adrienne Wilder creates a paranormal thriller unlike any I have ever read. The action was non-stop and literally my heart was in my throat for most of this book. I fell in love with Luca immediately. From his resignation that death was inevitable, to his desire to experience everything he could before his passing, which included sex with NoX, you could feel his desperation and despair. But the way in which he selflessly chose to calm the beast within NoX and make him feel accepted and cared for was just intensely beautiful. If Luca was a tragic figure then NoX was by far the story’s tragic hero. So aware of the deadly creature that threatened to take him over every moment he was close to Luca and yet determined to maintain control and never harm the young man, NoX had been ripped from death only to be brought back to a living nightmare of a life. Anyone else would have lost his hold on humanity but not NoX—he fought with all he was to keep what little was left of his soul alive and whole.
NoX by Adrienne Wilder is a breathtaking saga with an ending that leaves little question that a sequel is possible. While there is a definite happy for now moment for NoX and Luca, the danger to them is far from over. I truly hope that there is another story set in this world yet to come from this gifted author. Until then, I encourage you to grab up a copy of this amazing book.