Earth is dying. For those who live on the surface of the once vibrant planet, the only chance of long-term survival is the Project Mars lottery. It means getting off world and a new life on the Red Planet. Ben Stockton signed up for the lottery before he met and married the man of his dreams, Dain Cardile. But Dain has been to Mars and knows it’s far from the promised land. He’s hidden a lot of his past from Ben and now that past is threatening to destroy them both.
With a shadowy government agency pulling the strings, Dain and Ben are forced apart. Dain is sent to Mars and back into a life he wants to forget. And Ben finds himself the victim of a bizarre medical experiment and thrust involuntarily into a growing rebellion. It will take all the strength and courage Ben and Dain have to find one another again… and to deal with an unintended consequence.
Future, Betrayed was a bit of a challenge to review. The plot is somewhat original and I have to give the authors credit for creating some palpable tension for readers, but honestly the book feels like kind of a train wreck. The writing, at the base level, is fine, but the story is jagged and lacks transitioning. Huge plot ideas develop and disappear in the same chapter and, as readers, we’re just supposed to deal with it. Events aren’t given time to breathe or develop naturally. For example, Dain is convinced at one point that he has a brain tumor and discovers he’s being brainwashed. That’s fine, but it happens over the course of a few pages and readers are just sort of dragged along with action. It made for a frustrating read and there was never time to really absorb or process the overall storyline.
Additionally, Dain and Ben are rather one-dimensional characters. I found it hard to engage or care about either of them. They read as flat and lifeless. They were also a terrible couple. They’ve been married for a year, but apparently haven’t actually talked during that time. That Ben has joined the lottery was news to Dain. And Ben knew nothing about Dain’s years as a government enforcer. Really? I get that everyone has secrets, but the lack of knowledge these two men had about one another strained credulity.
Future, Betrayed started with a unique plot, but that quickly fell victim to pacing problems and an overall story that was too choppy for enjoyment. The characters are fairly one-dimensional and their relationship lacks grounding in reality. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work for me.
Note: After reading the book, I learned that it is the second in a series. (The review request did not have that information.) It doesn’t change my review, but I just wanted to make it clear to other readers.