Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Length: 15 hours, 11 minutes
Luca is alone and dying. His leukemia has been in remission twice before, but this time treatment is not an option. His parents died in a car accident and his beloved brother, Koda, was murdered. Luca wanted to experience all the things life had to offer, but he knows there is no hope for him. When a naked man enters his home, followed by terrifying creatures that could have come straight out of Luca’s nightmares, Luca barely has a choice but to follow the man who claims he will protect him.
Nox has little memory left. He doesn’t know his name and only has those three letters tattooed onto his wrist, N o X. When he sees Luca, he knows his mission is clear; protect Luca at all costs. That is what his alpha told him. His alpha, Koda, Luca’s brother who has been dead these five years. The creatures chasing them are an impossible truth. N o X is an impossible truth. A truth born out of ancient writings and scientists on the edge of madness and striving for greatness.
The attraction between Nox and Luca is immediate and while Nox fights it with everything he has, the pull to Luca is the strongest thing he has ever known. But the men are on the run and they both may be running out of time.
Adrienne Wilder offers a scientific and harrowing journey based on ancient texts and scientists focused on being the first to achieve the impossible. The story starts us with Luca living alone, resigned to the fact that his leukemia has returned and there is no treatment available any longer. He waits for his health to become worse, while secretly hoping to still explore what life has to offer that he hasn’t experienced yet and his loneliness and despair are felt immediately.
What follows is nothing that Luca could have ever been prepared for. Nox is nothing Luca could have been prepared for. The story incorporates intricate science in one perspective, with Nox and Luca on the run and falling for each other in another perspective. We don’t know what happened to Nox in his former life, but we know his body was claimed by scientists to be awoken into a new life and to be claimed by a creature he did not consent to. Yet, Nox tries to make peace with his existence and he tries to follow his orders to protect Luca at all costs. Nox and Luca have a special connection, one that no one thought would be possible, and Luca can calm the creature within Nox and allow Nox to cling to the pieces of humanity he has left.
This story winds continually and breaking down the entire plot would certainly diminish the effect of experiencing it firsthand. Most of the story and the scientific plot points were easy to follow, but I had a few large questions regarding areas that were either not addressed or only minimally addressed, which made parts of the story weaker than others. While the ending gives Nox and Luca a moment of happiness and contentment, the story is far from over and a new plot point was introduced with then more questions raised and unexplained. It is clear that the ending was left open for a sequel, but with no certainty that one will be forthcoming, the book then felt unfinished at the end.
This story took an interesting premise and interesting characters and sent them on a twisting journey that held my attention all of the way through. While Nox and Luca do find love, how much was natural and how much was science is just one question that will linger for me. But, Nox was engaging overall and for a story filled with science on the edge of madness and a love story that is secured through seemingly insurmountable odds, Nox would be the story you want to reach for.
It is always a pleasure to listen to a book narrated by Kirt Graves. He has a tone that is pleasing and his delivery is natural and the recordings are smooth and professional. He kept the suspense high in a subtle way here as the journey between Nox, Luca, and additional side characters unraveled. The tension was high throughout this entire book, even during quieter moments, and Graves seemingly accomplished this with ease. The book does shift through past and present, with memories being recalled as well as dream sequences, and this was a little harder to follow in an audio format as there was no way to determine when this was taking place and this book certainly required more focus to follow along in this format. But once I was fully into the story, the narration added another layer to an already eventful book and the audio version is definitely worth a listen.