Okay, I need to start by saying that despite the fact that this book should have been right up my alley, I unfortunately had to stop reading at 50% and made the decision to not finish it. I’ll get to the why of it in a moment, but first, the blurb.
More than 25 years ago, Matt Evans’ superpowers burned out. He left the world of the Chosen and their staged battles behind. But he also left behind the love of his life and their naughty games of submission.
Out of the blue, a Hero launches an overwhelming attack on the Chosen, stealing away all of their powers. In the aftermath of the attack, Matt’s long dormant powers come back online and he makes the impossible decision to reconnect with the only man who might understand what is happening, Colton Stephens, the lover he had abandoned in his youth.
When Professor Colton Stephens sees Matt standing in the back of his lecture hall, years of secrets and pain come rushing to the surface. Their reunion is less than the amazing moment he had been hoping for. But it sets in motion a series of events that brings Colton to his knees at the feet of Blue Bolt, the Hero turned terrorist who stole everything from the Chosen.
Blue Bolt twists Colton’s kinky desires to his will and restores his long lost powers, bringing Mythos back to life and changing everything about Colton’s life. Can Matt rescue Colton from Blue Bolt’s firm grasp? And in the shadow of Blue Bolt’s ability to fulfill Colton’s needs, will Matt be able to admit that he wants to be the master that Colton serves with his heart, soul, and most importantly, with his body?
So as soon as I read this blurb, I was on board. Superheroes and villains, a power struggle and a mystery, kink and desires. It’s almost as if the authors wrote specifically with me in mind. But sadly, from almost the very start, I knew this book wasn’t for me. And worse, I was unable to even finish it. This review will only be for the half of the book I read, and will explain why I had to put it down.
The story begins with a prologue, throwing the reader into the chaos that has become the world, and Matt tells us why he has done what he’s done (though not what he’s actually done), and sets it all up so we know what we’re going to be reading. That worked well, and after those first couple of pages, I was eagerly waiting to find out what had brought our heroes to this point. From this prologue, I was intrigued to delve into the world building, as it seemed like a unique set up with heroes and villains being chosen and pitted against each other for sport and entertainment. At least, I think that’s what they were doing. And I wanted to find out what cataclysmic event brought us to that point.
However, immediately, I was completely lost. This was largely due to the fact that the writing was choppy and vague, taking the tactic of leaving the reader in the dark. I assume this was so the reader would discover things along with the MCs, but the biggest problem was it lacked far too much information. Worse than that, the story didn’t flow, and so not only was I completely unsure of what was going on, but I truly felt lost and directionless. I had no idea what was happening and I was constantly pulled out of the story as my analytical mind tried to piece together the incredibly sparse clues into some semblance of order. I will say here that had I finished this book, things might have become clear. But working so hard to understand what I’m reading is not my idea of a good time. And the fact that so little was explained, and what was explained made so little sense, that I didn’t hold out much hope that things would satisfactorily develop.
Matt was a villain before his powers burned out, and he was feared by almost everybody. Colton was a hero, and Matt’s best friend and lover. They were pitted against each other as bitter rivals, fighting often, but it was all for show. And then, Matt walked away. Now, I don’t know the reason for that, and it could have been explained in the second half of the book. Except it felt like a afterthought to the part I read, and finding out was not enough of a draw to keep me reading. Not with all the other problems this book had.
As I said, the writing was choppy and it didn’t flow. There were abrupt scene changes, dialogue felt forced and unnatural, and the random head hopping did not make for easy reading. I constantly had to go back and re-read sentences because one moment we were in Matt’s POV, the next in Colton’s, and it just didn’t work. Because of the constant shifting, I got frustrated. And the unnatural dialogue did nothing to endear me to the characters. I felt like they were portraying a farce and I couldn’t get into their heads and understand their motivation. And on top of that, their powers were poorly explained, especially Colton’s. So that added another layer to my frustration.
Ultimately, what made me put this book down for good was the nonconsensual sex. Or perhaps it was dub con. Even that was unclear. There is a time and place for those sorts of scenes, and if I look at it from a completely analytical mindset, I can see where the authors might have been attempting to go with it. However, to me, it just felt gross and unnecessary. The first time it happened, I could understand. But when it happened again, and then possibly a third time, it turned my stomach. The characters will was being used against him, and worse, there were a few flashes where it was portrayed as possibly okay because deep down he wanted it. This took it too far for me, and I felt it didn’t fit the tone of the story.
Again, I only read the first half, but these are the reasons that this book just did not work for me. Because of the writing style and the subject matter, this book was not a fit for me, and I had to put it down rather than force myself to finish.