In this alternate world, you are either an Alpha, beta, or omega. Alphas have all the power and the law is on their side. Omegas are property to be bought and they are expendable and replaceable.
Tobias is a detective assigned to investigate the deaths of omegas. For omegas murdered by their Alphas, there is no justice and Tobias has to hide the disgust he feels each and every day. After work, Tobias lives a life of isolation, never getting close to anyone because he has a secret and he’s been living a lie and if he is found out, the strictest of repercussions will come down on him. However, when Tobias meets Alpha Abundio, everything he has been fighting against his entire life starts to turn end over end.
While Abundio is an Alpha, he lives a unique life. He’s educated and wealthy, but after leaving his job as a scientist, Abundio moves from one entry level job to the next. Abundio has all the genetic traits of an Alpha, but he is not paired off and spends his evenings alone still searching for the one thing that will complete his life as an Alpha. When the men meet, there is more than simple attraction between them and Tobias will have to rearrange everything he ever imagined for himself. Abundio wants to care for Tobias, but genetics cannot be denied and for the men to create a life together, both will have to make sacrifices that will alter them forever.
It’s been several years since Joseph Lance Tonlet has released a book and I was intrigued to see him publishing again. Omega Born offers a different direction than his contemporary novels and there is a specific story here set within a larger world. This book has some details spelled out and some details must be inferred and there were still other areas that have the propensity to offend and, at the end of the book, I was trying to work out how I offended I was.
The set up for the world is that everyone is either an Alpha, beta, or omega. Those three categories have been genetically altered, giving Alphas what is considered the top end of the gene pool and everyone else trickles down from there. Abundio is a scientist and worked on creating the characteristics and traits of omegas, and he knows them well, even better than they know themselves in some cases. There is no mention of women in this world at all. It is implied that people are grown in labs and women do not exist, so it’s up to the individual reader to decide how offensive that scenario is for them. There is some reference to Tobias’ early years, which needed more development, but other than that, it was not clear where people actually came from, what track people took to become members of families in their early years, and what those early years looked like for most of society. There was a lot of potential world building information that was not offered.
The core of this story is Tobias learning to accept his birth nature, as he has never embraced it. His life would alter dramatically if he lived as his true self and Tobias is not having any of it. Most of this is accomplished through Tobias’ sexual submission, with Abundio pushing Tobias under the guise of helping him and areas do go off into the realm of dubious consent and scenes played out as someone’s erotic fantasy. The men develop a mind-link communication and much of the dialogue is presented with Tobias and Abundio conversing in their minds and so much of that became a little heavy handed for my tastes.
I felt the author was trying to accomplish too much in this one book. There is a lot of time spent with Tobias and Abundio developing their relationship, both in the bedroom and out. But there is considerable time spent breaking Tobias down to accept his nature and Abundio letting his Alpha nature run free. There is also an incredibly large world here and some of it was set up, but not all of it. The society here lives under intense laws, with all of the power going to the Alphas and, as the story went on, there were constantly new ideas and laws presented. The overwhelming take on this society is that if you are not an Alpha, life can range from being difficult to being murdered for non-compliance, and with Dom/sub aspects and slavery issues in a non-consensual and dub-con world, there is much to digest here.
Tobias fights his nature and Abundio right to the end and the ending then reveals a new dimension to the story that only raised more questions, which was a lot on top of the issues I already had with the world building. Omega Born is set in a society that will certainly make you think and can be seen as deeply problematic but it all wasn’t where my mind wanted to live.