Five years ago, Prince Kaimi of Mu — the city hidden beneath the depths of the Pacific Island — held his mother’s body in his arms as her blood spilled across the floor. His brother, Koa, claimed his innocence, for all that he held the still bloody weapon that carved into the king and queen. The rebellion lasted nearly five years and was bloody, with Kaimi’s husband dying at the hands of Koa’s men. In the end, Koa became King of Mu. Kaimi bowed his head and took his position as prince, standing at his brother’s side.
Five years ago, the Pulse swept out from the Pacific Ocean, destroying much of the eastern coast of North and South America. Trash was thrown onto the beaches, electricity vanished, and even now, no one knows where it came from or why. Michael, with the help of Dr. Karen Linn, intends to find an answer to why so many people died. With his money and Karen’s vision, they have commissioned a submarine to take them deep into the ocean to find the lost city of Mu.
I’m going to be honest, this book has some issues for me. For one, there are typos and malapropisms — light crystals shown down instead of shone, several times the word sense was used instead of since, plus things like out witted instead of outwitted, or one-step when it should have been one step, and some strange sentences and word choices. I also found there to be stilted, clumsy writing; repetitive exposition (often with a character talking to themselves as they explained the backstory); and problems with the plot, and it all just left me feeling unsatisfied with this book.
As far as the plot, Michael’s expedition of scientists is captured by the Mu people, with their ship damaged and thirty odd people killed. They are brought back to the palace and told that the king and queen were killed with no one knowing who committed the crime, and invited into the investigation to find out who was behind it. The King of Mu and his people have known Michael, Karen, and company for maybe a day and are already letting them play detective with the deaths of the royal family?
Within another day or two, Michael’s almost lover and some of the crew decide to steal from the Mu people. They are trapped miles beneath the ocean with no way home by people with advanced technology, but yet they steal gems and magic crystals (not very well either, being caught almost instantly). To be fair, I can’t blame them for thinking the Mu people might not be all that bright — considering how trusting they are by inviting complete strangers to solve a family murder — but it still felt very out of character. The young man, Alister, has shown in his conversations with Michael that he’s neither stupid nor reckless. He’s methodical and thoughtful, so this theft felt plot driven rather than character driven.
Michael is a middle aged man who earned much of his money in sex work, and now runs several adult film and toy companies. No matter how many charitable institutions he supports, he’s always looked down on — something mentioned several times — and it’s left him feeling a bit bitter. Lovers rarely stay, intimidated by his past, and he’s looking for someone to settle down with, to have a real connection. Enter Prince Kaimi, whose husband was slaughtered six months ago during the rebellion. Kaimi loved his husband, but something about Michael appeals to him. Maybe it’s the honest way he approaches sex (Kaimi used Mu technology to look into Michael’s past and has no issue with his sex work), something Kaimi is very in favor of. The two men have both seen a lot in life and get along quickly and easily. It isn’t love, but it’s the start of something that could head that way, given time and willingness.
The relationships in this book were the best part about it, but the plot has sizable issues. The writing felt clumsy and stilted to me, and the technical and grammatical issues made this a very uneven read. Personally, this is a pass from me.