Cross posted on Pants Off Reviews
Title: The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell
Series: Saving Caeorleia #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Science Fiction
Published January 27th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 270 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
In the distant future, humans wage war against the alien planet Caeorleia, with no tactic off-limits if it will help the humans get their hands on Caeorleia’s resources. Ask Ryker. He thought he volunteered for a simple experiment that would help his government in the war. He didn't realize sadistic doctors would turn him into the experiment—by injecting him with blood from a captured Caeorleian, Seral Iorflas.
Nor did Ryker realize he’d be sent to sabotage a planet full of the very beings his world is battling, beings who kill humans on sight. But then, thanks to the experiment that irrevocably changed him, he isn’t exactly human any longer—and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he's on.
Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4625
4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars
Ryker is unwillingly experimented on by scientists to become an alien and infiltrate a new planet that Earth wants to conquer. The experiments turns him into one of the aliens and links his life to Seral, a captured alien vampire. If Ryker dies, Seral dies. Back on Seral's home planet, he has to figure out how to heal Ryker from the abuse he suffered on the space ship and save his planet from being conquered by humans.
This is a very interesting world with an unique culture. The Caeorleians have body markings related to mating traditions and a high tolerance of nudity. The unique keywords in the Caeorleian language are well explained and add special meaning to the story. The Caeorleians have fangs and drink blood like vampires but it's unclear whether they need blood as a sustenance.
Ryker is suffering from the memories of being treated less than a human being on the space ship. When he's on Seral's planet, the Caeorleians worry he may be a human spy even though he's Seral's "husband." There are nanos inside of his body that multiple and hurt him like cancer cells. Caeorleian doctors can't negate their effects but Seral is planning something secretive with them for the war with humans. He's in a complicated situation and he freaks out sometimes but his will to live and curiosity over the natural world of Seral's planet shows his ability to adapt to a new world and that he is a survivor.
Seral acts like the typical alpha male and it's difficult to get a sense of who he really is. Nonetheless, he loves Ryker because they are bonded and their connection from surviving their ordeals bind them tightly together. I enjoy his possessiveness and how he changes his opinion of Ryker.
There are some loose ends left at he end of the story. The new character, Dave, has no special person that will love him and his status is unclear, but he may be essential for understanding human inter-spacial communication signals. There are still some greedy guys are left on the counsel that want the humans-turned aliens dead. The last hurdle of attacking the space ship is too easy, but overall, I really enjoyed the story.
I enjoy reading about Seral and Ryker's relationship, how they recover from being captives and scientific experiments, and how they manage to stop the war on their planet. This story is exciting and unpredictable, especially the betrayals. This is fast-paced and the romance and world building keeps me hooked to the story.
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