Rarely Pure and Never Simple Variant Configurations#1

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Rarely Pure and Never Simple Variant Configurations#1 35I'm having good luck with this author's paranormals I really enjoyed the X men type story about variants You read this author for the well drawn characters and dynamic between the leads I loved both Blaze and Damien here and especially admired the small notes like how Blaze gives Damien space to deal with his issues without acting like it's a big deal ALSO there are MANTIES including blue velvet ones I've noticed that Martinez seems to like bringing ex lovers into her stories in ways that always feel fresh and constructive unlike the usual caricatured nightmares or annoying love triangles Like uinn's Gambit this is a low key read there is no big villain or enduring threat that needs to be conuered which means that unlike X men there's no overarching allegorical theme or sense of larger conseuences to the story That's refreshing in that it keeps the focus entirely on the main relationship and too often those big bads are rote or just dumb; but it also gives the paranormal world less heft than it might have or to say the same thing in another way makes the book feel a bit slight Still paranormal is one of my favorite genres but also the one I have the worst luck with in terms of books I can actually finish Martinez has the gift of consistency her books are always well written with interesting believable characters and great sexytimes including here MANTIES That's enough to earn her a permanent place on my auto buy list Note A free copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review I honestly don’t know what word to use to describe this story Outstanding Amazing Phenomenal Perhaps I’ll just use all three It was also highly creative and original exciting suspenseful and I truly didn’t want it to end I couldn’t put it down but I tried to read slowly because I was enjoying it so much that I felt I needed to savor every page The author created a future world where scientists developed a new nucleic acid fredamine It was designed to alleviate a variety of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis But there were also recessive gene traits which caused some children to be born with special gifts The children are called variants and are usually sent to a special school so that they will be with others like them It may also be because “normal” people don’t want to mingle with them The variants have formed an agency the Guild which acts to promote protect and police the variant population Not all variants care to work for the Guild but some are available as contractors when special cases arise One such man is Damien a locator His ability to locate people is desperately needed by the Guild when over twenty students from the Western Academy have been reported missing The Academy is one of the two special variant schools in the US Damien suffers from OCD and is neurotic and introverted as well When contracted for this job he’s assigned a helper whose role is to guard Damien and provide muscle and fire power—literally since Blaze is a sparker a variant who can ignite fire from his fingers Though resistant to having a partner Damien finally agrees and the two set out to locate the students Unfortunately the first two students Damien locates are dead At the site the partners encounter a group of extremists in a “variant free zone” and chaos ensues with Damien losing his mind and beating one of the men to death with a shovel Fortunately though slightly wounded Blaze is able to subdue the others and Damien is able to summon a Guild rapid response team to the area to help with exhuming the bodies and securing the area It’s through this first incident that Blaze finally sees the effect that Damien’s early life and neurosis have had on him mentally and emotionally Damien breaks down and shares a bit of his past with Blaze when he also discovers that he’s at ease around Blaze than he ever has been with anyone else Moving onward on their uest to find of the missing students they discover an isolated camp run by Shudder a variant who was once Blaze’s boyfriend and is now on the outskirts of the law both from the Guild and the federal agencies But Shudder offers to help them in their uest and ultimately joins them providing his own special talent— the ability to make the earth move when they need it to rescue the next group of students Throughout this time Blaze and Damien had been getting closer but Damien fears that Blaze still loves Shudder and that he’ll never be able to have a future with him On the final leg of their journey Shudder has virtually collapsed from a head wound he received during the last rescue and has to be carried by Blaze as the little group comes upon the location of the final group of students The twist the story takes at this point is unexpected but perfectly fitting for these missing young variants This story is so much complex than my simple summary indicates It just has to be read to be appreciated The physical journey to find these groups of students covers multiple states and the author’s descriptions of our country after it had been devastated by war famine and disease is amazing The outcome for each group of students is highly detailed and the final destination of the last group of students found was a nice surprise My heart broke for Damien as he said goodbye to Blaze knowing that he could never have a long term relationship with this man a man who deserved a “normal” life partner His follow up discussion with Dr Parma the head of the Guild and the things we learn about Damien’s past throughout the story just endeared him to me Do the guys get a happy ending Well yes they do But it’s hard won and well deserved and if you’re like me you may shed a tear of happiness for these wonderful men at that point I highly recommend this one to all lovers of MM romance as well as those who enjoy sci fi futuristic post apocalyptic adventures generated by an author with a vivid imagination and highly descriptive writing style You’ll be engaged from the very first chapter Don’t miss out on this one 4 STARS MY 1ST READ OF 2014 AND I LOVED ITI’m not really into the Sci FiDystopian genre but the I read of it I really enjoy THIS BOOK WAS STELLARDamien Ahhhhhhh I loved him from the beginning he seemed so broken and lonely and my heart hurt for him I wanted to just hug him lots and lots and alwaysBlaze Oh whaaaat a Blaze of glory ; I love him his sarcasm his wit his heart him him him himThe story is fast paced and really interesting The plot kept you wanting Fire starters trackers earthuakes heartachesThe supporting characters you either loved or hated For them there was no in betweenThere were things that I didn’t get like wtf it was that they were driving I was really hoping for pics at some points but you know what it worked so who cares After a while I just pictured what I wanted to picture and it was even better ;The sexual chemistry and the sexual tension was delicious Loved itLoved Blaze’s jealousy loved Damien’s jealousy LOVEDITThe angst is subtle there is sarcasm in spades and the ending made my heart singTry Macy Gray 2 as this is a series I’m pretty sure it is about Shudder and I can’t freaking wait cause he deserves his HEAMare Slitsread 45 stars rounded up I love a good paranormalsci fi story Add in two uirky very different flawed but likeable men smoldering sexual tension a hurt comfort theme and a believable to me anyway romance I'm happy There is not a lot of smut in this book and that is than ok with me The best books I have read in this genre use sex scenes very judiciously and to great effect I liked the interesting take on genetic mutants with special abilities called variants here view spoiler I have to think about the science some to see if I truly buy it a nucleotide analog Fredamine inserted into DNA that has cured genetic diseases and rarely bestows special abilities but honestly it didn't bother me as I was reading And yes there are parallels to some themes seen in the Marvel universe such as rogue government exploitation and experimentation on variants the mutant vs non mutant politics etc but the nice pacing and the character driven story keep it fresh and interesting I came to really like Blaze the badass alpha male who blusters and pisses everyone off to hide his wounded heart and Damien who has had to isolate himself and turn to repetitive behaviors to barely cope with the psychological damage stemming from child abuse hide spoiler Definitely went into my 2014 best book read list5 StarsI honestly am going to add Damien Blaze in my favorite couples list Here is the thing there wasn't any sex involved unless you count mutual oral stimulation other than those few moments no penetration and this book still rockedWe begin the book with Damien chiseling ice away in never never land Cannot remember where he was at exactly He was having a moment when two feds showed up at his property Then he kinda zonked out whenever this new feb decided to cross that boundary line and touch him It was almost like when Bilbo Baggins in the Fellowship of The Ring zonked out when he saw Frodo with the ring in Riverdale How his face morphed and he lost himself Note to self try to find photo of that picture for reviewNow to explain this reaction he is what is called a Variant Variant are people who are born with this special strand in the DNA that makes them special Damien is a locator which means he can people He does work for the government sometimes but according to his own tragedy He goes and meets Dr Parma who I think is his surrogate mother and in walks badass Blaze Emerson resident bad boy shit starter and mother killer The last is true but only in the sense he had no control Blaze variant is a sparker who can produce fire and use it well Plot plot plot realization that it is sexual tension kiss here kiss there Shudder Mackenzie makes his on page debut I kinds liked him Of course plot which is good sexual tension and a dominant Damien in the bedroom or lack there of whenever these things go down All in all this superseded anything that I thought was going to happen They work well together Blaze is a protective SOB who falls in love with a scared timid Damien I cannot wait until book 2 45 out of 5 starsThis book was provided free by the author in exchange for an honest review through the Goodreads “Don't Buy My Love” programWhen I first started reading this book I was struck by the similarities in this fantasy world to that of the X men movies to the point that it seemed like fanfiction albeit extraordinarily well done fanfic But the longer I read the I was drawn into the adventure and I uit thinking of X men The setting is a future United States where the interior of the country has become almost entirely depopulated due to a variety of man made and natural disasters A miracle drug Fredamine had been introduced years ago and though it cured many previously incurable diseases it had the unforeseen property of leading to the birth of “variants” – like the mutants of the X men – who have all kinds of superpowers Some of the variants joined together to form the Guild which works with government agencies to keep the peace and protect the populace But again like the X men movies some humans are suspicious of variants and want them destroyed locked away and experimented uponThe story starts with the disappearance of 20 or so children from the Western Variant Academy The Guild steps in to solve the mystery and recover the children and they contract Damien Damien is a locator who's variant ability is to find people by following invisible trails with his mind He is profoundly distrustful of everyone cannot bear to have people touch him has severe OCD and anxiety and usually lives in an isolated cabin He only leaves it because he cannot turn down a call to help variant children but he usually works alone Because this assignment is dangerous than usual the Guild also hires Blaze Emerson a sparker who can control fire to protect and assist Damien Blaze is unpredictable and used to people assuming he is violent and uncontrolled The two men don't want to work with each other but they have no choice as for both this is a job they can't turn downThere is fast paced adventure surprising twists and turns danger bravery and mystery I couldn't put it down and read to the wee hours The characterization is amazing – I loved how there was a gradual revelation of what happened in the past to make Damien and Blaze into the damaged men they are now As they discover and follow the trails of the missing children into the wilds of the interior they reluctantly start trusting each other and eventually become lovers They run across Shudders McKenzie a variant activist or terrorist depending upon viewpoint and old lover of Blaze's whom they recruit to their mission even though his presence creates a pseudo love triangle and threatens to disrupt the fragile bond forming between Damien and Blaze I really want to see of this story – it just seems like the perfect start to a series I see that it is listed as Variant Configurations #1 so I am hopeful I want to see Damien and Blaze go out on another mission and I want to see how their relationship prospers or doesn't I want to see Shudders continue his crusading for variant rights I want to see of the Guild and the variants outside the guild I want to know of what happens to the humans and variants out in the wilderness that was America's heartland I want to know the history of this world as well as it's future Ms Martinez is an exceptionally talented author and I would love to see her take this story and continue to move further away from the X men similarities I gave the book 45 rather than 5 stars only because the ending seemed so abrupt but I'll change that ifwhen a new book comes out A search for missing children throws a misanthropic human GPS and an obnoxious human torch together in a struggle to survive dangerous conspiracies and each otherDamien just wants to be left alone Too bad his variant talent as a locator makes him the go to contractor for the government's missing person cases He can refuse but it's not so easy when the missing are variant kids Blaze Emerson is a sparker People fear him as much for his ability to call fire as his obnoxious violent temperament He's good at what he does though and he's intrigued by the uiet man who can find people with his brain Conspiracies treachery and wild rumors are only the start First Damien and Blaze have to survive each other 3 12 starsFun science fiction with mm romance and a bit of wild west thrown in It was entertaining I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review45 StarsBrilliant That about sums the book up If you enjoy a good paranormalmystery story then you must read this book Has a strong X Men feel to it The book takes place in a dystopia world Scientists developed fredamine which was created to cure neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Little did the scientists know that fredamine could potentially alter the genes in some children and cause them have special abilities Those children that survive birth are called variants At the beginning of the book you meet Damien He is an extremely rare variant called a locator His ability is to locate individuals Damien is a fantastic complex character He is very neurotic suffers from OCD and when he is pushed beyond his limit he violently lashes out He comes across as needing protecting from the world around him but he truly only needs protection from the turmoil in his head Such an incredible character Damien is contracted out with the Guild to find missing variant children Though he usually works alone due to the amount of children missing he is paired up with another variant Blaze Blaze is the bad boy everyone loves He is snarky and enjoys annoying people He also has a huge reputation of being a bad ass and loose cannon It is hard not to fall in love with Blaze From the moment he meets Damien he is drawn to protect the other variant but he also pushes Damien’s limits Underneath is tough exterior Blaze has a heart of gold though he might kill you if you say that to his face These two make a great pairDuring Damien and Blaze’s search you meet some great side characters Martinez does an outstanding job creating a vibrant plot and well developed characters Once you get started you’ll have a hard time putting the book down Can’t wait for the next book in the series 35 starsThe blurb for this sounded wayyyyyy cooler than the final project In saying that I still really liked this book but it got a little draggy for me Characters were good but the pacing just didn’t hold my interestDamien is a variant whose talent is the ability to locate people in which the government tries to use him often for their missing person cases He wants to be left alone and the less interaction he has the peaceful he feels Blaze is a sparker and just like with most sci fi characters that have fire as a power he can bring about flames usually the easiest when he’s at his most temperamental The two of them are paired together to find some missing children Damien as the locator and Blaze as Damien’s protector and come across all kinds of different obstacles from a government agency that may or may not have their best interests in mind to an ex and rogue variant to lost and determined individuals working towards a causeI loved Damien right from the start I don’t know why but if you give me a character this is all scraggly and isolated from society by his own choice and because he’s a smart mofo; I’m usually sold He’s broken and tired but good at his power even if it’s unwanted at many times His issues and broken man trope did become a bit tiring at times but I still enjoyed him as a character However I did appreciate that the author combined his power and his anxiety and OCD tendencies together in a realistic way The need at which Damien feels to control his surroundings and the need to feel safe and have others safe was written beautifully and with careBlaze made me laugh and he’s a very emotional feeler he’s a protector he’s been hurt before and it’s all a bit sad There is a lot of sexual tension between Blaze and other characters and he seemed to be a nice comfy guy that people wanted around themThe plot is action packed and initially moves fairly uickly Right from the start I was totally interested in the missing children Damien’s role and whether or not some sinister actions or people were involved But towards the second half everything started going downhill for me in regards to tension character relationships and whether the ‘cause’ felt fresh and interesting I kept wanting something awful to stand out something to root against but there wasn’t really anything that was so cut and dry A third character had personality enough but what was presented felt unfinished Maybe we’ll get to delve deeper in to him in future books But that brings me to my next problemI felt connection between Blaze and this third character than I did between Blaze and Damien It isn’t necessarily the author’s fault or anything written there or not written there for me to feel that way I can see that the way it’s written Damien and Blaze are affectionate and have a yingyang ease with each other but I still felt of connection with the other two men I guess maybe I wish that the added drama of this had been excluded so I could focus solely on the two main characters and their fight with the outside worldOverall I liked this I’d definitely read the next book but I’m not necessarily desperate to read it It’s good solid fun with likable characters and a nice X Men ish plot line

  • ebook
  • 145 pages
  • Rarely Pure and Never Simple Variant Configurations#1
  • Angel Martinez
  • English
  • 06 January 2014

About the Author: Angel Martinez

Angel Martinez currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head She has one husband one son two cats a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate Angel's alter ego writes the all ages science fiction Sandra Stixrude