Friday, January 29, 2016

Torn by Alexa Kim

The Basics:
Torn by Alexa Kim
Science Fiction Erotic Romance
Book One in the Master Trooper series
Published January 13th, 2016
Source: Received from Tasty Book Tours Library in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I liked the cover, I liked the blurb, I though I'd give it a whirl!

Anno 2354. Earth’s government had a breakthrough in their top secret research project Life Tree. They’ve created perfect soldiers whose abilities exceed scientists’ expectations, thanks to the predator sequence in their DNA. Now project Life Tree is entering phase two, genetic reproduction of the Master Trooper.

Betrayed by her boyfriend and sentenced to penal servitude for drug possession, Larona finds herself among several other women en route to the convict colony on Mars. Turns out it’s not Mars they land on, but planet Terra Alpha, where the women are to be part of a research project.

There, Larona is chosen for program INBREED – she’s to bear the child of a Master Trooper. Her body is no longer hers, but a possession of Life Tree. Upon meeting Torn, who seems to have no qualms about carrying out Life Tree’s orders, Larona is absolutely desperate…

Torn has proven himself as above-average in combat and every test. That’s why he was chosen for program  INBREED – to pass on his genes – a task others envy him for because it means luxury in between tours: vacation time, good food, and clean women.

Torn never had any reason to doubt Life Tree, and especially INBREED is a duty he enjoys. To him, women just serve to satisfy a bodily need… but it’s different with Larona. When she tries to kill herself, Torn starts to question Life Tree. Because he’s developing feelings for Larona that he, as a Master Trooper, isn’t even supposed to have…  
My Thoughts:

It's been a while since I read something that was intended as erotic romance or erotica. I'd call Torn the former--the sex scenes are important, and the sexual relationship between Torn and Larona is a significant component of the story, but there's more story to it than simple sexual gratification. 

I was really into the set-up for this story. Torn is definitely science fiction, set in a future world wherein female criminals can be redirected to a breeding program intended to create a subspecies of perfect soldiers. These guys are big, heavily muscled, aggressive, dominant, loyal, and have a heightened sense of smell. They're frightening as a group, and impressive one-on-one. They're also some kind of crazy experiment involving predator DNA--I just let the details of this roll over me. Sometimes it's easiest to accept things as presented in fiction, and not question too much.  

The idea of these women being presented to the soldiers (Master Troopers) for the breeding program was a bit... difficult. But moving beyond that, I liked the idea of these predatory men finding the right woman for them, and becoming fixated on them. The idea of this biological 'clicking' worked for me in the context of this universe. I also liked the set-up on Terra Alpha, a world that was Earth-like, with additional dangers. There's lots of space for additional stories to be told--certainly a few others have already been published in the series' original language...

So Torn was originally published in German, and is now available as an English translation. There are a few issues with the translation, or at least, I had a few issues. There are definitely some typos and/or wrong words in places that would have looked fine to a spell checker, but obviously aren't what was intended. It's not egregious, but it was noticeable, so there's more than just a handful.

I also found a couple spots where the story seemed to get hung up on what was convenient rather than logical. In one case, Torn is supposed to meet his friend at a bar, leaving Larona to go swimming. Instead of follow through on his plan, Torn comes home to talk things through with Larona, catching her at a vulnerable moment. It was an awkward bit of stage business.

I had one more issue with the book, and that was Torn's pet name for Larona. He called her doll or baby doll quite a bit, and it kind of squicked me out. I can be good with aggressive, alpha males in the right context, but the pet name just... made me ick.

Overall, Torn was a quick read, with some good sex scenes, and an extreme Alpha male, but more than that, it's also science fiction, with an intriguing premise and a world that begs to be explored further.

Bottom line:

Torn isn't going to be the right erotic romance for everybody, something author Alexa Kim acknowledges in her letter to the reader (which appears after the text of the book--thank you Amazon for wanting as little front matter as possible so samples of books are of the book and not the 'extras'). If you're not put off by extremely Alpha men, who are aggressive and very driven by their hormones, you might enjoy this quick read!

3.5 stars
For fans of erotic romance, science fiction, Alpha males.


Alexa Kim is a German author of hot sci-fi and fantasy romance books, usually with a dark touch. She used to be a regular with trade publishers for over ten years before she decided to try and make her own way as an indie author under the pen name Alexa Kim. In 2014, she hit it off with her MASTER TROOPER series, and she’s since been in Germany’s Amazon bestselling list on a regular basis.

When she’s not writing, she’s either indulging her hobby—singing—or spending time with a book and her two cats.

German Author Page:
English Author Page (with Rogue Books):

1 comment:

  1. hummmmm... the premise sounds good, Pretty unique but I'm often by put off by extremely Alpha men! to read or not to read :) thnaks for the great review!