The Books of Love: Unnaturals by Dean J Anderson
Reviewed by LynC
Unnaturals tried to kill Mason Douglas and his family.
He became The Butcher, a cold relentless Hunter with a vendetta that took him across the world.
And now, on his return home to Australia – to mend his heart, soul and family – his destiny collides with a millennia-old struggle between strange Gods.
Their prize is Earth. Their warriors are warring races of Unnaturals: the Bloodells and the Darkells.
As an unlikely alliance forms between Natural and Unnatural – between the Douglas clan and the Darkells – Mason’s family grows in unexpected ways… not all of whom are human.
Sparks fly, lust inspires, and love ignores all the boundaries as the very definition of family changes.
Prepare to push your boundaries.
For some reason the Bloodells are in Europe and the Darkells are only in Australia, though some of the origins of the two races are only hinted at. The Bloodells, as the name implies, are bloodthirsty vampiric-like creatures with a specific vendetta against Mason Douglas’ family. The Darkells show a much gentler aspect to humanity while being quite brutal to each other. They also target Mason and his family, but not to kill. They wish to enlist his help because the Bloodells have finally come south.
Then there are another group. They have sent a representative to Earth, who is also targeting Mason. They are desperate for his help. Their representative arrives with the Bloodells, but is not of them, although Mason and the Darkells, and indeed the Bloodells, are not aware of this.
Given that he is ‘The Butcher’, it is strange the number of peoples who believe he can save them. But the Butcher is so-named in London.
In Australia, he has the sweetest, most loving, most giving of women waiting for him. And he will do anything for her, even understanding and accepting that she can love him just as much and still have love left over for others. In Australia, he is a big man with a lot of love to give, but when push comes to shove, ‘The Butcher’ can still do what has to be done to protect his family and friends.
I found elements of this complex story a tad arbitrary and confusing. There are rules within the Darkell society which made no sense, and they are every bit as brutal as the Bloodells toward each other, but we are supposed to accept that they are the ‘good’ Unnaturals. At one point Mason’s son says he wished things wouldn’t keep changing, and, as the reader, I wholeheartedly agreed. It often felt like the author was making things up on the fly, especially those rules of the Darkell society. They weren’t all even necessary to move the plot along or explain how relationships worked. They were just plucked out of the air, dealt with, in a few hundred words, and then disappeared.
And the sex? It was good sex but it just kept happening at the flimsiest of excuses and in heaps of different configurations and for a long time. And it kept happening. And happening. It’s a wonder anything else, like fighting, got done.
But eventually everyone stops snogging (or not – with angst) and the configurations sort themselves out, and they all get on with the job of defeating the Bloodells. Or at least thwarting them, and sending them back to Europe.
Oh, and did I mention there are Werewolves? They are surfer dudes with the hots for one of the Darkells. They can’t have her though; she is Mason’s, so they distract themselves by throwing their might into the fray against the Bloodells too.
Even with a god on their side, what hope did the invaders have against the locals?
If I were into giving stars, I’d give this three. It is interesting at times, a complex storyline and what feels like hundreds of players, but the sex dragged the story down.
And the open marriage thing which is supposed to shock? Maybe forty, even twenty years ago. It is a fully consensual arrangement by all parties. That is all it needs to be. But then, I’m an author who writes about whole societies where polygamy is essential, so maybe I’m just too open minded already to be shocked. Or was it the relationships between humans and aliens that were supposed to shock? Well, I write about that too, so maybe I wasn’t the target audience for the shock aspect. 🙂
- Unnaturals (Paperback, Clan Destine)
- Unnaturals (ebook, Clan Destine)
- Unnaturals (Kobo)
- Unnaturals (Lulu)
- Unnaturals (Amazon.com)
In the past two years LynC has had four short stories published; one of which — Nematalien — was nominated for an award in 2013. Her first novel — Nil By Mouth (Satalyte Publishing) — was launched at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne in June 2014. (Narrelle’s note: this is an excellent book and I recommend it highly.)
LynC resides, with her two ‘new’ adults, four cats, and two canaries, in a hidden area less than ten kilometres from the Melbourne CBD (in Australia) surrounded by creeks and wooded hills.
- LynC’s website: http://lyncwriter.com.au/
The Books of Love are romance book reviews of both new releases and old favourites.