Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BORN TO DARKNESS by Suzanne Brockman

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: March 20, 2012
ISBN 9780345521279
Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Paranormal
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher

Not only out of work but blacklisted, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is on his way to what he hopes may bring him so needed income. He’s not all that sure about the Obermeyer Institute, but a job is a job and he really needs one. Being blacklisted isn’t just about no one hiring in this not so brave new world, but it opens the person up to being beaten and battered at will. Not that getting into a fight is out of Shane’s ability, he’d just rather be gainfully employed. The Obermeyer Institute has a research program to ascertain and train individuals that are called “Greater-Thans”. Greater-Thans are individuals who have the ability to use more than the standard 10% of their brains to accomplish feats akin to superpowers. Shane has been identified as one such individual. With the institute’s lock down policy for its test subjects Shane elects for a final night, at least for a time, of some hot sex. Not necessarily quality sex; just some female companionship. At a local bar he encounters Mac.

Mac is one of the institute’s doctors. She’s brave, smart and aside of her ability to change her body shape she can also make men fall at her feet. She spots Shane moments after he enters the bar and against her better judgment takes him home and experiences the most incredibly sex of her life. But Mac is convinced it’s not really about her but that Shane has fallen under her spell. Before they can come to terms with their feelings Mac needs to return to the institute and is stymied when she realized Shane is one of their new recruits, called Potentials. Not one to mix her bread and honey, Mac tells Shane they can never see each other again. But Mac is quickly forced to rethink her decision.

A little girl has been kidnapped by a less than ethical group called the Organization. The Organization sells and distributes a drug called Destiny that can make your average person appear superhuman. Healing is accelerated, they look younger, have the bodies and minds they want—but only for a time. And then the user dies. And more than the user, the source of the drug is from the blood of young victims. When little Nika is taken by the organization her sister, Anna, must turn to the institute to free her. But can they find the little girl in time?

BORN TO DARKNESS is not your standard romantic suspense. Oh it’s that and more—a paranormal, a dark paranormal with a touch of the futuristic. It takes elements of speculative fiction in terms of “what ifs” of the future and your larger than life heterosexual couple, Stephen and Elliot gay and Joseph and Anna are two disparate individuals who show that true love defies class, education and socio-economic background. There is action, adventure, suspense, romance, sex, paranormal and a sinister future just to name a few genre elements. The paranormal is not your standard vampire/werewolf/zombie/shapeshifter themed story but delves into the possibilities of what the future holds if we can tap into that other 10% of our brains. There is lucid dreaming, mutual dreaming and a form of possession. No matter what you look for in a book you will pretty much find something of it in BORN TO DARKNESS.

For me there was little too much talk about sex than actual sex in the book. A few of the scenes could have been taken out and nothing would have been lost from the story and, in fact, it would have been stronger as there could have been more to what was going on with Nika. There was also a tad more repetition on how the little girls continued to scream and scream when perhaps more dialogue between then, be it actual or telepathic, would have delved into their terror. Anna was a great secondary character and if this series continues I would like to see more of her as she comes into her own.

I understand why Mac is the way she is but I didn’t find her a very likable character at all. Shane’s a good guy and I have to agree with Mac – her attraction talent was what kept him interested in her.

As I understand it the move to a dark paranormal is a shift for Ms. Brockmann. As I said there is something for everyone in the telling.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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