I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Strain by Amelia C. Gormley
Published by Riptide Publishing Genres: MM, Science Fiction
A combination of scientific ego and military shortsightedness nearly destroys all of mankind. In the aftermath there are pockets of uninfected humans, people who suffer from catatonia and Rot, revenants, and soldiers with superpowers who are infected with the dormant virus unable to ever join with those uninfected.
The only life Rhys Cooper’s known is among a dwindling number of scared people barely surviving. When a pack of revenants attack Rhys tries to use himself as bait to save his sister and her baby. Unfortunately the plan doesn’t work. He is saved by the unexpected arrival of Sergeant Darius Murrell and his team. His sister and nephew aren’t as lucky.
Well, Rhys is saved from the revenants, but now that they’ve exposed him to the virus he will either become a revenant or he will slowly Rot and sink into catatonia. The sergeant explains that his only chance at living is if they infect him with their version of the virus through sexual exposure. He will turn into a super soldier who can never live with the uninfected population in Colorado Springs.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the virginal nineteen year old. Rhys doesn’t even have the time to mourn his lost family before he has to make the choice to live by allowing multiple soldiers into his body. This horrible new world doesn’t have time for soft things like love so is this grim reality worth it? Rhys chooses to live but wonders if he made the right decision every time they come across another horror. There’s only so much he can take and falling for the sergeant can only make it worse. Dying or surviving. Only time will tell.
Powerful. Poignant. At times difficult. Other times heartwarming. Strain runs the gamut of emotional highs and lows. Rhys’s story is riveting. He is the epitome of what humanity strives for. Decency and innocence. His truth shines. One of those “can’t put down for any reason” books that draws the reader into the story and never lets go. There are also horrible moments, difficult to swallow. Strain doesn’t pull any punches. The sweet with the sorrow. Strain balances the science fiction genre with a special romance beautifully. I Joyfully recommend Strain. It’s not for everyone, but those who like this kind of blended story will love Strain.