Published by MLR Press Genres: Fiction, Gay
Reviewed by Lisa
A search for missing children throws a misanthropic human GPS and an obnoxious human torch together in a struggle to survive dangerous conpiracies and each other. Damien 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 quiet 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.
By the year 2055 scientists wiped out neurological diseases by tampering with human DNA. The resultant additional cell component was named Variance, considered a gift to the few who are born with special talents. Of course, those same scientists didn’t mention that many of the Variants were born so deformed they didn’t survive their first day of life. The Guild was set up to find careers for Variants that would benefit society. Children who exhibited gifts went to special Academy schools.
Considered one of the most talented locators in the country, Damien Hazelwood is also one of the most damaged and broken of Variants. Living off the grid Damien manages to get from one day to the next, barely at times. He has asked the Guild to leave him in peace so Damien knows it must be bad news when they ask him for help.
Several dozen children are missing from an Academy, feared dead. Usually Damien works alone, but this time he’s forced to allow a sparker to tag along. Blaze Emerson is the complete opposite of the soft spoken locator. He’s abrasive and rude, yet somehow the two click. Investigating the children’s disappearances takes everything within Damien’s talent while at the same time Blaze has his arms full trying to keep them both alive. This world is a dangerous place, innocent children are missing, and falling in love is the last thing Damien has time for. Too bad, Blaze insists on finding the time.
Author Angel Martinez shapes an entirely new world to enjoy. Diseases are gone for the most part leaving a completely new problem to deal with. An intriguing twist. Damien is literally the walking wounded, whereas Blaze is a total smartass who brings his locator back to life. Rarely Pure and Never Simple treats the reader to a clever mix of futuristic tech surviving in savage lands. Their adventure is fraught with death threats, tension, passion, and a few good laughs. A story that you don’t want to see end, Rarely Pure and Never Simple invests readers in a complicated future. I Joyfully recommend Rarely Pure and Never Simple. With a tender happily ever after and soooo much more.