Review: Aleksandr Voinov – Scorpion

Memory of Scorpions:

Book 1:

Scorpion: Kendras

Scorpion

Purchase on Amazon:  Aleksandr Voinov – Scorpion

Expected publication (re-release): May 27th 2013

Summary:

Never stop fighting.

Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever had—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed mercenary offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.

But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers, or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, the man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself.

The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue where enemies may be allies and even allies have hidden agendas. But Kendras isn’t only fighting for his lost lover and tribe—he soon realizes that nothing less than the birth of an Empire is at stake.

Review:

Sooo…. This is my first truly M/M full length novel. I’ve read M/F/M, one novella in an otherwise M/F anthology and a couple books where there were some M/M interactions but it wasn’t really the main focus. So this was new to me and I don’t really have anything to compare it to besides itself. This book was kind of odd for me, it was still very engaging but I didn’t quite know what to make of it since it is so different from what I am used to. And to be quite honest that was exactly what I needed at the time. I was in a book reading funk and I NEEDED something different, something out of my comfort zone and this book delivered that.

So basically Kendras is a part of an elite fighting unit called the Scorpions. They are a mercenary group but they have a “memory”, basically meaning they have a long history or “memory” and they maintain the original integrity of the unit. The story takes place in a made up land where there are basically three cities that two of the three always seem to be at war at any given time. At the time this tale takes place there was just a huge battle and the side that Kendras was fighting on “won” but he was seriously injured and he does not know what happened to the rest of his squad. He is basically a cripple when we first meet him, this is also how he is when he meets Steel. Kendras has no money, he can’t work because of his foot and has nothing of value to sell. Kendras is well aware of this when Steel approaches him in a bar. Steel takes on Kendras as his lover and wants him for his own mercenary crew. He has a job and he needs someone that looks like Kendras (black with blue eyes).

From what I can tell of this world Male/Male relationships are just as common place as Male/Female relationships; however, with that there is a whole other set of issues. It seems that Male on Male rape is quite prevalent in this world and it is brought up, not in detail, but it is an issue that characters have to deal with. So if you are squeamish on this topic you might wince a few times. The world building overall is pretty decent. I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of the world by the time the story was over. It is a harsh world where war is the main focus. When the book starts we are just coming out of battle and a good chunk of the last part of the book is preparing for battle and a fight. The character building is, not the best. Steel who is kind of a main character, I don’t feel like I knew him at all and didn’t really care about him, but that could be on purpose. The story is from Kendras POV but I don’t really feel like we delved that deep into his character. This book was basically about Kendras struggle to evolve. He was a part of the Scorpions it was all he knew and he was quite content with that. When that was taken away, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself, all his focus was finding survivors and if this was the end of the Scorpions. Even once he found some survivors he struggled with his possible new role within the unit. With as much struggle as the poor man went through I would have thought we would have known him better. And then there were his feelings for the Officer. We never knew why Kendras felt the way he did except for maybe some hero and survivor worship?? As far as I could tell the Officer basically kept himself mostly separate from the unit, so I wish we knew more about why Kendras had this deep love for the Officer. Speaking of love, this book is not very romantical. Is there a possible relationship by the end of the book, yes… But is there much romance along the way? Not really. I was ok with this as the book as a whole didn’t really have a romantical setting. I still really enjoyed the story and it kept me engaged the entire time, it was pretty interesting; however, it is definitely not a romance that I am used to. If you can even consider this book in the “romance” genre.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It took me out of my norm and I enjoyed that. Am I going to be all gung ho on the M/M genre now, probably not, but I will probably read the second book in this series when it comes out. It was an interesting world and I liked the story telling overall. I am curious to see where this series goes.

Rating: 4 Romanticals

*A copy was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

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