Monday, 22 August 2011

Blood Moons by Alianne Donnelly

They say no good deed ever goes unpunished, a sentiment Dara understands fully now that she is paying for a crime she didn't commit. It was stupid to call in a murder she didn't really see. But how could Dara have kept silent? Now a stunning—scratch that, a dangerous—man with a frightening secret of his own is telling her he can help. Yeah, right. A telepath knows better than to trust mere words.

The last decade of Tristan's life has been penance. All that time spent among the worst dregs of society might have made him begin to question his humanity, but he’s never felt so much like an animal as he does around this timid, delicate female. Her very presence stirs the beast within him; Tristan can feel it growing stronger every day. Any more time with Dara, and it might overpower him completely. But without her, he stands no chance at all...

Oh wow, what an utterly engaging, well written, fascinating book.

Dara has been sent to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s a telepath and knew about a murder. She telephoned the police in order to have the killer caught because she knew he wasn’t far from the crime scene, only to be accused of the killing herself. Upon her arrival at the prison, housed on another planet, she has to make a choice which part of the prison she resides in. She chooses one where there are mainly men who have committed the most heinous crimes because it feels the right thing to do. She can’t explain why that’s so, but it becomes apparent later in the tale. She trusted her instincts and ended up sharing a cell with a man named Tristan.

Tristan has been in the prison for years, spent most of it in solitude—his choice—and has been one of many who have been used for experiments. It doesn’t much matter to him what the experiments are about or for, when incarcerated with no hope of ever getting out. Being a guinea pig isn’t a problem. Until he meets Dara, who speaks to him in a way he hadn’t expected. Speaks, as in, she calls to him on some other level he’s never experienced before. He doesn’t understand it, and when he discovers she’s a telepath too, things start to change inside him. He gains feelings for her that go beyond just wanting to protect her from the other men. It’s like she’s his mate, one that fate sent him…

They form a bond, work together to enhance Dara’s telepath skills, and then things really start to get wild. Tristan changes in more ways than one, in ways that shock the life out of him and Dara—and also the doctor, who had begun to believe her tests and experiments on him just weren’t working. The doctor tells Tristan he will be leaving the prison to go to Niren Colony, and that Dara will also be going, and here is where Dara’s nightmare begins anew. She is visited in her mind by the killer again, and authorities want her help in tracking him. The scenes where she’s in the killer’s mind are exceptionally good.

I won’t reveal any more, because it will spoil the read for you, but what I will say is that the prison scenes fascinated me; the fact that they are based on another planet was also a new thing for me to read about. What follows once they reach Niren Colony is a fast-paced, engrossing set of scenes that meant I couldn’t put the book down. Fantastic writing, fantastic plot, and a wonderful hero and heroine with the ability to really get under your skin.

A fucking miracle—a quiet woman.

…he was genetically a whale at the time the scan was performed.

…he forced the weaker prisoners to wash those parts of him he couldn’t reach in the shower. (Eww, nasty bad guy.)

…new and exotic scents from skin folds that hadn’t been touched by air in years. (More from the nasty bad guy. Shiver.)

…his mouth bulging with fangs, the upper lips curved, almost split like a cat’s. (Excellent image!)

It bore repeating. (LOL)

…and made a mental note to read it in the future. (Aww.)

Excellent. A top-notch read that held me spellbound. I really enjoyed it a great deal and look forward to more books in this series. I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone. The “cage” scenes on Niren Colony are brilliant, but my faves are those in the killer’s mind—especially the one where the “crack” occurs. You’ll just have to read it to find out what I mean!

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