Review: Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann ★★★

Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Science fiction, Futuristic Romance
Series: Fighting Destiny #1
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
ISBN: 978-0345521279
Page Count: 528

Summary:

In the not-too-distant future, the Obermeyer Institute (OI) has made a revolutionary discovery: With special training, humans can tap into the brain's hidden powers (think telepathy, telekinetic powers, super strength, and more). The training is strenuous, though, and it works only for those with natural potential. Tough girl Mac has that potential, and she's a devoted member of the OI. But there's one rule she can't help but bend. Her boss thinks celibacy is key to their work. Mac's learned differently—an active sexual life enhances her powers. And when she meets Shane, a sexy former Navy SEAL, the sparks are instant. But after the two spend an amazing night together, Mac finds out that Shane's a new recruit at the institute. How can she mix business and pleasure?

REVIEW


This is only my second book by Suzanne Brockmann (I've also read book one in her long established Troubleshooters series about a Navy Seal team) but I'm going to go ahead and assume that she follows the same pattern in all of her books of running three simultaneous romances in each novel. There's a main one, the one mentioned in the blurb, but there are also two others that get almost the same amount of page time. I have to confess, I don't love this approach. The laws of probability state that you're likely going to love one of the romances much more than the others, and so the inordinate amount of time it takes to get back to that thread of the plot will probably get on your nerves, as it did for me. It also means there are a lot of sex scenes, although the main couple do steal the show on that front. The other problem with having so many romances is the fact that it made the book very long. Over 500 pages.

I predicted I would enjoy this more than the Troubleshooters book I'd read because of the fantasy sci-fi woo woo elements in it which is more my thing, but I actually ended up rating it one star less. And the reason for that wasn't the the genre or world-building (I did really like those as predicted) but because none of the three romances did much for me, unfortunately. There were some sweet moments here and there, especially from Shane, but Mac (Michelle Mackenzie), his love interest, was largely unlikeable and very against starting a relationship with him which sometimes made her seem quite rude considering she'd already slept with him on the first night they met. The second romance was a gay relationship, a story of heretofore unrequited love, which was surprisingly sweet since I don't usually read any m/m stuff, and the third was the least explored, and yet showed the most potential for me, and that was between the leader of the Obermeyer institute and the victim in the crime the story revolves around.

The Obermeyer Institute is a place where Greater Thans (this is Brockmann's name for those who, in this future society, have been found able to access higher percentages of their brain functionality and have developed extra abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, accelerated healing, not ageing, etc) work and often live, and also the command centre for their operations which mostly consist of taking down Jokers. Jokers are the members of society who have overdosed on a new killer drug out on the streets called Destiny, which as well as providing eternal youth- its main lure for the rich and vain- also appears to be giving them symptoms that could rival a Greater Than's abilities, only without any of the common sense and restraint to go with it.

Like I said, I enjoyed this aspect and the whole idea of us not using our minds to their full potential, and I think this will keep me interested enough to try the next book in the series. And hopefully, with less world-building to take care of, Brockmann can concentrate more on providing us with at least one (or even better, three) really nice romances to sink our little teeth into.

3 Stars! ★★★

1 comment:

  1. I found both the romance and the suspense in this gritty futuristic to be engaging and enthralling. Lovers of urban fantasy and lovers of romance will both find something very entertaining here. In a future US in the midst of a Depression and being controlled by corporations, Shane Laughlin finds himself looking for work about losing his career as a Navy SEAL because he didn't blindly follow orders that would have cost the death of an innocent woman. But a new job isn't easy to find. He is contacted by the Obermeyer Institute to enter their testing program.

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