Book Review: Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov

Scorpion by Aleksandr VoinovTitle: Scorpion
Series: Memory of Scorpions, Book 1
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Genre: Historical Romance, Science Fiction, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: NetGalley
Published: May 27, 2013 by Riptide Publishing

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.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: A good adventure story of one man’s personal journey but this didn’t include a good romance for me in part because of the high level of sexual violence.

The Set Up: Kendras is one of the Scorpions, an elite fighting force but he’s gravely injured in the final battle of a war that may have killed his fellow Scorpions. Kendras’s shattered foot and sexual servitude to a mercenary won’t prevent him from trying to rebuild the Scorpions.

Why I Read this Book: I’ve read a couple books by Aleksandr Voinov before and have been wanting to read more of his work. And that cover, I mean look at his eye! It’s fierce! I’m also a sucker for moobs.

What I Liked: This is a classic hero quest book in the spirit of The Iliad. Kendras is a good character that I came to care about. His traumatic childhood and subsequent induction into the Scorpions is powerful storytelling as readers are privy to his character development from an embittered abuse survivor to the man who will do anything for his band of brothers. Kendras is on a quest from the beginning of the novel to find out what happened to his fellow Scorpions and their leader. He navigates political intrigues, murder and hidden identities for the Scorpions and in doing so grows as a person. I like a good quest story and that’s precisely what this book was.

What I Didn’t Like: I’m a romance reader and sex doesn’t equal romance for me, let alone the violent sex that permeates this novel. I wasn’t even sure who Kendras’s love interest is until I’d finished more than half the novel. In my opinion this novel had pervasive sexual violence, both in physical rapes and rapes by power differentials where one partner couldn’t say no due to being a slave or needing medicine. In my opinion this novel was full of casual sexual violence that didn’t further the story. I suppose an argument could be made that Kendras’s perpetual sexual abuse showed his character and commitment to the Scorpions but I was just repulsed by the casual use of sexual violence to tell this story.

IMO: This wasn’t a romance I enjoyed at all but the quest adventure had me finishing a book I wouldn’t have otherwise.


J9’s Rating:
1 Frog

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I've read only one of his other books, the HUGE Mercenaries triology. There was a lot of sexual violence in that book, especially in the begining, but I think it was appropriate there and both characters were able to get past it, to a degree.

    And I agree, this guy has gorgeous eyes.


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