on Aug. 5, 2015 :
I read Ann Somerville's Darshian's Tales before I read Cold Front. I think it was a brilliant concept to write another series about the same planet and culture 3,000 years in the future.
It's a very different world now, a much nastier one as the planet has grown into the equivalent of our world, almost making it an Urban Fantasy but not quite because it's not set on Earth. I must admit I thought I'd downloaded a bad copy because the first 20 or so chapters are based on word building, repeating the start of the first chapter but taking the story in a different directions as it unfolds. I still gave this 5 stars but my only complaint was the 20-25 pages from chapter 1 were included in every chapter up until chapter 21. That's a lot of re-reading but I understand why she did this.
SO don't send a poor Smashwords staff member an e-mail saying you think you have a corrupted file. I have never encountered this to such a large extent before.
While the planet is no longer in the dark ages you discover that that time was actually their golden years, even though there was wars and civil unrest.
This was three stories in one that flowed together seamlessly, about two cops working together who slowly fall for one another. It is quite a brutal book too so if you're triggered by rape, hostage situations and murder then be forewarned as it's a graphic read but a damn fine one at that.
It was great to see that the very small handful of people on the planet still held their magical gifts. Although they're used in a very different was from how their ancestors used their's.
The writing is excellent as is the plot and sub plots, the main characters Dek and Ren are backed up by other solid major players in the book too that also has great minor sub plots that contribute to it all round experience which I found awesome.
You don't need to have read The 4 Epic novel's that make up The Darshian Tales but if you like the vibe of this world that Ann Somerville has created then definitely read them for a background on the planet, there is no storyline or information needed to read these first.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Aug. 17, 2012 :
It took me a little while to get into this book initially, maybe because it was quite episodic at the beginning, but once the main plot got going I quickly found myself hooked!
This book is both a taut thriller and a kinky love story. Dek and Ren are both quite tough, macho guys and both have troubled histories so their relationship isn't typically 'romantic' but the tenderness and loyalty between them came across as all the more raw and real for that.
The BDSM aspect of their relationship is made very clear towards the beginning of the novel and remains a potent undercurrent in their relationship. It doesn't define them as individuals or as a couple but it is an integral part of who they are.
This is a novel in which readers are definitely not spoon-fed, in any sense.
We are thrown head-first into this other world - another planet or another reality - it's never explained and probably doesn't matter - and left to work things out for ourselves by picking up on details about the world and the society as they emerge and making sense of them for ourselves.
We are also not allowed the luxury of believing that anyone can suffer horrific events without damage and trauma, that evil doesn't leave a lasting legacy.
I really enjoyed this darkly absorbing book and found myself caring for its outwardly tough, inwardly vulnerable heroes.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)
on Feb. 12, 2012 :
Excellent. What can i say that hasn't already been said. Read it. Well worth it. And a thank you to Whitecrow for the tip on "A Walk in Darkness". I'll be checking it out. I'm currently reading "Unsettled Conditions". Again, excellent, so far. Expect it will be the same throughout. Love Ann.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on May 23, 2011 :
I enjoyed this. Ann is a good writer, so it is enjoyable to know the author cares enough to use good grammar and a spell-checker. Interesting characters, very well formed, and a good plot. I really liked the world they inhabit, Ann has done a good job of building a culture and a reason for that culture in her world. If you like this, look for her free "A Walk in Darkness", an alternate Dek and Ren story. Written a while after this, it shows more maturity in handling of the characters and their complexities. I'll be reading more of hers. If you like a well-crafterd, interesting story then this is it.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on April 9, 2011 :
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
C S McClellan
on March 9, 2011 :
This is a good solid read for fans of mysteries. Somerville's novels are always well-written with fully developed characters that the reader can sympathize with. There's a good deal of gay sex, but it's part of a developing relationship that feels real. The mystery is a complex one, centering around a series of murders, and leads to an unexpected ending. It all takes place in an alternate universe where paranormal abilities are part of the culture, but the feeling is of a contemporary setting rather than someplace strange and exotic.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)