Pre-Release Review: Scorpion by Aleksander Voinov

Posted: May 13, 2013 by sidlove in 5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Shelley's Reviews
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Pre-release Review by Shelley

five-stars120205

TITLE: Scorpion (Book #1)
SERIES: Memory of Scorpions
AUTHOR: Aleksandr Voinov
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
BLURB: 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.

(Note: This is a revised edition of Scorpion, originally released in May, 2011.)

REVIEW:

Gods below! It’s another Voinov winner!

This author nails it for me. Every. Single. Time.  Nobody writes military m/m like this.

Scorpion is a dark(er) military fantasy set in the old empire of Shara, where three cities fight and plot against each other. This is a tale of warriors and nobles and the battles they wage for ultimate power. Politics and skulduggery, power plays with brutal costs and sex – really fierce warrior type sex.

Voinov gives you, the reader front row seats to this story. His words painting images of an ancient war torn world filled with larger than life characters. Your senses will reel with the illusory smells of sweat, sex, leather and dust; the pain and pleasure is real enough to engage any reader’s empathy.

The writing is a joy (as always), with just enough subtle mystery between the lines to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. You won’t find any needless flamboyant prose in Scorpion as Voinov conveys his point with effortless exacting precision.

He wow’s me with concise descriptions like this: “…handsome in a way that a clean, well-kept blade was attractive.” – That’s all you get, and yet you know everything there is to know in that one line. Brilliance my friends!

The Scorpions are an elite warrior force – strong and fierce with heart, soul and plenty of, er  … stamina (pause to fan myself) they are all worthy, honourable and fiercely loyal.

“We are the Seventeenth, the Scorpions, what remains of one of the great legions of Shara,”

Each one handpicked, and plucked from the jaws of death or slavery for their unique will to fight and never give up. Scorpions never give up!

Kendras is a Scorpion warrior, injured and separated from his unit after a battle gone wrong when he is lured by Gray eyes (Steel) to do his bidding. With no choice and being a rather pragmatic warrior, Kendras agrees. His honour, loyalty and devotion to his unit fuels his need to find his comrades and his Officer who is more than just his leader, he is his heart. Kendras does whatever he can to reach them. With thoughts and memories of his Officer’s and mentor’s words to guide him and remind him of whom he is, we gain a vital insight into the character of the Scorpion leader – an honourable, self-sacrificing powerful warrior who would die for his men.

“All men die, Kendras. Better get used to it. And then fight until the end, with every breath, every heartbeat, every single, last thought.”

Scorpion is a gritty compact story that encompasses everything an 800 page fantasy novel ever could, but this is better.

It’s flawless storytelling by my favourite wordsmith that should not be overlooked. This story has given me goosebumps on my goosebumps, full body blushes and hot flushes. I’ve swallowed back tears and held my breath longer than is normal, I have laughed and raged and it’s bloody awesome.

There is no real reason to rate this book anything less than 5 Stars. Sure, things didn’t go as I would have liked or expected and perhaps I would have appreciated more page time with the soulless Steel (gray eyes), but in the scheme of things it would have left big gaping flaws in the plot if I wanted things to go my way; and thus, I am just the reader and submit to the all-knowing greatness of this author.  I’ll take nothing away from those stars.

Just be warned that this is not your conventional romance, not at all. It’s darker, edgier, and fiercer. There is no pussy footing about; Scorpion is raw and brutal at times, but softened just so with certain vulnerabilities, a significant gaze and a warriors heart.

“If you lie with scorpions . . .” you’d better have a taste for poison. – I do!  It’s bitter sweet, and oh so addictive.

Highly recommended!


PRE-ORDER LINK: Riptide Publishing

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Comments
  1. Macky says:

    Great review Shelley. You’ve sold me! 😉

  2. Read – and LOVED – the original edition. I’m about dancing with joy because it looks like sequel(s) are coming!!!!

    • sidlove says:

      The author just informed me that he is, in fact, working on the sequel which is named “Lying with Scorpions”!! Isn’t that cool?!! 😀

  3. Shelley says:

    Yes! The sequel is coming!!! This is the newer sharper edition and I loved every second of it. I can’t wait for the next one 🙂

  4. Shelley says:

    Ha! How apt is that last line then …

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