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Dark Edge of Honor by Aleksandr Voinov

Dark Edge of Honor

by Aleksandr Voinov

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I hate getting a book that purports itself to be one thing (say Sci-Fi) and turns out to be something (though not entirely) else. Yes the story is set in a science fiction world, but it clearly is a raunchy M/M romance novel. If you are looking for a good Sci-Fi novel with a gay protagonist I’d advise that you look elsewhere. ( )
  TW_Spencer | Feb 17, 2015 |
This review is filled with parantheticals...

There’s a whole lot of backstory that is given throughout the book, so I’ll try to keep it snappy here (and pretty, too). You have Mike, an operative on a dusty backwater planet that the Alliance (vaguely good-guys) has some unknown interest in, and Sergei, part of the Doctrine (vaguely bad-guys) sources coming to take over and, no joke, indoctrinate the people. These are, coincidentally, our lovers, and through some very daring choices, they end up in the field together. (It's all a bit Romeo and Juliet.)

I was a little hard on this book as I listened to it, mostly because of what happened last time I listened to a Gay Romance. (See my review of Escape Velocity.) But toward the end I found myself more and more amazed at how much info was given without spending (too much) time on actual exposition. No, that was left to moments of reflection and brief discussions (and omissions) when the boys were just getting to know one another. It was actually nice how before they could really settle into something temporary, the rug was pulled out and something proverbial hit the fan.

And even though I was hard on the audiobook, credit must be given to Jack LeFleur, who took an almost ridiculous plot very seriously, and he read the sex scenes respectably. The fact that I set the book’s playback to three times the regular speed has nothing to do with him, but more to do with the voices of the narrators. Sparse and compact sentences just sound like you’re listening to a very long spoken word performance of romance. And that doesn’t work at all. It was too dramatic, there was too much gravitas for something that is more contrived than cunning. Listening to it faster kept the pace where it should be. Reading short sentences usually has a reader flying through the pages, after all.

I’m hopeful for this this couple, but with all the world-building and tempting unanswered questions in the background it’s almost a shame this book is standalone. I’m torn between advising buy or borrow because lovers of sci-fi and military romance will probably come back to this one again and again.

(Read/Skim/Miss) (Buy/Borrow)
12:15. Carina Press. 15 Aug. 2011. ( )
  knotbox | Dec 1, 2014 |
This book felt not dissimilar in the beginning to the Special Forces by Voinov, apart from the whole 'nother planet' thing. Soldiers on opposing sides, desolate countryside and meeting in a shifty apartment in the city of hookups. It all felt so deliciously familiar.

But, the more I read and the more I wanted to enjoy it as much as I did Special Forces. Unfortunately the chemistry and intensity that Vadim and Dan brought to the page, was sorely lacking in this book. I just didn't feel the conflict, passion and raw sexuality between Sergei and Mike. The sex often felt quick with no build up and I just didn't feel emotionally invested in the story.

Perhaps it is a little unfair to compare, but the similarities between the two books felt so marked, I couldn't help but see the contrast. Might need to go back and try a re read at some point, but at the moment I just can't get into it. ( )
  sharrow | Sep 21, 2013 |
I really liked this one. If you like m/m but aren't sure about sci-fi this would be a good place to start (sort of sci-fi lite since the world is very easy to relate to). Sergei is like a kinder, gentler version of Vadim for SF fans. I will never look at the gekko's on my deck the same way again. :-) ( )
  FanGirlMom | Apr 2, 2013 |
Wonderful enemies to lovers story. The plot and relationship kept me glued to the pages, or in my case the audio which was quite well done. Though a highly trained soldier, Sergei is so young, idealistic and vulnerable compared to the more seasoned and experienced Mike. Great pairing! ( )
  DianeYu | Jun 13, 2012 |
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Sergei Stolkov is a faithful officer, though his deepest desires go against the Doctrine. A Captian with the invading Coalition forces, he believes that self-sacrifice is the most heroic act and his own needs are only valid if they serve the state. Mike, an operative planted within Cirokko's rebels, has been ordered to seduce Sergei and pry from him the Coalition's military secrets. His mission is a success, but as he captures Seregu's heart, Mike is tempted by his own charade and falls in love. When the hostile natives of the planet Cirokko make thier move, all sems lost. Can mike and Sergei survive when the Coalition's internal affairs divsion takes an interest in what happened in the dusty mountains of Zasidka Pass...?… (more)

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