Author: Archer Kay Leah
Title: Blood Borne
Series: The Republic 3
Genre: High Fantasy
Paring: M/F, Trans, Ace
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
For Ress, survival is a complicated nightmare. Caught between two masters on different sides of the law, his life is falling apart one bad decision at a time. All he wants is to be is a good person, a loyal family man, and a successful metalsmith—a dream he can never obtain while he works for the Shar-denn, the violent gang that plagues the republic of Kattal.
To make matters worse, he works as an informant for the High Council. He scrapes through both jobs waiting for his last breath. As the Shar-denn motto says: the only way out is dead.
No stranger to living complicated decisions, Adren is caught between worlds of cir own. As the child of a Shar-denn faction boss, cir life is a conflicted tangle of expectation and duty. When cir family is arrested, Adren manages to escape, but nowhere is safe. Desperate and on the run, Adren is determined to punish Ress for turning in cir family. No one who betrays the gang can live. Ress must pay the price, even if Adren has to go against everything ce is.
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ress' life has been a difficult one hiding from the gang he betrayed, working for the council that wants information about that gang, and trying to stay with his family. Then he meets Adren and all his priorities are suddenly thrown into chaos. Unfortunately, Adren's presence only hastens the inevitability of Ress' death.
The characterizations in this story were absolutely phenomenal. Adren's balance between female, male, and something in between was perfectly written and the emotion that went into every aspect of cir actions really drew me into the story. Ress' emotions were also perfect, with just enough stress and drama that his reasons for acting the way he did made sense.
Unfortunately, outside of the characterizations I didn't find much to like about this book. The plot itself was boring. It dragged and there didn't appear to be much progress at all until it suddenly all came to a head. This story could have easily been half the length, which would have still allowed for the characters to grow, but would have cut down on the overly long plot.
The characterizations made this book for me and that is the only reason I will recommend it. Each character was brilliantly crafted and that almost made up for the fact that the plot was very boring.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.