Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone

the-android-and-the-thiefTitle ~ The Android and the Thief

Author ~ Wendy Rathbone

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 3rd April 2017

Genre ~ Science Fiction, M/M Romance





Will love set them free—or seal their fate?

In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.

But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.


Sally’s Review

I guess that M/M Romance is best known for the erotic contemporary romances that seem to be most prolific, and no wonder because they are also the most popular. But I’m seeing more and more books on offer for review that showcase the other genres - sci fi, fantasy, thrillers, crime dramas, military adventures, paranormals and historicals. More choice, and with a greater range of plot/heat balance, to offer to a much greater range of readers can only be good. Books like this one by Wendy Rathbone are exemplary for what can be done to make the genre enticing. A combination of hard sci fi, Mafia style family angst, social commentary, art theft caper, prison drama and it’s also funny with oodles of complex and exciting plot and a touching romance as a bonus.

The story opens with smart-arse Trev practising his light-fingered trade in robbing a museum, which frankly didn’t endear him to me, but then I saw that he was stealing a precious paper copy of The Machineries of Joy by Ray Bradbury and I was on his side for the rest of the book. Trev has been carefully, if brutally, nurtured to be exactly what his father needs him to be and the pay off is a life of occasional danger and everyday luxury- as long as he does exactly as he is told and shows the proper respect. If not, the penalties can be extremely severe.

Trev’s creepily loving background couldn’t be a greater contrast to that endured by android Khim, bred to fight and die for causes he has no need to understand and discarded when no longer fit for purpose. But both crime family bosses and the armed forces need to show a profit and it’s the callousness of both organisations that lead to Trev and Khim meeting and their eventual partnership to try and find some happiness and freedom in a repressive society.

This book really hit the spot for me, with a perfect balance of action scenes, romance and world building. There are some horrible scenes in it, that are presented as horrific without that uneasy sense that the reader is supposed to find it erotic, but they are short and to the point, moving the plot along. There are some very funny moments that break up the tension without slowing things down. There’s not much sex, so when the time is right it means that much more. So yeah, this was a terrific book that left me with just one question – why haven’t I heard of Wendy Rathbone before? This is far too polished to be a debut novel and, sure enough, she has a considerable backlist. I can see some good reading coming my way in the next few months.

Purchase Links



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1 comment:

  1. Such an interesting concept! Sounds really good...