Title: The Experiment
Author: Alicia Nordwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
In human war with Caeorleia, it’s no holds barred. Ask Ryker, who becomes an experiment to sabotage the alien planet.
In the distant future, humans wage war against the alient planet Caeorleia, with no tactic off-limits if it will help the humans get their hands on Caeorleia’s resources. Ask Ryker. He thought he volunteered for a simple experiment that would help his government in the war. He didn’t realize sadistic doctors would turn him into the experiment – by injecting him with blood from a captured Caeorleian, Seral Iorflas.
Nor did Ryker realize he’d be sent to sabotage a planet full of the very beings his world is battling, beings who kill humans on sight. But then, thanks to the experiment that irrevocably changed him, he isn’t exactly human any longer – and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he’s on.
This was an excellent book that had me hooked in the first two sentences and never let me go until the last line. Of course as a science fiction book it has a head start with me, since that is my all time favourite genre. It was full of action and politic intrigue as well as being a love story between an alien and a human who have both been victims of human experimentation.
The Experiment portrays humans as a vicious race with no scruples and the aliens whilst not perfect behave much more as we would like to believe we humans would do when under attack by an alien race.
The story starts with Ryker trapped in the same cell he’s been in since he volunteered to take part in a 5 year scientific experiment, only now he knows that he is the experiment and his experiences have been traumatic and dreadful and he longs for death. Instead of death he finds himself on the planet Caeorleia at the mercy of the aliens who kill humans on sight, only Ryker is no longer fully human having been been injected with Caeorleian blood as part of the experiment. So instead of becoming an abused spy as the humans intended he actually finds love and a life far better than anything he could dream of having on Earth.
However not all Caeorleian’s welcome Ryker and thus begins an action packed story of betrayal and political intrigue all whilst we watch Ryker and Seral Iosflas learn to love and trust each other. Best thing: There was lots of misdirection so I never figured out who the baddie was until they revealed themselves in full megalomaniacal style.
This book could easily have achieved 5+ stars except I found the intricacies of the original poisoning of Seral and Ryker by the humans just a little confusing. That said I know this is a book that I will be reading again and strongly recommend it to everyone who loves sci-fi and m/m romance.
There are definitely opportunities for the author to write more books in this universe, but part of me can’t wait to read them and part of me hopes that she doesn’t, just in case a sequel isn’t as compelling a read as this one.
Reviewed by Smidgeson.