Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the dystopian future, two men discover attraction isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.
It is the year 2070. Generations ago, the world was annihilated by catastrophic environmental events. The survivors were driven to live in big city centers ruled by the Company. To rebuild the world’s population, the oppressive Company had one rule: all homosexuals must be exterminated.
Commander Caspar Cannon has a stellar military reputation—and a life-threatening secret. When a revolution rips through the territories, Cannon is ordered to escort Company executive Nathaniel Rice to a secure location. For months, the commander has harbored illicit desire for Rice, knowing he cannot act on his attraction. Privileged, polished, and groomed to one day take over the Company, Rice is drawn to the rugged, military man. Yet Rice has his own mysterious agenda, and he knows their love can be as dangerous as the wasteland they must traverse.
Now leaving the besieged city behind, the two men embark on a journey that becomes a minefield of sabotage, betrayal—and forbidden passion. But when danger catches up to them, can Cannon trust the secretive man who holds his heart—and his fate?
Dirty talk doesn’t work for me. It’s unfortunate, because the narrator’s voice leans on the graphic side in an overly-wordy fashion. At first I thought Warren‘s writing reminded me of Damon Suede’s in Hot Head because despite its flaws—namely wordiness and vulgarity—the writing is compulsively readable somehow. I can’t quite explain it because the story definitely didn’t suck me in.
It wasn’t the characters either. Neither Blondie—Nathaniel Rice—or Caspar act like men who’ve grown up in a world where homosexuality is illegal. Blondie is too handsy and Caspar too talkative. Sex is their shorthand for insta-trust, but it’s not believable in the world the author describes. Not unless the narrator has a death wish and nothing else in his behaviour indicates that does.
I mentioned vulgarity earlier, and here it passes as erotic, which it’s not. It’s really not. Unless you’re one of the people who finds armpit sweat sexy.
The world building is crudely done but quite solid. It’s explained in lengthy infodumps by the first person voice narrator’s thoughts rather than evolved naturally through plot progression and dialogue. This didn’t actually bother me as much as I thought it would. In fact, it was the reason I kept reading instead of DNFing after the first chapter. Then when the Nomads are introduced it becomes clear that this book is trying to be social commentary on the current situation of the sexual minorities and no, I just don’t have enough faith in the author’s talent to see that train wreck through.
I DNFed at 38%.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.