Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Inherent Gifts
Author: Alicia Cameron
Series: Hojer #1
Genre: MM Dystopian
Length: 476 Pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction
Release Date: January 31, 2013
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Life was never the same again after The Fall, especially for those born with certain gifts that set them apart from others. Gifts that doomed those like Wren to a life of slavery with no hope of escape or turned a man like Jere into an unwilling master. When a fiery tragedy brings Jere into Wren’s life it becomes clear that this new master is like nobody else Wren has ever known. How does a slave protect himself from someone unpredictable? Can love really exist between master and slave, or will it destroy them both?
Review: This story takes place in a world where people come into mental/physical gifts at a certain age, and depending on their acquiring of those gifts, and which gifts they have, they are separated into different factions. Those with certain gifts are sent and trained, at age 13, to be slaves. Wren is one of those slaves.
Jere is a healer who inherits the Estate of his mentor upon his death, consisting of a medical practice, a large home, and a slave. Jere reluctantly takes possession of the Estate seeing it as a chance to make his life better, although he is not happy about acquiring a slave. He is from a non-slave state and is pretty naïve about how things are for slaves elsewhere.
When we meet Wren, he is practically dead from the fire that killed his previous master. Jere heals him physically, but it takes a very long time to get through mentally. Wren has many secrets about his past, including his time with his last master, and he is not sure what is safe to tell his new master, not wanting to give him more information than necessary.
The two eventually manage a relationship that works for both. Wren is Jere’s medical assistant. Jere makes no moves to hurt, use or trick Wren, as he was used to previously. Over time, they grow closer, taking one baby step at a time. There are setbacks here and there, and obvious roadblocks due to Wren’s status. He is unable to travel anywhere without a pass and can never travel to a non-slave state. So, there are some hurdles for them to deal with.
This is a really long story, but I never lost interest. I could see how damaged Wren was as we learned, little by little, what caused that. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing it could happen so easily if anyone else found out who of the slave mindset. There are things put into motion that hint of an uprising, an underground railroad, etc. And, by the end of this, Wren and Jere seem to be on the same page as far as their relationship goes. So, there is a lot to look forward to. This was a very slow burn, but I found it to be very understandable and enjoyable. As this is the first in the series, I was left content with the HFN and looking forward to reading more about how this story plays out.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*