Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Edge of Desperation
Author: Nat Kennedy
Series: Wielder World #1
Genre: MM Sci-Fi/Paranormal
Length: 106 Pages
Publisher: Lagomorth Press
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Assistant Professor Reggie Wolfe has simple goals: to help his engineering students succeed and to stop male Wielders from falling into Taint without drawing attention from the Bureau of Wielder Services. A select few can Wield the Nerve of the World. Women Wielders do so freely, without any repercussions. For men, it’s another story. They fight Taint and Corruption for the same power.
Reggie’s easy life upends when Kyle, a young male Wielder, lands at his feet, trapped in his Taint and pursued by the very criminal Wielder cults the Bureau is fighting. As the two work to control Kyle’s Taint, Reggie realizes he will do everything he can to help Kyle, even follow him into darkness.
Edge of Desperation is the opening novella to the Wielder World series—gay romantic urban fantasy full of magic, suspense, and dedication born of trial and blood.
Review: I’m a little unsure about this story. The blurb pretty much tells you what it’s about, with the Wielders and their powers, etc. The main gist of this story is about how the male Wielders are unable to use their powers without repercussions in the form of Corruption, which grows on them like lizard skin, more and more as they use their powers. That is the part they cannot hide for very long. They are also prone to falling into Taint, which is a sort of madness.
Reggie is a Wielder who also has the power of easing the Taint in others and is able to help them ease it on their own. He is unable to do anything about the Corruption though. And, by using his powers to help others, his own Corruption grows.
There are cult-like groups that are trying to recruit other males to corral their powers, find ways to fix their Taint and Corruption issues, and go against the women and other law enforcement type agencies who would rather just put the men in institutions.
Reggie meets Kyle, a young man having trouble with his powers and tries to help him before the authorities get a hold of him. There is some attraction between them, but Reggie sticks to his guns of solely helping Kyle learn to ease his Taint and keep him from the growing Corruption. Although they are not very far apart in age, Kyle is a student at Reggie’s university, which Reggie believes is a good reason to not do anything.
Here is what I’m unsure about. The world building is definitely interesting, but I never really felt much of a connection with the characters. I didn’t really feel that we got to know much about Reggie aside from his powers and crusade to help others. Likewise, we don’t learn much about Kyle either, other than he’s somewhat of a bad boy who feels that if he has the powers he should be able to use them. It isn’t until the end, after they go through a pretty major ordeal involving the main cult, that these guys show more of themselves.
However, I was interested enough in the story to keep turning pages to the end and am looking forward to the next installment to see where things go from here. This book really feels like the set up to the rest of the story, and I was interested and intrigued enough to want more.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*