Audio Review: Amy Lane – Under the Rushes

1028507Author: Amy Lane
Reviewer: Sandra
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press LLC
Genre: M/M Steampunk
ISBN: 9781623802455

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Summary:
Ten years after Dorjan trusted a boy’s word over his superior officer’s, he and his best friend, Areau, are still living the aftermath—and trying to stop the man responsible. Locked in a careful dance to bring down a corrupt government, Dorjan struggles to balance his grief with Areau’s anger. Just when Dorjan reaches the end of his rope, he sees a familiar face in the shadows, and the boy he trusted a decade before offers him unexpected kindness.

Taern remembers the soldier who found him under the rushes and listened to his pleas to save his family. When Dorjan reappears in his life, Taern is both captured by his commitment to justice and terrified by the risks he takes. All Taern wants to do is fix him, but the oncoming destruction has been ten years in the making, and Dorjan doesn’t want his help. Not if it puts Taern at risk.

Powers clash and a world’s fate dangles between Areau’s madness and Dorjan’s nobility. While Dorjan fights to save the world, Taern joins the battle simply to save Dorjan, knowing everything hinges on the heart of a man in armor and the strength of the man who loves him.
Review:
I have no excuse for waiting so long to review this. I really enjoyed it but wanted to get my thoughts in order because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to say. Unfortunately, a month hasn’t really helped me collect myself.

A creative mix of historical and futuristic (as I guess is typically the case with Steampunk), Ms. Lane did not spare with the world building. I willsay that there were a lot of new terms and terminology thrown in early on that left me a little lost temporarily. But I just accepted that it would become clear in time, and it did shortly.

But the meat of the story happens 10 years in the future, when Dorjan is living with the consequences of his actions. I frequently wanted to smack Areau for his selfishness, and then I wanted to smack Dorjan for giving in. But all that misery is just necessary set-up for when Taern swoops in to take over their lives. He’s pushy and in your face, but it worked. I loved seeing how they’re unusual relationship developed in juxtaposition to the increasing political tension.

Normally I am not a fan of political machinations, but there were so many different elements here. The personal relationships and what they’d been through in the past, the current political climate, the societal differences and the affect that Dorjan’s family’s asteroid mine plays. Very interesting.

And the audio perfectly conveyed all of that. As good as this book was, depending on when it found me, if I a had tried to read it I very well may have taken a break and inadvertently not gotten back to it. Hard to say. But the audio version allows you to come and go easily, it allows you to hear Taern’s petulance and Dorjan’s pain. And I loved being able to hear the strength and confidence in Dorjan grow, and hear him finally accept love and that he is worthy of it.

A unique story of love and pain and sacrifice and heroism with surprising sweetness and humor (usually thanks to Taern). You get steampunk, you get superheroes, you get a bit of Sci-Fi, all rolled into one impressive story.

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