Author: CC Bridges
Reviewed by: Sandra
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Sci Fi
ISBN 13: 9781627985314
Summary: Henry “Hank” Abraham’s privileged status in the floating city of Heaven lets him flout Morality Laws that control the lives of others. But when he wakes up in the arms of another stranger, only bodyguard Ian Caldwell’s quick thinking saves his life.
Though Ian’s from the low levels and the labor class, he’s used to dealing with the pampered society of Heaven. He’s assigned to protect Hank while angels, cybernetically modified humans who defend Heaven, investigate the assassination attempt. Doing his job means Ian must ignore his growing interest in Hank. Acting on their mutual attraction would certainly get Ian reprogrammed, something neither of them can afford.
When Hank follows Ian to a popular BDSM club in Downside and his ID chip is lost during a nearly fatal mugging, he finds himself locked out of Heaven. As Ian fights to get them home, rumors of impending war begin to circulate—along with more troubling news that Ian is wanted for Hank’s murder. While struggling to keep the man he has come to love safe, Ian must find out who’s behind the plot and if it’s a catalyst for war or just a convenient excuse.
Review: I have to say that I found this really refreshing. Some amazing world-building, although it took me longer than it should have to figure out exactly what the rules of this world were. Some of these things may have been revealed in book 1, Angel 1089, although it did seem like this could be read as a stand alone.
Basically humans have mucked up the Earth, so they started building up. First was level 360 then they kept going up and getting better, until you get to the uppermost levels where richies and angels reside. The Earth’s surface is “Downside”, everything else is “Upside” and “Heaven”. “Heaven” is actually “Heaven Corporation” and there is also a “Texico Corporation” that seemed to be a competitor, but this is where I got a little fuzzy.
Since I was just picturing Heaven as “up”, where is Texico? And while I thought it was a very interesting twist to have Heaven and Angels and all these things with religious connotations that were actually man-made technological advances… I needed some clarification. Are they just words or do they mean what they mean to us today? They had morality laws and blaspheming, but I was unclear on people’s actual religion or if this was even a religious world in the sense we think of it today. Since they’re already in “Heaven”, what do they think happens to them when they die.
But I digress. The slow build between Hank and Ian was very pleasant and realistic. Despite Hank being bratty and spoiled I actually liked him, and he matured quite a bit which was wonderful to watch. Once the sex happens, which is fairly late in the game, it is plenty hot. I’m not sure how I feel about the BDSM aspect though. Don’t get me wrong, I like BDSM books, but I’m on the fence of if it brought anything to the story or just added an unnecessary complication. I don’t think they delved enough into the power exchange and what it gave to both Hank and Ian separately to justify it’s presence. But anyway, it was still hot.
Interesting world, interesting characters, interesting plot. I will definitely be backtracking to read book 1, and I hope desperately that book 3 features Ty/Uriel! Although I have a feeling Ian and Hank may resurface in a future book. There were some things that felt a little unfinished or were left open , and I definitely think it would have benefited from an Epilogue.