Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Tour for Kain by Brie McGill (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of sci-fi, I found myself drawn to the intriguing and fast-paced premise of Kain by Brie McGill.  Keep reading to get my impressions of this book and learn even more about it by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for your chance to win print and e-copies of this book too!

Beaten to a pulp, drugged into a daze, and brainwashed into oblivion, human experiment Lukian Valentin gambles his life to evade another eviscerating afternoon with his trigger-happy superiors. Fifty stories of a maximum-security building and hundreds of trained special operatives can’t hold a candle to his will to escape. Beyond the laser bars of his holding cell, Lukian must surmount the even greater challenges of repairing the fragments of his broken mind, forgiving himself for his unwilling involvement with the Empire, and learning what it means to live on his own.
The sassy and commanding Naoko Nai wonders just what to do with the soft-spoken, socially awkward, and totally ripped guy she was assigned to train for employment. She knows nothing else about him, other than the fact he was granted asylum, is great with a knife, and his little white apron gives her distinctly unprofessional thoughts.
When the Empire comes to collect, Naoko unwittingly provides the perfect bait to reel Lukian back to headquarters for a fresh series of brain implants and repair.
To save the woman he loves, Lukian must summon the deadly powers implanted in him by the Empire—powers he fears he can’t control, powers he struggled to forgive himself for using, powers that may drive Naoko away forever—because no ordinary man has struck a blow against the Empire and lived to tell the tale. To save Naoko, Lukian must emerge victorious from the battle against himself.



From the very start it's clear that this book is like no other.  With its blend of 1984, The Running Man, and The Bourne Identity this read ended up being complex, vividly detailed, heartpounding at times, as well as romantic as our hero ultimately finds the freedom to love.  This book requires a bit of thinking as things aren't always as they appear and provides much fodder for debate in its depiction of a domineering society taking away free will.  The journey to HEA didn't always go smoothly but it did entertain.

When the story opens Lukian is a model citizen, for the most part.  He's starting to have problems though, blackouts and torturous dreams that leave him wanting answers.  He won't find those answers from the government officials supposed to help society.  This group of individuals are vile and immoral and generate feelings of foreboding whenever they come on the scene.  The only ally Lukian has is his roommate Aidan who feels unsettled too as they long for something else.  The world Lukian is in expects blind obedience and no deviation from the norm, a sterile environment that set me on edge waiting for something bad to happen.  It's a cold environment that's as duplicitous as its officials.

It's no wonder Lukian wants to escape.  There's a promise land that's the complete opposite of where he comes from.  It's a land of energy and freedom where you can feel alive.  Lukian's escape takes him on a dangerous journey through vastly different landscapes, both physical and mental.  In his travels he slowly discovers himself and his sad and bloody past.  These realizations lead him to discovering his true self, Kain.  There's a sense of peace around his new self, a boyishness that's appealing, but also a naïveté that leaves him confused in certain situations.  These issues especially impact his burgeoning relationship with Naoko which causes much strife and a bit of frustration to their romance.  The fact that the government wants their highly trained prize back also imperils his romance as they'll use whatever means necessary to return him home in an action-packed conclusion that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Lukian/Kain is a compelling character who's had a tragic past of being sold and made into the government's creation.  Until he breaks away he never really lived and seeing him do so was uplifting.  His journey at first felt surreal and dream-like until the reality of saving Naoko crashed him back down into pulse-pounding and bloody scenes that were riveting after a slow start and draggy middle section.  Overall this was a cleverly crafted read that gives readers much to talk about long after the final page is turned.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Doctors suspect Brie developed an overactive imagination during childhood to cope with the expansive corn maze known as rural Pennsylvania. Unable to afford an operation to have the stories surgically removed from her brain, she opted instead to write them down.
Brie currently lives in British Columbia with her boyfriend and naughty black cat, somewhere not too far from the sea. She enjoys trips to the local farm, chatting with her long-distance friends on a rotary phone, and roflstomping video games from the nineties.
Brie’s favorite storytellers include Anne Rice, George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson.


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