My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Available at: Dreamspinner Press and Amazon
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Categories: Novels, Science Fiction, Jay Kirkpatrick
Book Type: eBook
File Formats Available: .epub, .mobi, html, pdf
Other formats: Paperback
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An absorbing read that was equally exhilarating and thought-provoking. I was immediately pulled into this book by expressive writing and palpable characters.
Written in a Part 1 – Confinement / Part 2 – Escape format; Freedom is a captivating look at post-apocalyptic earth where psychic ability determines your status in society. Everyone is tested and ranked according to their abilities and usefulness. The higher one tests is not necessarily a good thing. Having “Talent” is the difference between living a hard street life or being a useful member of society. OR, being a tool to be broken.
”People like you and me, Paddy, we’re the lucky ones,” he said quietly. “We tested nicely into pre-established categories. We’re Talented enough to be usedful, but not Talented enough to be interesting.”
Plus, the cover is striking and perfect for the story. It's the best depiction I've seen in a while.
THE CHARACTERSIn a future Earth, Patrick Harvey, newly promoted Class One Empath, dreams of the independence his position brings and the apartment he’s saving for. His first solo assignment is treating John Doe 439, a man found outside the city, battered, traumatized, and apparently mute.
Despite a strong taboo against Empaths forging romantic relationships, Patrick realizes he feels a strong attraction to his patient. Soon he learns the man is a high-level Psychic Talent named Jac. Then Jac reveals that there are abusive people hunting him for his gifts, and Patrick’s uncomplicated world explodes.
Jac needs to meet up with his companions and flee the city before anyone else can find him—but it may be too late. Word of Jac’s talents has leaked to Central Government in Chicago. If Jac wants to retain his freedom, he needs to run—now. And if Patrick wants to explore a relationship his society tells him he can’t have, he’ll have to exchange the safe fetters of his job for the uncertainty of liberty.
Patrick Harvey (Paddy) - Naïve, intelligent, gentle and kind. Patrick has much to learn about a world he though he knew well.
I wanted to know what was in his mind, what his Talents were, how his life had been. I wanted… I wanted to taste his mouth again, to feel those hard but tender fingers touch my skin. I wanted… wanted…
You can have.
John Doe 439 (Jac) - Unique, special, Talented. Jac changes Patrick’s world while relearning it himself.
The additional characters; Charlie, Sam, Rob and more are all fully realized and completely interesting. Ms. Kirkpatrick truly fleshed out each secondary creating a very full story.
Newly promoted Patrick gets a crack at his first solo case, John Doe 439. John Doe has seemingly lost all decipherable communication skills, but Patrick is determined to make progress. Slowly the two learn to communicate and then, more importantly, to connect. The astounding beauty within Jac (John Doe) reveals itself to Patrick gradually, but others are becoming aware of his ‘specialness’ too. The world is turned upside down when we see that it isn’t Jac who is unclear, but instead Patrick who must decide whether to follow Jac into the unknown or remain in a world of deception.
He is changing me in ways I didn’t know I could change.
A tender moment, one of the most special lovemaking scenes I have read, cements the reader’s need to see Paddy and Jac survive. But there are many, many difficulties and even interesting current (real life) moral issues you may have to come to terms with in deciding whether their relationship works for you. Lots of food for thought here.
No onscreen sex, but the stunning impressions made by the romance are dazzling.
There’s an interesting usage of mixed POV’s which flowed surprisingly well. I believe this is a first published work for Jay Kirkpatrick, and if that’s true, this is an outstanding effort. The author has shown humanity's capacity for ugliness and brutality, compassion through touch, and how strong community can adapt to survive to create awareness of what is truly important.
Patrick stared at the white toilet on the white floor against the white wall in his tiny white bathroom and listened to the sound of illusions shattering.
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I truly want to thank Dreamspinner Press for taking a chance and sending me an ARC of this fantastic novel. Thank you.
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