Book Reviews

Exodus (Heaven Corp 2) by CC Bridges at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic / Cyborgs / Future Earth / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 14-May-2018

Book Blurb

The truth could lead to war.

 

Henry “Hank” Abraham enjoys being one of the most sought-after personalities in Heaven. Life is good in the floating city for someone born to one of the wealthy and influential Founding Families. Hank parties with the privileged and beds someone different every night, flouting the morality laws that control the lives of the common people on the city’s lower levels. Then someone tries to kill him—repeatedly. Terrorists have Hank in their crosshairs, and his long disinterest in politics has come home to roost.

 

Ian Caldwell has been a security guard for the Abraham family for years. He survives the hypocrisy by sneaking away to the BDSM clubs on Earth to feed his baser desires. When he’s assigned to protect Hank, Ian pushes his attraction for his client aside. That kind of thing could get him reprogrammed. But he doesn’t count on actually falling for a man who isn’t as shallow and self-absorbed as he seems. Neither of them is prepared for the truth behind the attacks. Their journey will take them from Heaven to hell and beyond… and it might bring the tension between the classes to a violent head at last.

 

 

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2014.


Book Review

Set before the events of ‘Angel 1089’, this is the story of how Hank and Ian, very good friends of Jeff in book one, became the happy couple I got to see in that story. In many ways ‘Exodus’ does a better job of explaining this science fiction world, and I’d suggest you read it first to increase your enjoyment. The world building (in both books) is fantastic, imaginative, and just a little bit scary because it is so believable based on current trends in our society as well as the emerging technology we see today. After all, hacking and terrorism take on a whole new meaning when everyone’s mind is connected to the net via brain implants.

Hank is the youngest son of one of the Founding Families, owners of the twelve companies that constitute Heaven Corp. He appears to be nothing more than a spoiled brat from a privileged background who drinks and f*cks his way through life without a second thought. Hank shows no consideration for his fellow humans, be they uplevelers from Heaven – one of the cities floating in the sky that has all the technology you can imagine and offers a life of leisure to the rich and powerful, or a downleveler – a member of the majority of humankind who live in Heaven, yet still suffer poverty and are subjected to extremely restrictive laws. Hank’s only problem seems to be how to evade his guards each night so that he can have his fun – until there are several assassination attempts and Hank has to open his eyes to the ugly truth.

Ian has worked his way up from the lower levels and he is very aware of his precarious situation, especially after he saves Hank’s life the first time and is put in charge of the 24/7 security Hank’s mother orders. His status is pretty much that of a slave: he has no rights, only limited access to the cybernetic modifications and health benefits upleverlers enjoy, and he is expendable. He has had a crush on Hank for the five years he has been a security guard in the family’s household, but he knows not to admit it or face reprogramming. His situation had me angry on his behalf from the start – but it makes the differences between the classes of this vision of the future perfectly clear. Ian also has a few secrets that would put him in legal jeopardy if they ever came out. Being kinky, not to mention a lover of full-on BDSM, is illegal in Heaven – and I suspect the mere idea of a downleveler wanting to tie up and spank an upleveler probably carries the death penalty in this society.

Hank and Ian are a fascinating couple: they do not start out on an even footing since Ian is basically Hank’s bodyguard, a personal relationship is practically unthinkable in the society they live in, the development of their romance is really, really well done, and the suspense of the events that occur had me turning the pages as fast as possible. The political intrigue, power-motivated maneuvering, social tensions, and terrorist threats made this a very suspenseful read on many levels.

If you enjoy stories set in imaginative futuristic worlds that illustrate what sorts of consequences today’s technology and societal trends might have, if characters discovering themselves and a larger truth are your thing, and if you’re looking for a story that will sweep you into a world full of injustice, potential, and in need of a revolution or two, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s an amazing achievement and I can’t wait for the next installment!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/64450 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 27-February-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/exodus-by-cc-bridges-9372-b