Tuesday, June 18, 2019

[86-ENG] Review: Afflicted to the Core - Nat Kennedy ||+Release Blitz||

Series: Wielder World
Volume: 3/?
Publisher: Self-Published/Lagomorph Press
Genre/s: MM Urban Fantasy
Length: 93 000 words
Pages: 260

Read in: English
Review copy format: epub

Although Reggie still doesn't succumb to Kyle's charms, the boy doesn't give up, as he keeps trying to make the Professor his and is close to succeed. Their life goes on peacefully.
Unfortunately, everything changes when Kyle is accused of using his power and, despite the lack of unambiguous evidence, locked in the Disentanglement Center. As if that was not enough, the situation worsens when one day Kyle warns Reggie that he's about to be transferred somewhere else. The man has no intention to leave it that way, but legally there's nothing he can do. Seeing no other way, together with August Whalen, they decide to rescue Kyle, but that's just the beginning of their problems.

"Afflicted to the Core" is the first full novel set in the universe of "Wielder World" series and its third installment. As you can easily guess, a larger number of pages translates into content, gives the author much more possibilities, and we really see it in this book. Let's start with the fact that in "Afflicted to the Core" we can find many things that were more or less missing in the novellas, and so we have here everything that constitutes the strength of this novel and of the whole series – detailed construction of the world, characters and relationship between them, suspenseful, really interesting action, its unexpected twists, romantic theme, sex scenes, elements of the drama. In short, "Afflicted to the Core" is a novel, not just a novella, for a reason. What's more, this time the author really shows us what she can do, as she finally has a possibility to spread her wings, which she undoubtedly does. To be honest, after reading this novel I really fell in love with the world created by Nad Kennedy, which I only liked so far, although I admit that it really fascinated me from the start.

I think there's no doubt that reviewing "Afflicted to the Core" I must go back to the subject of the narrative, which I analyzed while reviewing "Edge of Desperation". In this novel, I really like the fact that we finally have the opportunity to follow events from more than just one perspective. It allows us to really get to know the characters and their thoughts, feelings, from the very beginning of the story presented here. What's more, our "horizons" of knowledge concerning "Wielder World" universe are widening, because we have a much better insight into all its aspects, its rules, and in fact into everything that creates it in this installment. However, we can't forget that enriching the narrative also changes the way the story is presented with particular focus on some of its aspects. The best example are the characters' feelings toward one another, as they are no longer "one-sided", because now we also see to what extent they are reciprocated, and what kind of reactions and emotions they evoke in other characters.

The thing that I really liked in this novel was also the fact that our characters are no longer the lonely warriors. Until now, their fate was to some extent marked by loneliness, they were forced to deal with everything alone. Sure, there were sometimes some exceptions to this rule, but at the crucial moments there was no one to count on, because our boys didn't have anyone who could or want to help them, and for one reason or another they went on their solitary crusades. That's why it was nice to see how in "Afflicted to the Core" Reggie, August and Kyle can work together, cooperate, because they finally have someone to rely on regardless of whether they are doing something legal or not. In this context, it is also important that through their cooperation their bonds are strengthened, their mutual feelings developed, and they slowly get to know one another better and better. This is a really big change and the great advantage of this book.

Reviewing "Afflicted to the Core" I certainly need to mention the male-female relations problems, which from the very beginning of the series are presented step by step. Until now, our knowledge about the reluctance of some female Wielders to men who have some powers was based only on the words of the characters and the narrator. The situation was similar with the topic of superiority of women who Wield the Nerves of the World over men. In this novel we finally have the opportunity to see it with our own eyes and to much better understand the need of some men to find a cure for all the consequences of supernatural power usage. In truth, it is thanks to all this that we can look at some of the issues from a different angle. I think that the contrast between female Wielders who are on male Wielders' side, who help them, and those who think of them as of an abomination, also makes a greater impression on us. This topic fascinated me from the beginning, so I'm happy that I had the opportunity to be a "witness" of all this, even if it is only episodic. It is even more exciting because the reference to this problem entails questions, many of which, in my opinion, concern the madness of women.

To sum up, "Afflicted to the Core" is the best and most complete part of "Wielder World" so far. The reader can enjoy a well written and well constructed story that arouses emotions, draws us in and encourages us to continue the adventure alongside the characters who are closer to us at every moment. In short, "Afflicted to the Core" is a novel that is worth reading, set in the world that you really need to learn about.

Headcanon: Sometimes Reggie and August are competing which of them will spoil Kyle more.

Fanfiction idea: Going out with Reggie and August, Kyle meets his college friends and with great satisfaction he introduces them his boyfriends. He looks at the jealousy of his female friends and the surprise of the male ones with pleasure.

AU idea: Kyle is a prince of the mighty kingdom that has conquered many peoples around. Because of boredom, the young man organizes the slave fights in which his good favor is a reward. He himself chooses the slaves for it, but when the fights start to get boring, he decides to find a way to force the two most handsome generals of his father's army - August and Reggie - to fight for him.



Here's some more about:

Book Title: Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3)
Author: Nat Kennedy
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design
Trope/s: Teacher/Student, Friends to Lovers, Threesome
Themes: Loyalty, Acceptance, mild H/C
Heat Rating: 3-4 flames (not frequent, but detailed) 

Release Date: June 14, 2019


Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges. During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions. Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.
The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization. On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends or give in to their growing attraction?

Afflicted to the Coreis the steamy third novel of the Wielder World series—gay urban fantasy full of desire, desperation, and dedication born of trial and blood.

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US
Amazon UK

From Chapter 1
A small smile brushed Kyle's lips when he spotted Reggie through the window of the cafe. Reggie lifted his hand in a wave. Kyle jerked his chin up in acknowledgment while that hint of smile burst into a grin. His bangs nearly brushed his eyes, hiding a brow ring that Reggie knew was there. Ah, what a kid.
A kid. Recently just twenty-two. But smart and daring and gorgeous, his insistent heart kept telling him. At times, when he lay alone in bed at night, Reggie reminded himself that Kyle would find someone else. Someone more exciting, more fun, more willing to be open about his sexuality. Eventually, he would just move on.
Kyle yanked the door of Grindworks Cafe open, a gust of cool air flushing in, and joined Reggie at his table. “Going to the Black Castle tonight, wanna come?”
A cold nugget of apprehension lodged itself in Reggie’s belly. The Black Castle—a mostly gay bar and dance club that was once a haven for male cultists until the Mara Murda take down last fall. Most cultists lay low, not drawing attention to themselves. Now, those that hadn’t fled into the dark forest around the lodge occupied rooms in Disentanglement Centers. The members of other cults were keeping their noses clean, according to his sister, Bethany.
The owner of the Black Castle had also been there during the Bureau bust. One August Whalen. A man he owed on many levels.
“No, thanks for the invite though.” Reggie took a sip of coffee. “Say hi to August for me.”
Kyle leaned forward, elbows on the table, every aspect about him all youthful and earnest. “Oh, come on. August would love to see you…and it won’t be me and a ton of other students. I was hoping you could come, and me…and that’s it.” He lowered his lashes, almost shy.
Reggie’s cold knot melted and a wash of heat crawled up his neck and over his cheeks. Kyle’s hand pushed across the tabletop, meeting the halfway line. Reggie looked at it. Black fingernail polish still clung to Kyle’s cuticles. He must have been full-on goth last night, hanging out with his friends.
“Hey Reggie!”
Reggie jumped in his chair, nearly knocking over his coffee, yanking his hand away from where it had migrated to within inches of Kyle’s, and faced the newcomer.
Professor Sally Boltmier of the engineering department: his senior professor and a close friend of his on campus.
“Sally. How are you this morning?” He gripped the napkin in his lap, crumbling it up into a tight wad, and focused on her, not letting his gaze stray to Kyle.
Her welcoming smile faltered. “I'm great. Sorry to interrupt. I didn’t mean to scare you out of your seat.”
Reggie's mind stirred to create some excuse and send her on her way, but he couldn’t say anything before Kyle stood and offered his hand.
“I’m Kyle. Reggie’s…friend.”
That pause. Kyle had done that on purpose. The temperature in the room ratcheted to sauna levels. Reggie struggled to hold steady under the gaze of his senior colleague, to not look guilty. No point looking guilty. He wasn’t guilty!
“Reggie’s…oh. Oh! Oh, well, pleased to meet you, Kyle. I’m Sally Boltmier, I work with Reggie in Sloan Hall.”
Kyle's smile brightened. “I know you. You spoke for him in that…case last fall.” Kyle at least didn’t blurt out ‘sexual harassment’ for the entire café's knowledge.
Sally eyed Kyle, up and down, and Kyle stood tall as if meeting his prom date’s father. Then Sally's stern appraisal softened, and she nodded and dropped her voice to say, “I knew Reggie wasn't guilty of any inappropriate activities. So,” her consideration shifted from Kyle to Reggie to Kyle again, “you’ve been together since then?”
Reggie wanted to crawl under the table, maybe dig his way into the linoleum, and hide. He could still salvage this if he got up, spoke out, explained everything. “Well, it wasn’t…we weren’t—”
Kyle's laughter cut off Reggie's bumbling. He brushed through his hair, giving it a tousled look, showing off his brow piercing. “Oh, well, we weren’t together, then. But we knew each other.” He looked down at Reggie and gave him such a besotted look, that Reggie knew he was staring back like a devoted Labrador until his colleague laughed and broke him from his trance.
“Well, I’ll let you two get back to your afternoon. Enjoy the spring weather! See you Monday.” She gave Reggie a look that suggested there would be more to this conversation on Monday, but he knew she wouldn’t spread any rumors about him on campus or anywhere else. Except to her husband maybe. They shared everything.
Reggie’s eyes flicked to Kyle. Kyle knew almost everything about him, too.


About the Author

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1-mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay romance--steamy to tame. Bored of het romance, she jumped into writing her fantasy with gay romance swirled in, like a raspberry ribbon in vanilla ice cream.

Author Links


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1 comment:

  1. Wow, thank you for this lovely review! I'm reading it, just astounded at how much you got out of my book. I'm delighted. This is an author's dream to have entertained you and make my world more exciting for you to enjoy! Thanks a million.