Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book of the Week - Grown Men

Title: HardCell #1 - Grown Men
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 95 pages
Rating: 4 Quills
Tags: sci fi, futuristic, first time, isolated/desert island, series


Every future has dirty roots.

Marooned in the galactic backwaters of the HardCell company, colonist Runt struggles to eke out an existence on a newly-terraformed tropical planetoid. Since his clone-wife died on entry, he’s been doing the work of two on his failing protein farm. Overworked and undersized, Runt’s dwindling hope of earning corporate citizenship has turned to fear of violent “retirement.”

When an overdue crate of provisions crashes on his beach, Runt searches frantically for a replacement wife among the tools and food. Instead he gets Ox, a mute hulk who seems more like a corporate assassin than a simple offworld farmer.

Shackwacky and near-starving, Runt has no choice but to work with his silent partner despite his mounting paranoia and the unsettling appeal of Ox’s genetically altered pheromones. Ox plays the part of the gentle giant well, but Runt’s still not convinced he hasn’t arrived with murder in mind.

Between brutal desire and the seeds of a relationship, Runt’s fears and Ox’s inhuman past collide on a fertile world where hope and love just might have room to grow.


I have to say that the first thing that struck me about this book was the intense world building. And I mean that in a good way, a wonderful way. Reading this book I could almost taste sea air of a distant planet in the Andromeda Galaxy. I could imagine the bio engineered animals scurrying around the beach. It was like I was transported into this world that was created by Damon's mind and come alive on the page.

As I jumped headfirst into the universe unfolding before me, I got to meet the prickly on the surface but open underneath, Runt, and the gentle giant with a secret past, Ox. Those of you who read Damon's Hot Summer Days Short, Seedy Business, will begin to recognize some of the back story before the end of this book but by no means must you have read Seedy Business in order to enjoy Grown Men.  For the first half of the book, I wondered how Damon was going to get these two together and if, in the end, it would be a matter of "I'm just so horny, I can't help myself." But I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of feeling and breadth of emotion these two displayed.

So, if you are in the mood for fun sci-fi story with a bit of quirk and real heart, Grown Men is definitely for you. 4 Quills.

You can purchase Grown Men at Riptide Publishing for $4.99.

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