Review of Decoy, by Michaela Debelius

DecoyI grabbed a copy of Michaela Debelius‘s book, Decoy (Noel Casey, #1), from the KDP free list.

Description from Goodreads:
Lieutenant Noel Casey is taken aback by her newest military assignment. Her usual routine of vaccine development is interrupted when she’s assigned to analyze Killian, a genetically engineered soldier designed for exceptional strength and intelligence. She’s not accustomed to working with human subjects, especially a person created for warfare, and Killian’s indifference is making it difficult to see past his robotic demeanor.

When Noel is attacked outside Killian’s containment quarters, he is forced to intervene. The altruistic act instantly transforms their relationship, though neither will admit to the shift in sentiment. The predator is now the protector in Noel’s eyes, and she’s thrown off by her growing captivation.

As if her infatuation with a virtual stranger isn’t enough of a distraction, she begins having terrifying nightmares. Her cryptic dreams appear to harbor an elusive warning as she watches them materialize into existence, proving the nightly visions foretelling. She begins to suspect the military base is concealing far more than an experimental soldier, and she can’t shake the feeling Killian is the axis of the chaos. Noel must decide whether she’ll accept the unconvincing explanations offered by her peers, or reject her comfortable environment for an unimaginable truth. With her premonitions pointing towards a violent outcome and her irrational draw to Killian becoming impossible to ignore, she realizes the choice has already been made for her. Noel’s understanding of science is about to be shattered

This book was not at all what I expected from reading the blurb. That’s not always a bad thing, but I wanted to read the story described. The one I got wasn’t a bad story; it just wasn’t the one I set out to read. Having said that I did like quite a few aspects of it.

I liked that even when frightened, confused, lied to, exhausted and overwhelmed Noel still held her own. Yes, she got pushed around by the men a bit, but she was still strong willed and determined. I liked Killian as the intimidating super-soldier. I also liked him as the gentle lover and considerate brother. I liked Taylor and his relationship with the rest of the guys. I liked the basic writing style and the occasional vocabulary that forced me to utilise my Kindle’s dictionary capabilities. And I am amused to have encountered what must have been the most ethereal sex scene ever. Heck, I’m not sure that first one ever even happened.

What I didn’t like were the things left unexplained. What was up with the tickers? How exactly did people live right there among them, since they have an obvious tendency to attack people at random? (Unless it wasn’t supposed to be random, but that’s never addressed so I’m left to assume it was.) Why did everyone keep the deception up even after they had verified Noel’s identity and why, for god’s sake, why didn’t they call in any help once it was apparent Quinn was homicidal. If she’s supposed to be so darned important you would think people would help the group out a little. Half the base was supposed to be Eneathian after all. (I’m not swearing I spelled that right.)

There were also simply a few aspects of the story that irked me. How was I not supposed to get tired of the attempted rapes? I swear every time Noel turned around someone was trying to rape her. How am I not supposed to feel bad for poor Taylor? I was actually hoping this would turn into a ménage à trois just so he wouldn’t be left out. Lastly, while it was lovely that the Russo’s took her into their home, having so many men about made it feel very much like she was living in a co-ed dorm. Being essentially newlyweds didn’t they deserve their own space?

All-in-all not a bad read, just one that wasn’t what I expected and then left me with a few questions. I’m hoping book two comes up on the free list. I’d be glad to give it a read…even if it does start out with a tentacle monster. Seriously, I read the preview. It begins with the quintessential cheesy, late night sic-fi movie cliché, the tentacle monster. LOL

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