Evolution

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EvolutionFS1-200x300Title: Evolution
Author: Sam Kadence
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Buy Link:  Evolution, Harmony Ink Press
Genre: YA Romance (16+)
Length: Novel
Rating: 5 stars

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A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: A stunning novel of love and redemption.

Blurb: Gene Sage has only ever wanted to sing, but his band, Evolution, is pushing him toward the big time. He finds it hard to focus on making musical history when he’s dreaming of graveyards and seeing ghosts. And while all he can think of is hiding who he is from a world unforgiving of anyone different, he discovers he’s also the ultimate snack for vampires and demons. When Gene literally runs into—over—his idol, Kerstrande Petterson, rock god, vampire in hiding, and music cynic, his life falls over the edge into chaos.

Jaded by the world and nearly a decade in the music business, Kerstrande thinks Gene wants to use him to make Evolution immortal in more than one way, but he can’t seem to brush aside the young singer’s enthusiasm.

Getting involved with Kerstrande drags Gene into otherworldly power struggles. Between the ghosts stalking them, the media painting supernaturals as villains, and a vampire out of control in the city, the only way for Gene and Kerstrande to survive is for Gene to embrace his powers—and his destiny.

Review: I am not sure I know where to begin this review. I wonder if I should tell you more than the blurb; try to explain how Kerstrande lives a tortured life and refuses to believe he is gay, and further refuses to succumb to the needs that fuel a vampire’s life. Should I speak of how when he denies himself, the thirst overtakes him to the point that he is his own self-fulfilling prophecy–the monster he so clearly hates? I’m sure I should mention that his former band mate and Sire, Hane, pursues him relentlessly, physically beating him until he is broken, forcing him to constantly move, never allowing him to put down roots and even claiming the one thing, the one person Kerstrande allows into his heart, Genesis…Gene.

I know I should describe the strange and almost painful relationship between Gene and Kerstrande. How the vampire continually pushes Gene away until the desire to hold him, love him, bleed him, violently surfaces and carries both men away. I certainly should relate how extraordinary Gene is, how he lives to sing, not for fame but simply to see others happy. I might mention how I loved the way he tried to soothe away the darkness he sensed in others and by novel’s end, how his strength allows him to free the man he loves from so many of his demons.

On and on I could go, talking about the depth of the secondary characters, and how not one sentence was ever seemingly wasted but always developed to either enhance the intricate plot or evolve a character more completely. Sentence upon sentence could fill this review but none, I think, would be as beautiful or as memorable as the author’s themselves.

Perhaps its best if I simply say this: Evolution is a masterpiece of Young Adult LGBT literature, impeccably written, intricately woven, beautifully executed. Broken characters are so often easy to write…they fall into a one lane pathway and are often either too whiny or so broken we can sometimes barely tolerate their presence in a story. However, when broken characters are handled with compassion, given depth, and a chance to reach beyond their loneliness and pain, then they are some of the most compelling people to grace the page.

This, I believe, is the real gift that author Sam Kadence gives to his reading audience. Mythical creatures and men who leap from the page and grab our hearts, leaving us breathless.

“…You barely know him. How can that be home?”

“Because some people were just meant to hold our hearts.”

Some authors’ words are meant to find a place in our lives, spark our imagination, carry us away for just a bit…find a place in our hearts.

I highly recommend Evolution by Sam Kadence to you, dear reader. Do not be fooled by the YA label, this novel transcends age parameters and defies the generic label of paranormal. Evolution defies all labels save one: Outstanding.

15 thoughts on “Evolution

    1. Sammy Post author

      Sam, you know that’s me outside your house in the bushes waiting for the sequel, right? :grin:

  1. Wave

    Sammy

    Wonderful review but you have to stop waving these books in front of my face. Because of you, my TBR pile is falling over and there are only so many hours in a day and night. How is it you always pick these gems? Damn!!

    1. Sammy Post author

      You just have to stop being such a party animal Wave and stay in to read once in a while!! (LOL) Hope you enjoy it when it wends its way to the top of the list! :loveyou:

  2. Karen

    Thanks, Sammy! It’s not likely I would have tried this one without your review. The cover and YA (although I read YA sometimes) would have put me off. I read a sample and bought it. Lovely writing and great snarky/sweet dialogue between the MCs.

      1. Karen

        I finished it yesterday. It’s exactly the kind of paranormal YA I like best, infused with a particular kind of angst that I find appealing, one that recalls the bittersweetness of wanting something that seems just out of reach but worth the effort. The MCs are strong and beautiful, the side characters seem worthy of redemption or at least regret, even those who seem beyond hope. It’s not perfect, but close enough. I’ll (nervously) be awaiting the sequel.

  3. Sirius

    I love YA but I am so picky about vampires these days that I most likely would have passed it. Thanks Sammy, am getting it.

  4. Kaje Harper

    Sounds like a great book – added to my TBRs. Although with a cliffhanger ending I might hold out for the series. I’m so glad we’re seeing more and more interesting and well written LGBT YA books.

    1. Sam Kadence

      There’s a lot of talk about the cliffhanger ending, but it’s really not a cliffhanger. Just someone is supposed to be dead but they aren’t really.

      1. Sammy Post author

        This is true—there is a cryptic ….To be continued….but really Sam wraps this story arc up very nicely—but I really would love to see a sequel Sam–it was so very good! :grin:

  5. Luce

    As someone who will devour any YA with an interesting premise, I had to chuckle at how fast I got this book once I was done reading your review.

    It’s been a very enjoyable read so far. Thank you for reviewing this book. :)

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