August 20, 2011

Review: Blood for Love - Chris M. Finkelstein

Raw and cruel. Loving and caring.

I can't exactly make up my mind with this book, I was shocked at first and a bit let down by the ending, not because it was bad, but because there was so much potential there, so much to be said and done and, yet, it'll take some time before we see the rest of it.

This is the story of Jan, a gifted male D'otian living on a violent, predatory planet. His mother Martha is part of a love-preservation network, outlawed by a world in which love is punished by DeathBT.

Simple as that. Love is a crime and everyone caught loving is condemned to Death By Torture.
At first, we follow Martha's story, how she is a "Love-Lover", how she is pregnant and afraid, how she and her baby Jan must go to "love de-programing school", a place where they don't really tell us what is going to happen but that they will "make us hate eachother" and "try to take love out of us".

When we DO read about the Love De-Programing school, we finally understand that it is possible. That they can make love go away, that they are able to take love out of people. And we understand why people in that world are so hostile. When I finished that chapter, I was thinking that I had to keep on reading, because the book had to redeem itself. That these lovely main characters couldn't be changed so badly, that the world couldn't be so cruel and so mean and these people could keep love alive.

They are reptile-like humanoids, living on D'ot (that would be their planet's name, like Earth), on the "country" of NoV (Nation of Vengeance), the rulers of this part of D'ot - the only one with living people. We hear bits about their history - they developed a 100 year virus, that killed all other nations, they weren't the most advanced ones, but they perfected the "art" of hating and such hate made them want to kill, basically, everyone else. Of course, that virus is also dangerous to them, so they have to keep making vaccines that take 20 years to be produced and they are confined to this country and can't colonize other places, also because the settlers keep killing eachother because they get all hating and stuff.

Jan is a gifted male. When he and Martha come back from the Love De-Programing "school", they have a hard time, they do hate eachother, but they get over it, eventually, or we wouldn't have a book, would we? ;)

There is the oficial religion, where they burn children - aparently it's easier to burn them before they grown into thiefs and law-breakers in general - and torture people. Homossexuallity is not accepted and those people are killed, not by torture, aparently, but killed aswell. So, all in all, a very pleasant place to live. #NOT

LERN is sort of like a secondary unofficial hidden religion. It's Love centered, it's an acronym for Love's Epiphany Requirement Network, they get together and, basically, love eachother, on a non-romantic way, just... Love. Since the beggining, there are talks of a LERN escape and they eventually do, but you don't want the details, right? Right.

Since childhood, there is a Guide that helps Jan through his problems and he eventually becomes stronger. he is different and he will become a guide himself, for his people, the loving ones, when they start to forget about love.

The reference to drugs near the end didn't please me and it made me a bit nervous, I'm quite ansious to read the sequel, as to see how the subject will be dealt with, since I don't think that it will be the answer to their issues. Also, the "prequel to book 4" got me excited for all the rest of the series - the author seems to be able to write consistently a whole series without losing the "sci fi/humanity" touch.

You can find it at Amazon, both Kindle and Paperback version and at Smashwords.