Title: Labyrinth of Stone
Author: T.A. Moore
Publisher: Torquere Press
Length: 221 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: 10 years ago the Black Rapture transported thousands of people – seemingly at random – from Earth to the strange, inimical world they call the Labyrinth. Will Teller was one of them. Surviving that meant joining an army and becoming better at killing than he’s comfortable with. It’s enough upheaval for anyone’s life. The only problem is, apparently no-one told his commanding officer that.
Pride, and heart, stung by abandonment, the controlled General Nathan Kearney has decided that Teller can either find the wayward lover, or he can take his place in Nathan’s bed. That’s pretty good motivation for a straight guy, only thing is – Teller’s sexuality seems to have gone a bit Magic-8 Ball on that issue. Suddenly Nathan’s starting to look pretty good, and the only question is whether or not Teller wants to be the consolation prize.
Review: The first book in a fun new sci-fi series. A story of survival and mystery tempered by humor and a whole lot of sexual tension.
There is a ton of world building in this story with a lot still hinted at and much that can continue to be built as the series progresses. The premise of these people simply vanishing from their lives on earth and being delivered to this alien world. No one knows how or why or by whom. They don’t know where they even are. Although they are surrounded by extreme elements and dangers, and it’s very apparent that humans were not meant to live there. There are different groups and classes. Fighting factions and a severe lack of resources, most especially food. The native life of insects and plants are some of the biggest dangers they face. This world is fascinating and intense and gross. I’m impressed by the scope and detail.
I love Teller, he’s a lot smarter and braver than he, or anyone else, gives him credit for. He’s self deprecating and loyal to a fault. Kind and easygoing and he refuses to take himself too seriously. He knows that they are all just trying to survive and he’s learned to be pragmatic about everything. So when things are at their worst he cracks a joke and eases the tension. He wasn’t a soldier in his old life and he’s had to adapt in major ways in order to survive.
Kearney is complicated. He’s growly and mean and angry and diabolically smart. The pressure he’s constantly under is overwhelming. The sense of betrayal from the one man he expected to always have his back has ramped up his justified paranoia and need to always maintain control and in command to a million. He’s the General of his own army and the leader of his people. And he’s lost his right hand man (and heart) and he’s feeling lost. And the only person he has left that he knows, who’s been with him from the beginning, is Teller. And he’s suddenly realizing that Teller is actually really hot.
This isn’t a traditional romance. Kearney is all messed up in the head and heart over his ex, Ben Colt, who he’d been with for years. A guy who left with no explanation (you know he’s going to be showing back up and throwing a wrench in things at some point) and who they can’t find. And Kearney is a total prick to Teller half the time, and he makes it clear that he’s not looking for any romantic attachments between them. Kearney almost has himself convinced of it too, all Teller isn’t my type (except he pursues him really hard) and I don’t care about him (except he’s jealous of everyone who has any connection to Teller) even though they’re friends (well as much as Kearney can handle and within the chain of command) and I’m totally obsessed with Teller, I mean Ben (he’s totally obsessed with both of them). It’s addictive and I’m really hoping that Kearney is going to end up falling so hard for Teller (all signs point to yes).
The sexual tension and flirting was intense and hot. There is a long build up that allowed for us all to anticipate what was going to happen next and just how far things would go between them.
He still didn’t know if he was gay or mostly straight or just sorta bi in the front — but he wanted this.
Teller has no idea what is happening when he starts to respond to Kearney’s advances, he’s never had any attraction to men before now, not even Kearney. His path of discovery was funny, sweet and very Teller.
The last time he’d looked, his life had been simple. Poker games, pizza, and the occasional murder. Now he had General Kearney’s cock in his mouth. It was rough and awkward — and he was pretty sure he was actually fairly bi.
There is a ton of fighting. They’re soldiers and in a very hostile place. It’s a mix of weaponry since they have limited resources (there are guns) so everyone has a sword they’re really good at using and knives and hand to hand combat. And then Teller is sent out to find Ben, so mission and peril (piles of shit hitting fans and even some FUBAR moments throughout the story)
I really liked the story, which is why I will (mostly) forgive the evil cliffhanger ending (I really hate those!). Things are HFN and we are left in anticipation of what is coming. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series (the next book needs to come ASAP, please!) and seeing what happens next to our intrepid heroes.
Reviewed by Nina