Author Jory Strong has created a futuristic world of such vast scope, it’s hard sometimes not to get lost in its stories. Her latest in the Ghostland World series is “Spider-Touched”, a tale of two lost souls who aren’t sure who or WHAT they are. The only thing they come to know during the story is that they belong together, regardless of their pasts.
The year doesn’t matter. It’s beyond the apocalypse of the last war when supernaturals came out of hiding and humans spent their technology and lives almost destroying everything. The remaining city enclaves that remain are in the hands of the ultra-rich and the ‘church’, and neither is immune from what ultimate power breeds–corruption.
Tir doesn’t remember WHAT he is, just that he’s NOT human, he can’t be killed, his blood can heal, and he’s living for the day he escapes to lay waste to his enemies…whoever they are. His hatred for humans is arrested when one touches him in a dream, and then frees him. For the first time in centuries he is able to breathe freely and finds his desire rekindled…but only for the woman who risked her life to free him.
Arana doesn’t know her real name, just the name she gave herself to match the spider mark that moves on her body and protects her at the cost of her ability to touch anyone. She sees the man with the strange markings in a dream and, at the risk of capture, frees him. She knows he’s not human because she can touch him without killing him. And not just touch him…caress him, kiss him, and finally…love him. On the run from corrupt groups looking to capture and use their talents for gain, Arana and Tir fall in love. But when the final truths about their natures are revealed, will love be enough to save them…from each other?
If you didn’t read “Ghostland” this book will be difficult to understand. There’s an overarching plotline that provides a little information about who and what each of the characters are, but if you read the first one, this book will make much more sense. Now, having said that, I wonder if reading this book without having read the first one would make it more realistic since neither Tir nor Arana know what they are or how their lives intertwine with a bigger picture of the upcoming war between supernaturals.
If you have a strong religious bent, you may be offended as this book portrays all the evil, and none of the good, of the established ‘church’ that holds power by using supernatural creatures to evoke miracles and healing and control the populace. If that will make you froth at the mouth…don’t read this series!
Jory Strong writes stories with incredibly strong heroes and heroines…and really, really smoking hot sex! I wavered over calling this erotica since it’s more smoking romance but there’s just something ‘naughty’ enough about the situations and characters to justify the tag. The sex is copious and sizzling and does include some light consensual BDSM for those who need a warning.
Having said ALL that, I really, really enjoyed this read. It’s not a casual, pickup read and will require some thought. I would also describe it as having urban fantasy elements. There’s demons, vampires, shifters, gods, witches, angels, and probably a few I left out. There’s also action, sex, suspense, good, sex, evil, romance, sex, and kickbutt magic. After reading “Spider-Touched” I’m even more anxious to see where Jory Strong goes next with this fascinating world.