Sacrifice (Tribute #1)

Author: Kate Pearce

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Riptide

Type: Novella

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: Awaiting execution on a foreign planet, Anna Lee has nothing left to lose—until Commander Rehz Akran offers her a chance to escape her fate. Anything is better than death, but when her training for Akran’s mysterious mission begins, the brutality is hard to take . . . especially since Anna has no idea what the workouts, beatings, and endless sexual demands are preparing her for.

Rehz Akran doesn’t deal with failure. He’s determined that his last trainee will survive her immersion in an unimaginably alien world and return alive—even if it means she’ll hate him forever. He needs to stay detached, but his new recruit makes that impossible. Soon he’s willing to defy his own training for a chance to forge a true connection with Anna.

It’s Rehz’s job to teach Anna to survive as a Tribute. And if she does, it’s his task to help her overcome the trauma of the experience. But this time he isn’t doing it to save his planet. This time he’s doing it for love.

Review: Anna Lee has a chance to avoid a death sentence. She agrees to take her last chance to live without fully knowing the consequences of her choice. She is expected to fully submit to her trainer, Commander Rehz Akran. Rehz knows it’s not wise to feel anything for the trainees. He’s doing his best to keep them alive even if he disagrees with the methods he’s required to use. Anna is being trained, along with several others, to do something that will keep the entire populous of the planet safe. She’ll be a hero. If she manages to survive. Rehz has to figure out how he feels about falling in love with a hero when he is incapable of seeing his own heroics.

I found this story both intriguing and ridiculous, but one thing was for sure: I was riveted. I could not put this story down. I honestly can’t tell you why I even picked it up in the first place. A dubious consent scenario involving a tentacle monster is not what I’d say is, “my thing.” But, I found myself itching for the next installment as soon as I was done with this.

This story does very much contain a lot of sex. So much so that it became a little bit tedious, and a lot of it pinged a bit toward rape fetish for me. Anna is not the only character subjected to inescapable sex. Rehz has experienced everything Anna experiences and is still subjected to the whims of his boss, Palk. Let me just say that Palk is creepy.

The parts of the story I found intriguing centered around Rehz’s inability to see himself in a clear light. His whole career was based upon training people to survive an unimaginable situation. The training methods he was forced to use were not pleasant. Rehz carried with him a lot of guilt. Coupled with that he’s experienced the unimaginable. All the trainers are themselves survivors of the training. Rehz has no ability to relate to a person who hasn’t experienced the level of horror he has. Anna had to convince Rehz he was good enough to form a relationship with her.

Overall I do think this story was riveting but not what I would say is expertly crafted. Personally, I think story trumps craft, especially in this case. I needed the next part of this story when I was done. So maybe I didn’t find the horrifying monsters that horrifying, nor did I particularly enjoy all the sex that was crammed into the story, but I found the plot to be wildly entertaining. If you’re looking to be entertained this is a great story.

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