Marc and Dana review Infected: Lesser Evils (Infected series, book 6) by Andrea Speed (Published by DSP Publications, November 4, 2014, 380 pages)
To read the review of Infected: Prey click here. To read the review of Infected: Bloodlines click here. To read the review of Infected: Life After Death click here. To read the review of Infected: Freefall click here. To read the review for Infected: Shift click here.
Sequel to Infected: Shift
Infected: Book Six
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Until recently, Roan was ahead of the curve when it came to reining in the lion that lives inside him. Now his control is slipping at the worst possible times. A new drug has hit the streets—one that triggers unscheduled changes in infected users. Street hustler Holden Krause gets attacked by one of his clients, then is surprised to find himself involved in an unwanted, unexpected relationship. And a serial killer begins targeting infecteds in their cat form—something that’s 100 percent legal.
To stop the murders, Roan has to work outside the law. But his newfound thirst for violence makes him worry he might be more like the killer than he thought, and his reluctance to talk about it with his husband, Dylan, puts an extra strain on their relationship. So Roan isn’t just fighting the killer and struggling with his mutating virus… he’s trying to save himself.
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, October 2012
Have I mentioned that I love this series? Yes? Well, I can’t mention it enough, because Andrea Speed’s ‘Infected’ series really is unique. She has created an amazingly rich world that feels completely real, even with the paranormal aspects. It is dark and complex and not always easy to read, but impossible to put away until the last page is read. At least that was what I thought when I started this book, but I there is a huge cliffhanger at the end that made it impossible for me to stop quite yet.
Now, I know a lot of people have problems with cliffhangers in there books, but for me it’s like a TV-Show I love with a huge Season Finale that makes me want the next book badly. I love the feeling of wanting more, I love wondering how the story will continue and what fate is in store for each character. Still, if you are just reading this series now, like me, you won’t have to wait like some of the other readers in this series. While I love the anticipation of waiting for a new book and answers to burning questions, there is no way I could wait for the next book if it is just one click away. If you have made it this far into the series, I’d just get the last two books as well and read it all back-to-back.
Book 6 of this series pretty much continues where we left off, with Roan spinning ever more out of control. The virus changes him in new and dangerous ways, gives him more powers, but also a lust for blood and a loss of control. At the same time, without wanting to, he becomes more and more well-known and a sort of spokesperson for shifters, even though he does not really feel like a part of that world. It is an interesting position for him to be in and I would love for him to use this power to change the world – but I really don’t think that is him and he does have a lot to hide.
The mysteries in this book take a backseat to Roan’s personal and medical struggles and not all of them are fully resolved. They are interesting though and I was hit pretty hard by the idea of a hunter collecting the skins of shifted cats and the way the police dismissed how terrible and cruel that is.
Holden, yet again becomes a bigger part of this series and the investigations. He is really smart and can easily slip into different roles and I love his unique style. Especially since this book reveals more of his vulnerable side and he seems more human and relatable, but still kicks ass. He does encourage Roan’s dark side, because he understands it more than anyone else and enables Roan, but they make a great team – even if they are without a doubt vigilantes.
For me, Dylan becomes a more fleshed-out character as well in this book. Not just a crutch for Roan after Paris’ death, but more and more he is a character who can stand on his own. He becomes more complex and interesting and even with all of their problems that continue in this book, Roan and Dylan fit together and make a beautiful couple. I don’t think it is an equal partnership yet, but it is on a good way.
The hockey players are back and while some other secondary characters take a back seat, it was awesome to have them front and center. They bring much needed humor in this dark and gloomy book and balance the darkness a bit. They are complex and intriguing as well and just brought a goofy smile to my face while reading this book.
I love this series a lot and while this book is less focused than some of the others and the pacing is not perfect, I love these characters too much and am too wrapped up in Roan’s fate to really care. This is another amazing and well-written book and I devoured the story about all these complex characters I have grown to love quickly and went straight to the next book.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Because I read most of the series prior to knowing that I would review it, I found myself having to reread in order to give the best review possible. I can’t tell you how amazing the series is. Infected: Lesser Evils doesn’t really seem like an apt title seeing as the author gives such a stunning view of the evils the world is capable of. It seems to happen in every book, but it seems like the series is nearing a precipice. It feels like the world, or at least the part of it that Roan lives in, will explode in mass violence at any time.
I do feel like I am repeating myself over the last few reviews when I mention Roan and his ever-changing infection, his dilemma of hiding away from everyone to protect them while needing them in order to keep his humanity. It is a continuing theme through most of the books. Roan is stronger than he should be. He half transforms in order to heal himself and in times of extreme anger. His job as a P.I. puts him in situations where he is often faced with nasty and hateful people. Not to mention the outward hatred from non-infected humans towards his kind. It stands to reason he is partially transforming pretty frequently. But those shifts are causing problems to his physical body. Besides the constant pain changing causes, he experiences more drastic, long-term effects.
So Roan is at a sort of crossroads. He needs to stop shifting to reduce the damage his body is taking. However, that makes it hard for him to protect the ones he loves, as well as the rest of humanity that needs rescuing. In this book, the cases Roan is hired for take a backseat to a drug that is affecting the infected community in bad ways. He finds himself needing to protect people from loose cats that are changing outside their infected cycle, protecting the infected from the drug, and also from those who would be happy to see the cats dead or skinned alive.
Holden is still Roan’s faithful sidekick. He is facing a crossroads of his own. To leave his life of prostitution and become a full time investigator for Roan or keep on doing what he does. Neither choice will guarantee his safety. With the way he straddles vigilantism while working for Roan, neither of the options offer a more legal existence either. Strangely enough, in this book it’s Roan that crosses the lines more than Holden when the prostitute is roughed up. I have come to love their non-sexual relationship almost as much as I love Roan’s romantic relationship with Dylan.
Dylan is becoming more of his own man in this book and less of just Roan’s boyfriend. Actually his husband now. While I’m glad they are married, I wish it was less a logical decision and more because of love and passion. Not that Roan doesn’t love Dylan, or appreciate him for all that he is. But part of Roan is holding back still. Worries about hurting Dylan or others hurting Dylan because of Roan’s infected status leave him pushing and pulling in their relationship. Dylan stands up in a big way lets Roan know that he’s not going anywhere.
And as in all the books, the rest of the characters bring a life to the story beyond what is happening with Roan and his infection. The Falcons are still present in this book. They have Roans back along with Holden and Dee, Roan’s paramedic ex-boyfriend. Together, they help in unexpected ways. The interactions are still funny, but there are plenty of serious moments between Roan and the hockey players. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Roan is in the hospital and Dylan lets him know his family has been worried about him, and Roan acknowledges the members as a “dominatrix, a hooker, gay cops, EMT’s, hockey players, a foul-mouthed elderly doctor, and Dylan.” Seeing all their love for Roan just makes me love them more.
I suppose the ending is sort of a cliff-hanger. Something happens to Roan and it’s unclear whether the man will come out of the situation alive or at least as a human. Holden finds himself in a physical relationship for the first time in a long time where he isn’t getting paid. The changes both Holden and Roan are facing will continue into the next book, and as long as there is hate in the world the social climate around them will continue to heat up. With only two more books in the main series left, it feels very suspenseful, and I can’t wait to reread and review those books. As always, I can’t recommend this book or series enough.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men.
Viva la revolution!