Wow I wasn t sure what to really expect with this one, but was intrigued enough by the reviews and especially by the excerpt I read I m glad I went for it The God Eaters is an adventure story with a strong love never gives up What I really enjoyed in this story was how centered and grounded I was through the whole thing Hajicek knew his world and never fumbled with the details An example I can share is Ashleigh s glasses When he had them, he had them and occasionally they would get dirty or knocked off When he didn t have them, he didn t have them and he had trouble seeing far away When he got them back, they were with him It s those kind of consistencies that make stories real for me and Hajicek was good enough to do it Both characters are awesome and just as realistic They grow, they change, they harden, they soften, they learn And they never give up, which was such a heartening thing to see when all the crap thrown at them is nearly over their heads Their romance is slow, beginning as cell mates, then allies, growing into friends, and then into lovers It was a very natural process that I enjoyed watching I wouldn t really classify this as a romance and yet their love is what really moves the book along Perhaps I don t see it as a romance because it wasn t very romantic It begins in a prison and doesn t get any nicer, but when they are struggling together and for each other, it s definitely love.The mythological aspect to the story was imaginative and a lot of fun I enjoy stories that explore that area and it was done with cleverness The writing was simple in places and eloquent in others, each using language to truly express the emotions the author needed the reader to see or feel But it never got bogged down on itself, never tripped itself up, never became too boring or too decorative It kept me glued to the pages even though I had so many other things to do But it was very, very worth it. This book was lovely And lovey As in, like, lovey dovey Normally, that s kind of a turn off for me, but it pretty much worked for this book Because, in spite of all the many other theme and plot points and what have you, this story is about love.A good GR friend of mine described it best, and I shall crappily paraphrase if you want to read a book about two men falling in love in a prison set in a magical Wild West analog, then this is the book for you. Imprisoned For Inflammatory Writings By The Totalitarian Theocracy, Shy Intellectual Ashleigh Trine Figures His Story S Over But When He Meets Kieran Trevarde, A Hard Hearted Gunslinger With A Dark Magic Lurking In His Blood, Ash Finds That Necessity Makes Strange Heroes And Love Can Change The World Right now I feel exactly the way I felt after finishing HP You know, that what will I do with my life now that this is over kind of feeling It s called a book hangover, Nina that makes you want to curl up and cry, then die That s why I m writing this at half past midnight I ll get it over with and try and fail to move on.I m also starting to get the feeling that words fail me and will keep failing me no matter how long I wait, so once I will do what I did while reviewing HP and just babble on, hoping to get my point across.THIS WAS EPIC Okay, I think that was clear enough I could virtually shove The Black Keys entire Brothers album in this book and they d fit together like lock and key or two halves of a broken heart and here we could go on tangents about how once a heart is broken it will never be whole again and consequently the jagged ends won t match , or whatever else fits perfectly Like Ash and Kieran snicker That s proof of epicness.The world building is insane In a good sense I m not a fantasy person, but this particular world captured me completely so much so that I dreamed about it at night I was a whore at Shou Shou s, and I honestly don t know what that says about me and don t think I want to But then I also dreamed Doctor Who was cutting my hair, and I don t even watch Doctor Who The land is described wonderfully and I could actually visualise it the magic was a science than a flimsy shiny toy and it was clever, plausible, evolving the government was oppressive and violent and realistic in its cruelty the people were prejudiced, singular, essentially kind and humane.The action is non stop and edge of your seat and it doesn t need to be fighting to get you all strung up and gnawing on your nails like it did for me It s Ash and Kieran s story and it s all about them, despite following a much larger thread than just a romance, and this gives the reader enough time to get attached to them that I, personally, was hyperventilating for half the book in fear of what would happen next And what happened next surprised me Several times I m not the kind of person who always guesses what s going to happen next in a book or a movie and I wouldn t want to be one , but it s pretty hard to really surprise me and I don t know if this book actually had some shocking twists though I d bet on a yes or if I was just astonishingly emotionally involved, but it succeeded.And do not get me started on the romance.How such a flawless, pure love managed to be born and grow in the rubble, hatred and destruction of this land is beyond me yet at the same time I believe it, and it warms me, because I desperately want to believe we are capable of that kind of love There s a shameless romantic here, buried under a half ton of cynicism and sarcasm Or on the characters Their personality, their development, their originality, their relationships, their individuality, their perfect compatibility and the huge differences between them I should probably just stop now, because this isn t going anywhere good.It s just making less and less sense.Let me just mention the writing gorgeous, flawless, descriptive to just the right degree, intensely atmospheric and at times surprisingly humorous and I m done.Bottom line this book gave me everything I could have possibly wanted and I m an impressed and emotional mess of awed feelings right now, and that, I promise, means that this one was a hell of a story. 4.5 starsSeamless weaving of plot, characters, place, magic, pacing etc.a great read.The hints given by Hajicek are enough for me to imagine this Wild West world with it s magic and symbols etc No need for excessive world building, which there isn t I ve seen enough Westerns to be able to imagine the desert, the people, the floods, the mountains.Like in the old westerns the heros have to go on a heroic journey to test their mettle, their love and save the world and I did so enjoy this journey True love, with acts of self sacrifice, courage, redemption is the stuff us romantics need to survive and here we have it in spades I really like how both Kieran and Ash where floundering on their own, each in his own way and how their love and steadfastness made them stronger, bigger, worthy Kieran copyright Jesse HajicekAsh copyright Recovering Zombiea very enjoyable read with Maya, book chat here Rich, multi layered and epic in scale All my favorite things societal boundaries, beliefs, emotional depth and engaging characterizations The worldbuiling is extraordinary as are the range of people inhabiting it Both Kieran and Ash undertake journeys and their character arcs are detailed and wide An unlikely love affair that is tested and the barriers dissolved.Favorite quote He s he s pure, not in the sense of innocent, but in the sense of distilled, wholly himself Pure iron, pure diamond, pure rage There s nothing like him in the world, and never will be again after him, I think Ch 27 4.5 StarsOh wow Just wow I loved this book I LOVED the magic and vivid alternative world building and the assassin and his tormented soul and the adventure and the friends to lovers thing plus the great writing and the romance and the fierce villains and the torture and then the great escapes and breathe heartache and the ruthless cunning and the action and fantastic dialog and the chemistry and passion and the trains and the dessert and cacti and the heat and the clever magic with mathematical threads that made no sense but I understood it anyway and breathe the soul deep love and loyalty that makes a person ache like a I don t know what, you ll just feel it so hard it hurts.It made me feel so alive and so rewarded This author has a gift for storytelling, for writing, for setting a scene and creating characters that are utterly, perfectly, incredibly real I don t know if it s because we spend so much time of this very lengthy book with these men suffering their torments, feeling their hunger and pain, their joy which made me giddy but I was so heavily invested in them I m not a real hearts and flowers kind of reader and it s rare that I feel this kind of deep connection and empathy with characters, but these guys Oh boy, they whopped me one upside the head and stomped on my chest They made me cry And I do NOT cry dammit all I think it s the writing that did it for me too It s beautiful but not overly purple at all, infact nothing here was over the top The sex is subtly sensual but so very satisfying The way these men bring out the best in each other, the impossible strength and courage that love lends is evident through action and words There s no telling how tough he really is Steel under the meringue and cherries enough steel to arm a battalion.Now it s not without flaws, it s a self published work which makes me appreciate this talent immensely but there were a few things that might have been expanded upon The reason for the industrial area s with rusty barrels of oil What are were they for What industry But never mind, it s trivial when looking at the scope of this story It s also a tad slow at times but it never stands still I enjoyed these times as much as I loved the adventure and action Hell Any time spent with these characters was awesome I loved them You need to read this It s clever, it s well written, it s FREE and it s just so so good. I almost gave this book 1 star, but the last hundred pages picked up enough that I decided to bump up the score a little Honestly, I m kind of shocked that this book has such a high rating considering how poorly it s written, how little world building was involved, and how bland and uninspired the plot is To give a quick summary Nineteen year old native Kieren Trevarde acts like he s a lot older than his years His parents died when he was young, he grew up on the streets, battled addictions, and got swept into the world of crime Ashleigh Trine is an intelligent eighteen year old who has gotten involved in a rebellion against the theocracy currently ruling his nation Though they come from drastically different backgrounds, when they re both caught by police, they re thrown together in the same prison cell Further, the prison they ve been brought to is one that has been specially constructed for persons with rogue Talents, a type of magical ability Despite their confinement and the horrible circumstances they find themselves falling for each other Now the only obstacle to their love is very place that brought them together.The first 150 pages of this book were horrible The only reason I kept reading was because I had bought it, and I couldn t bear to think that I d just spent 10 for nothing By far my biggest two issues about this book were the poor writing and the lack of background and world building.The God Eaters reads like it s fan fiction, throwing two characters together for no reason just so that they can unrealistically pine for one another in an angsty teenager type of way I m assuming this is the author s first book for the writing is very amateurish There were two instances in particular where the author actually used the wrong word substance instead of subsistence and font instead of fount Not only were incorrect words used, but sentences didn t make grammatical sense Like this one They wouldn t hear it even if they heard it I read that three times before giving up trying to understand Bad writing aside, the plot and world building were terrible The God Eaters is set in a fantasy world There s magic in the form of Talents And there s an evil theocratic government that is trying to repress other gods and the people who follow these gods It sounds like the basics for an awesome story However, Hajicek gives us no than a few lines to explain the motivation of the villains, who come across as stereotypical faceless evil figures that are bad for the sake of being bad Further, we learn almost nothing about the magic system that functions in this world even though our two main characters are imprisoned in part because of their magical ability Lastly, the world seems to have an old west kind of feel to it with talk of train robberies, bank heists, gun slinging and shootouts at bordellos However, the reader is never given enough information about the history of this world to be able to tell whether or not we should imagine a technologically sophisticated society or one that s only just begun a scientific revolution More than anything though, I wanted history about our two main characters Hajicek gives us a fly by introduction to all the bad things that happened to Kieren in the prologue, and begins the story with his arrest Thus, when Ash suddenly goes all fangirl on him, I have no idea why this guy is a likable character except that the author tells me so But at least Hajicek gives us something about Kieren Ash gets no background story at all He has an aunt, he was a rebel, he wrote inflammatory papers That s it Never once do we get any sense of why he joined a rebellion We never know what kinds of papers he writes or what motivates him at all Further, in the first 200 pages of the book, Ash is so cowardly and whiny that I couldn t believe he d have the courage to even join a rebellion This book would have gained so much if the author had just spent an extra 50 100 pages at the beginning fleshing out her characters, showing them in the worlds they inhabited before they were put in prison so that we could understand them better and understand their reactions to one another better After all, prison does not seem the mostly likely place to find true love, particularly when the prison officials benefit from pitting people against one another All in all, I had the worst time trying to figure out where and when the story was taking place, what the rules were of this universe, and how the characters were important in the scheme of the world.Lastly, even though the book gets a lot better by the end, it leaves you with just as many questions as you started with Ash, for instance, makes a deal with another character in exchange for help However, he never holds up his side of the bargain, and there s never any mention of him planning to do so sometime in the future He also just abandons his aunt to her fate, and never shows any intention of trying to find her again, even though she s the woman who raised him It was as though the author just took a snapshot of these people s lives but never gave us any context Personally, I think this could have been a three book series the first book could have been about how these characters became they way are and how they got caught by the police, the second could have been The God Eaters, and the third could have been about tying up all the loose ends that were left On the positive side, if you re looking for very light reading, a cute and sappy m m romance, and two generally likable characters, then this is the book for you. imperfect but enthralling.so, so gorgeous.if you ve ever wondered what it would be like to read about two men falling in love in a prison set in a world where magic exists alongside wild west culture, this is your book.highly recommended. If I were a storyteller of old, I would gather my listeners close as we sat around the dancing flames of a campfire Listen, I d say Let me tell you a story about two brave young men Two young heroes willing to face the wrath of the Gods in order to change the course of history The God Eaters is a sweeping tale of epic proportions Reading it, I imagined a bard was telling me the folklore of ancient tribes, clans, and early peoples While the story is set in a mythical and magical Western backdrop, there are traces of a multitude of differing cultures and legends from the American Southwest, to Mexico, to Central America, to Europe, and beyond.The story starts with tragedy, and introduces the reader to the harsh brutality of daily life in this dangerous world The MCs, Ashleigh Ash Trine, a self described pale, skinny, freckled, redhead, who wears glasses and has been accused of insurgent treasonous writing meets up with Kieran Kai Trevarde, a dangerous and dark killer for hire, former opium addict, and all around badass, when both are sent to prison Part of the story takes place in prison, but this is not a typical prison story, and both men have been given greater tasks to complete, tasks bigger than surviving behind bars.As with all good myths and legends, the two young men have also been given special gifts, special powers that make them unique, make them harbingers of change They are destined to alter the world, but be warned that their journey is rife with pain, grief, sorrow, and death There were times when I was reading the story that I wondered how much suffering the author was going to inflict, but there is a sweet reward for those who persist, and this story rewards the reader with a satisfying HEA.Like the story, the romance felt larger than life, and oh so very sweet Theirs is a true love fated from the stars, destined for infinity These MCs were two halves of one whole Their love was grand Highly Recommend Read online here Author s Note If you enjoyed reading this novel for free, please consider buying the hilariously overpriced hardcopy You can get it from any reputable online bookstore, or order it from your local bookseller the ISBN is 1847288650 ISBN13 9781847288653