Antibody by R.A. Steffan
Love and War #3
Science Fiction Romance
Pax was once an elite Vithii military cyborg before his organic mind broke through the programming. Now that Pax has dedicated himself to saving the humans on Ilaria he knows he has a purpose but that doesn’t change the fact that Pax will never feel emotions again. Working with the Vitharan ambassador, Nahleene Veila’ana, Pax is determined to find out why one of his old cyborg batch siblings’ distress signal has suddenly reappeared when Pax knows he was killed years ago. But can Pax ever experience love when his emotional center was ripped out?
I’ll admit to some uncertainly on what to rate Antibody because while I enjoyed this next chapter in the series I had some problems with the book. Overall, I liked the action and suspense as Nahleene tried to infiltrate the cyborg program to determine what’s going on. I found Nahleene to be a strong women who just wants to help her mother’s people and stop a war from breaking out in the Seven Systems. Her compassion for Pax is there from the beginning and though he’s used to people fearing him, Nahleene never does. Pax choose to become a cyborg but he never really understood what that would mean. He’s hyper intelligent, super strong, and capable of deducing things that normal humans would need months to think about.
“I don’t want to stay away from you. Rather the opposite, in fact. I find that I never wish to let you go.”
On the surface Nahleene and Pax seem like they could be a great match and I was really looking forward to Pax’s story. But this is where things get a little…confusing? Nahleene has some psychic abilities that allow her to influence people, read their minds through a touch, and even push emotions onto another person. When Nahleene psychically connects with Pax he realizes he can experience Nahleene’s emotions. However, Pax’s emotional center was destroyed when he became a cyborg so he’s not expressing his own emotions, merely feeling what Nahleene feels. For me, this distinction created some confusion about their “love”. I never felt like Pax did anything to inspire Nahleene to fall in love with him and since Pax doesn’t have emotions he can’t really love Nahleene back.
Now that being said, I really liked both Pax and Nahleene as characters, I’m just not sure about their love story. I enjoyed seeing our previous couples and the tension to stop the Ilarian Regime is really ramping up. The epilogue especially sets the tone for future books. But my other big issue is that Antibody lacked a lot of depth for anyone who hasn’t read the previous books. While I understood the characters and their motivations, the history of the Regime, and the customs surrounding the Vithii, I learned it all in the first book, Antidote. I would not recommend reading this series out of order because of this.
3 out of 5 stars
Vithii military cyborgs never go rogue.
At least, that’s the official line.
How could they, when their emotion centers have been ripped out and replaced with tech?
No, cyborgs are only good at three things—following orders, destroying whatever target you point them at, and walking calmly into the vaporization chamber when it’s time for them to be decommissioned.
PX-12—better known to his friends as Pax—adequately performed two of those functions during his stint in the Ilarian military. D-8, his unit-sibling, performed all three exceptionally well. For that reason, when D-8’s unique distress beacon activates some seven years after Pax saw him destroyed, it would doubtless be quite surprising if Pax were still capable of being surprised.
Someone in the Regime is recycling the minds of decommissioned cyborgs, turning them into weapons even more horrific than they were before. To stop it, Pax will need the help of telepathic Vitharan ambassador—and part time spy—Veila’ana Nalidor, a woman whose motivations are as opaque as her past.
Since his escape from his military masters, Pax has operated using a strict self-imposed code based on logic. He never expected to experience emotion again—not even somebody else’s emotions.
Can a fragile mental connection forged in crisis overcome the damage done by a ruthless military research team? To find out, Pax and Veila’ana will first have to prevent an atrocity born from the sins of the past.
Preferably, before it destroys the future.
Published by R.A. Steffan on August 31, 2018
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