Book Reviews

Harnessing by D.J. Manly at Amber Allure

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Steampunk / Aliens / Vampires / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-April-2013

Book Blurb

Angus has never known freedom. He was born into a world overtaken by aliens who drank the blood of humans. Only Doctor Often offered hope for survival, and every day a fascinated Angus would sneak into the caves to watch the brilliant man tinker in a laboratory with its menagerie of gadgets, glued-together test tubes, and frayed wires.

Then one day, Angus goes home only to discover both his mother and little brother missing. Alone, he returns to Doctor Often, who trains and mentors him. As time passes, Angus and the doctor build their underground community, rescuing humans while food sources dwindle for both aliens and humans alike. Meanwhile, they also work on a steam engine that will one day, hopefully, allow them to build a flying machine to fight their overseers in the sky. But even though steam is the necessity to their possible survival, it’s also in dreadfully short supply.

When a blood-drinker named Shylar surprisingly surrenders to Doctor Often and his followers, he says he can supply them with steam, claims he holds the key to defeating his own race, and will help them restore the world to the remaining humans. But can Angus and the doctor trust one of their world’s bloodthirsty captors, even if Angus has seen the compelling and alluring vampire in his dreams? Is Shylar leading them all into a deadly trap, or is the beautiful, mysterious alien their dark angel?

Book Review

A beautiful story about the human need for freedom and the victory of love over hatred, this book is set in an alternate universe where steam rules the day. Like any good Steampunk tale, it combines the elements of science fiction (aliens), steam-powered machinery (the flying machines did make me grin a little), and a very Victorian-feeling society. On top of that there are amazing main characters with real conflicts and issues, and a cast of supporting characters that brings the central issues to life even more. 

Angus is a driven man. He grows up under the terror of an alien vampire regime where people are treated like cattle, loses his family to death when he is sixteen, and decides he will join forces with the enigmatic scientist, Doctor Often, who is attempting to reconstruct the steam-driven technology the aliens destroyed or stole. For someone who hates the "blood drinkers" so much to have to work with one of them is pure torture. To see him gradually rise above his prejudice was fascinating, and very well done.

Shylar is one of the blood drinkers, except he has a different set of beliefs than his fellow aliens. He wants to help the humans, and his frustration at not being able to convince them at first, and some of them not for a very long time, was palpable. Shylar knows he wants to help, and has the best intentions, but he has to fight the disgust and contempt of the humans at every turn. Not an easy task, but he is an "alien of honor", so he will not give up. Even when he has to sacrifice his own freedom to do so, he persists in his mission.

If you like stories with characters who battle not just fate but their own nature and ideas, if you enjoy reading Steampunk stories where retro-inventions like a flying machine powered by steam are the height of technology, and if you're looking for a hot read with an even hotter vampire, then you will probably like this books as much as I did.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Amber Allure for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 18000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-February-2013
Buy Link