The Society by Lilith Saintcrow

Posted on February 3, 2015

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the society by lilith saintcrow

 

The black-ops government agency called Sigma broke Justin Delgado, trained his psionic talent and turned him into a killer. Then he escaped and joined the Society, an underground resistance movement of psions determined to use their talents to bring Sigma down. Competent, cold, and cruelly efficient, he’s the best operative the Society has, a legend among the psions who fight a shadow war against an enemy that owns the courts, the press, and the police. Feared even by his own teammates, hunted by the government, and too damaged to feel anything but clinical rage, he is utterly alone-until he meets Rowan.

When Rowan Price stumbles across Delgado’s team in an abandoned house, he is assigned to make contact with her, bring her in, and keep her alive-because Rowan is one of the most powerful psychics the resistance has ever encountered. She possesses a talent that can heal shattered minds and broken bodies, or it can incite riots and revolution. If the government gets its hands on her, she could very well mean the downfall of the resistance, because nobody, not even Rowan, is quite sure how far her talents extend or how powerful she could eventually become.

Twenty-four hours after she meets Delgado, her life is shattered and she’s on the run from Sigma. If Sigma can’t take her freedom, they’ll settle for her life. She is simply too powerful to be left alone. The Society will welcome Rowan, if she can stay alive long enough to join them. Unfortunately, there’s a traitor buried in the ranks of the resistance, ready to betray everything the Society has worked so hard to achieve. If the Society goes down, Rowan is at risk. God alone knows what Delgado will do to keep her safe, because Rowan is fast becoming the only thing in the world he cares about.

 

I enjoyed reading this. It’s a nice book, with good writing, romance, action and story. Published 10 years ago, this urban fantasy may probably seem not so original now though. An innocent woman realizes she has psychic powers. A man with a dark past sets out to protect her. The bad guys chase them. They try to hide out, while he tries to teach her in the use of her power. During all of this, they fall in love. But eventually, the bad guys find them again, leading to a lot of fighting and a separation.

The conflict is simple, maybe too simple. The plot has little complexity to get in the way of the main point of the story, which is to follow the budding romance between Rowan and Delgado. Secondary characters aren’t fleshed out well enough.

There are two opposing forces: a secret government organization that abducts people with psychic powers (psions) brainwashing them into working for them; and the Society, which rescues psions. Clearly, the former is evil and the latter is good. The Society does not seem to have any grand plan, as it only seeks to keep its members alive. It seems too benevolent to be true, but in this book, it is true. Rescued psions are more or less left to their devices, which I think is not smart for an ultra-secret group to allow.

I do find the development of Rowan’s and Delgado’s relationship a little funny. Other than having psychic abilities, Rowan is a normal civilian. She is not a kick-ass heroine (at least, not yet). She reacts hysterically to the violence. While Delgado immediately moons after her, and treats her like a doll.

I also wonder why Rowan is considered so powerful as a psychic and Delgado so dangerous. There is little demonstration of this. Rowan can heal and influence, but not spectacularly. While Delgado sounds too nice. In fact, he doesn’t seem to be a very efficient operative at all. There were at least two examples that would have warned him to take preventive actions and one example where he failed to anticipate, leaving him a sorry mess.

Well, whatever. I followed this story because I was interested in the cute romance.

 

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Posted in: fantastic