Infected: Freefall

Title: Infected: Freefall
Author: Andrea Speed
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Infected: Freefall
Genre: M/M paranormal romance, mystery
Length: 350 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jenre

Summary Review: No respite for Roan in this fourth book in the Infected series as his addictions spiral out of control and someone is trying to kill him.

This review contains spoilers for previous books in the Infected series. 

THE BLURB

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.

Conceived bearing the lion strain of the virus, Roan is the only fully functioning virus child in the country—maybe in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s okay. He’s still struggling with the death of his husband and the guilt of finding new love; his old enemy, the Church of the Divine Transformation, is becoming increasingly hostile; and he’s taken on a tragic cold case involving a long-missing boy.

As Roan fights to control the lion inside him, his world explodes with all kinds of trouble. The leader of the church is ramping up the violence against him, calling Roan out as a traitor to his kind. There’s a loose Infected terrorizing the city. And Holden, male prostitute and Roan’s unofficial assistant, brings him a case involving the suspicious death of one of Holden’s clients, which puts Roan far too close to a murderer for his state of mind….

Infected Series

THE REVIEW

This fourth book in the Infected series sees things going rapidly downhill for Roan. His addiction to painkillers is consuming his life, he’s having trouble controlling his lion and is spiralling further and further into depression. There are two separate mysteries for him to solve too, but whilst these are interesting – one is the discovery of a missing child and the other is the seemingly suspicious death of a local politician – they do take a back seat to the drama in Roan’s life. I’m not complaining about this because Roan is a fascinating character. His personal life is at an all time low, as as part of this Roan has increasingly vivid dreams about Paris and also his first lover Connor who committed suicide. This allows at least a little closure for Roan on that aspect of his past as his subconscious forces him to think through his life with Connor. Sometimes dreams in books don’t work for me but they did here because I could see why they were being used.

My main niggle with the story is focused on the relationship between Roan and Dylan. I honestly don’t think they are very suited to each other and as such in my mind I still see them as a transient couple. Don’t get me wrong, I love both characters and I think this is why I get a funny concerned feeling about their relationship. Dylan is just too nice and accepting to be with Roan. He’s not strong enough to stand up to Roan and often takes the line of least resistance, putting up with an awful lot of crap from Roan, crap that Paris would never have stood for. Take Roan’s addiction for example. Dylan knows about the addiction but refuses to tackle Roan about it, preferring to be a gentle support for Roan instead. In many ways Dylan is part of Roan’s problem because he’s so concerned about not rocking the boat, he just stands back and lets Roan get worse and worse. Roan needs someone who will kick his arse from time to time, who won’t take crap from him and who cares deeply enough to fight Roan for what is best for him. Paris was like that, and Roan needs another Paris, or someone very similar. Dylan may profess to love Roan deeply, but he doesn’t love Roan’s lion in the same way Paris did. I wonder really whether Roan will ever find someone to love and care for him as deeply as Paris, and that saddens me.

What I did really like though was the way that Holden is becoming more of a main character in these books. I like Holden because although he’s a hooker, he’s also got a wild intelligence about him. As the book progresses, Holden begins to take on the role of Roan’s assistant and even though his approach to things is very different, and more emotional than Roan, I can see that they will work well as a team. There’s a lot going on under the surface of Holden, behind the facade he puts on for the world, and I look forward to seeing more of him in future books.

I’m really enjoying this Infected series and was particularly pleased that the editing seemed a little tighter in this book than the previous one. There were no loose ends or inconsistencies, only hard boiled drama with some gripping and realistic action scenes. I love that the action is interspersed with some well written strong characterisation, and was pleased to get into the head of both Dylan and Holden for parts of the book.

As with many of these books we end on a cliffhanger and it’s not good news for Roan. He’s starting to come to terms with his lion – a theme which stretches through this book in particular – and I am interested to see how their symbiotic relationship withing Roan’s body will develop into further books.

If your a fan of this series, then this book is a must. If you haven’t started the series yet, then I urge you to start now, even if you just begin at book three for those who are unable to cope with the lack of HEA for Roan and Paris. I really enjoyed Infected: Freefall and would recommend it as a fantastic paranormal story.

14 comments

  • I am glad I am not the only one who thinks Roan should ditch Dylan pronto presto!
    So I was sorry to hear that this ‘relation’ will drag on for a couple more stories. Dylan was ok as a side character but as a main, he doesn’t work for me.
    Otherwise the book is very good.

    Sorry that it took me so long to reply. Read this post on the train on my phone last week but I can’t reply from there.

    Reply
  • I’m curious about how this works. Andrea writes the stories in sections and posts them on her website until they get picked up for publishing? Or are the stories on the site extras?

    I really want to read this series and I am going to start with book one. I think since I have advanced notice of the Paris plot I will be ok. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa

      The Infected series was originally a free set of stories on the author’s website before they were picked up for publication. She leaves the unpublished stuff up on her site until just before DSP publishes it, so you can go over there and read on in the series for free.

      I think it’s pretty clear from the end of the first book, Infected: Prey, how things are going to work out with Paris, so it wasn’t a surprise. It was still sad though so make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand :).

      Reply
  • loved the review – but as a newcomer to the series i’m gonna call a spoiler alert on the outcome to roan’s prior relationship!
    -kkm

    Reply
    • Yeah, sorry about that kkm. It’s difficult to write a review for a series book which doesn’t give away spoilers for previous books in the series.

      Having said that, I should have put a warning so I’ve amended things to add a spoiler alert for previous books.

      Reply
  • I’ve read all the stories on Andrea’s site (except the last story which ends with a cliffhanger) and yes, Roan and Dylan are still together. Some of the things that bother you are addressed in these stories. I’m not going to say how, you’ll just have to read them or wait for them to be published.

    I actually like Dylan very much. I think he counterbalances the other, chaotic parts of Roan’s life well. He is no Paris, true, but that is the point. I think I wouldn’t like the series this much if Dylan was just Paris’s copy. But, I am addicted and there is no stopping now – if Andrea spends the rest of her life writing Roan’s stories, I will read them. 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Lady M

      I’m glad things are cleared up a little in later books. It’s not that I don’t want them to work as a couple because I like Dylan too, it’s just that they don’t fit too well at the moment and I worry that Dylan’s going to end up brokenhearted.

      I agree though, this series is addictive! 🙂

      Reply
  • I’m really enjoying this series – I recently finished Freefall and quickly read Shift (from the author’s website) as I needed to know what happened next. And I really appreciate the author having so many more stories on her website 🙂

    I’m not sure whether I would have started the series had I known about the lack of HEA for Roan and Paris (I have depression so try to avoid anything that may trigger a low mood), but once I started reading Prey I really wanted to read the next books. And although Bloodlines was very sad I’m glad I read it. Roan is such a strong character despite all the tragedy in his life and many of the supporting characters are equally fascinating, especially Holden.
    They are definitely books that I’d recommend reading – I love the different approach to shapeshifting, the changing relationships and character development and the depiction of Roan’s depression and anger.

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah

      I’m glad you are liking the series too and I agree it’s worth reading the first two books, despite the sad themes as they give us an insight into Roan’s character which helps us to understand his actions in later books, especially his complete recklessness and disregard to his own safety.

      Reply
  • So I asked somebody who have read further than book four on writer’s website and it looks like Dylan and Roan are here to stay at least for few books ahead (have no idea forever or not lol). I bought book four and may just start from here heh. Thanks Jenre.

    Reply
    • Hi Sirius

      I’ll be really interested to see where their relationship goes. You never know, maybe I’m wrong about Dylan and he turns out to be just what Roan needs. 🙂

      Reply
  • I love this series. Roan’s anger (and Holden’s for that matter) – his rage against the machine and his intelligence and his heart keep me reading. I love the hockey guys and the music references and Roan’s tattoos and tee shirts – how he is dialogueing with the world through his body. E.g. I’ve listened to “These Arms Are Snakes” music because I liked the layering of Roan’s character and how the music references show us something about him and the moment.

    I wonder if Roan does’t need Dylan to be strong but to be gentle because there is so little of that in his life? Because Dylan is a quieter character who he is and what he is to Roan emerges over several books I think.

    Reply
    • Hi Merrian

      The things you mention here are what keeps me reading the series too. I also particularly liked the running jokes about names in this book. It raised a smile :).

      Because Dylan is a quieter character who he is and what he is to Roan emerges over several books I think.

      Yes, I can see that happening. I hope we get to see the pair of them get to a point where I’m more confident about their future together.

      Reply

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