Title: I, Omega
Author: Kari Gregg
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Buy Link I, Omega
Genre: M/M BDSM, Shapeshifter, Paranormal
Length: Short Novel
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: While this strongly flavoured BDSM novel was atmospheric and powerful; the imagery slid toward extremes I personally found unappealing.
Blurb: After one mind-shattering night with a stranger at a local leather bar leaves him forever changed, Gabriel lives on the streets as a vagrant to elude the master who hunts him, but the were-shifter is a fierce, stubborn predator who reclaims him soon enough. Gabriel is carried away to the pack’s home territory where his instruction on what it means to be the pet of an alpha begins. Gabriel isn’t just any pet, though. He is the rarest among their kind: a human omega.
Treasured? Or cursed?
As Gabriel’s father, the Distinguished Gentleman from Pennsylvania and stalwart of the conservative party, pushes the considerable resources at his disposal to locate his missing son, Gabriel explores who and what he is under his master’s careful protection. Gabriel falls for the shifter who is lover and destroyer, owner and…friend?
I’m starting this review with the obvious reminder that this is a statement of my personal taste in combination with what I think as a reviewer. So while I have to say I really didn’t enjoy this book and in fact read it, metaphorically, hidden behind the sofa- it was, in part, the powerful writing that put me there.
The opening of this book is particularly forceful- thick with the real anxiety and fear expressed by poor confused Gabriel. Which brings me to my first concern, Gabriel felt like such a pitiful victim, such a sacrificial offering to this book’s development of extreme BDSM master / slave and total life immersion. That this is expressed in fantasy form through a werewolf society didn’t alleviate my worries. In fact this led to my biggest problem.
When very submissive Gabriel enters into the consensual play with Cal at the BDSM club he had no way of knowing that he would have such an affect on the man’s hidden alpha wolf. This sounds like a very familiar scenario, almost an accepted generic convention, but just as strong BDSM play is explored here so are the extremes of this tough werewolf society. We get the fusion of two radically imagined circumstances.
As Cal’s interaction affects Gabriel and he alters physically and mentally, he doesn’t change into a werewolf, but takes on some animal characteristics which leave him in the strange hinterland of being a pet. This is used in the sense of BDSM play and disturbingly for me more literally as the dictionary defines- “a domestic or tamed animal…. kept for companionship or pleasure and treated with care and affection.” All the imagery used to describe Gabriel definitely called my mind to a dog and the actions of the pack as they chipped, tattooed and then practically took him to the dog groomer reinforced this. So for me the addition of sexuality to this was more than bothersome, it had the whiff of a kink too far. I also felt there was an edgy hint of possible non-consensual pack sex wafting about – but this fear was never realised. This with the often humiliating and prolonged manifestations of the master / slave play…. so much subservience, so much spanking and yes actually, way too much semen left me shying well away from enjoying the book.
The world building is very understated here, the werewolves communities are secret and the shifters are for the most part integrated into a recognisable world. The descriptions of Gabriel’s previous life and his family add to his disturbing new condition. Although clearly very happy as sexual submissive his metamorphosis into a desperately dependent human omega with all the characteristics of a needy lap dog is shocking.
The menace does ease as the relationship develops with some definition and Gabriel starts to emerge as more of a distinct personality questioning his role in his new life. I actually found Cal quite irritating, such a big all powerful Alpha shifter, but he makes fairly obvious mistakes in looking after Gabriel, though to be fair I suppose he too is adjusting to having found a human omega and all that it means to him.
For all my strong personal uncertainties with Gabriel’s situation, I did find the book to be powerfully written erotica -very dark with a modern Gothic and violent intensity to the early scenes. Although I welcomed the dilution of this intensity, the later scenes dealing with the shifter community also felt less realized. However I was just very pleased to finish reading it.
Strong BDSM including humiliation, spanking, master/slave situations.