Darkness Eternal (Crabbypatty’s review)

Darkness Eternal cover
Title: Darkness Eternal (Refuge Inc. #5)
Author: Leslie Lee Sanders
Publisher: LLS Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Genre(s): Dystopian, Science Fiction
Page Count: 165
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A century after an asteroid impact and merely fifteen years after a second collision that turned the world into a noxious wasteland, Cadet Connor Nichols and other Refuge facility residents are making the most of their spherical underground utopia they call home.

But when a breach threatens to poison the occupants with toxic air, Connor is forced to make life-altering decisions in an attempt to save lives and his only home. With help from best friend and training partner, Vince Moore, he’s reminded that good leadership requires responsibility.

His struggle intensifies as everything he knows about the facility, the leaders, and himself becomes twisted, distorted, and turned into the unimaginable when his efforts exposes shocking secrets that threaten their future.

Darkness Eternal is #5 in the Refuge Inc. series by Leslie Lee Sanders, but is written as a standalone book in the Refuge, Inc. universe. Cadets Connor Nicols and Vincent Moore are training partners in the lower hemi of a huge underground structure built to protect people from a cataclysmic asteroid impact a century prior. The upper 10 floors of the structure have been blocked off for the past 15 years, supposedly due to a toxin leak from the poisonous atmosphere above.

Vincent’s father, Dr. Randolph, is the leader of the lower structure and has created a society similar to Huxley’s “Brave New World” where the medication eX-lement is pumped into the water supply to prevent pregnancies and disease. There are few family units, children are rarely born and homosexuality is outlawed. Connor has loved Vince since they were children, but knows this is an impossible situation in their world.

One night, the cadets are awakened by alarms – the top floor of their hemi has been infiltrated by the toxin. Vince goes to the top floor, against orders, and Connor and their fellow cadet Tamara follow. What they find is like nothing they could have imagined — their entire worldview is scattered.

I was captivated by the plot of Darkness Eternal and the dystopian world that Leslie Lee Sanders created. The story was compelling and really interesting. The relationship between Connor and Vince is very subdued and other than a few kisses and touches is non-existent. The book is a bit slow in the beginning, as we learn about the Refuge Inc. world, and there were some unnecessary characters, but the story hits its stride in the second half. I felt the ending was too hurried, however, and a bit convoluted and the very ending was a “wait, what?” for me.

If you are reading this story for the sci-fi post-apocalyptic aspect, I think you’ll find this book very interesting. But, if you are looking for a steamy M/M romance in a sci-fi setting, you may be disappointed by the young adult / non-physical aspect of this book.

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Galley copy of provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

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