Origins (Gods of War #1)

Title: Origins (Gods of War #1)
Author: Shannon West & T.S. McKinney
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Release Date: April 11th 2018
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Military, Romance
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5


Former Army Ranger William Logan is serving hard time in Leavenworth for a crime he didn’t commit. With three months left on his sentence, he’s approached by a recruiter for a private military group. The Red River Group make him an offer he can’t refuse—a get out of jail free card and a chance to continue as a soldier, working as a hired gun. He’s sent to join a team already in training for their first mission. The new soldiers are all former elite military but also misfits, like Logan, and recently sprung from brigs across the country.

At the training facility, he meets company man and trainer, Luke Warren, a former Navy SEAL. Logan begins an intense relationship with the prickly but gorgeous man as they get ready for a top-secret mission against the drug cartels in Mexico. The team has to make sure that MARS, a highly addictive and lethal new drug, along with the factory that produces it, is completely destroyed.

When everything on the mission goes wrong and the factory blows up in their faces, the team wakes up to find they not only survived, but the now have impossible enhanced strength and abilities. Frightened and confused, not knowing who to trust, Logan leads the team in a run for the States to find a safe haven, forcing Luke to come with them.

With violence and intrigue swirling around him, Logan relies on his instincts and his ingenuity to discover who his allies and his enemies really are. As they travel across the country, Logan and Luke begin to realize that they have to stick together and they’ll need all their newfound abilities and a lot of luck to make it out of this alive.

Feeling as if he’s slowly dying in jail with no prospects after his sentence’s done, Logan takes the deal he’s offered, even though he has an uneasy gut feeling about the offer. Luke, their leader and trainer is quite the opposite of Logan, likes being in control, keeps everything organized and follows the rules, while Logan has a tendency to disregard rules -being more of a bender of rules- and he’s a natural born leader. Logan and the rest of the team doesn’t get much time to train before they are sent on a mission with Luke insisting on following the team. The mission goes wrong and the ex-military turned mercenaries no longer knows who to trust. They decide to make their way back across the border and then split up to be more inconspicuous as they travel to a safe place. While Logan doesn’t trust Luke completely he’s the only one stopping the rest of the team members from taking out their wrath on Luke since they are convinced he must know something. Their abilities growing, the men stands clueless to the mystery of what actually happened and they will have to fight hard to survive, but nothing is ever as simple as merely black or white.

I love how Logan and Luke both are strong individuals, who are leader material and through their clashes they begin to change, and their relationship begins to develop into something very different. I definitely love the tension between them and I hope we get more of it in the next book.

Origins was fun, suspenseful and intriguing. The mystery/action and the romance are well balanced. The fact that the recruits are misfits ex-military shows in their lack of respect for their leader/trainer Luke. I was wondering about their training though since it didn’t feel as if they trained all that much, considering how they did in the military, and the question was on my mind why they were sent in the first place. But of course then I understood, because it all fit together like pieces of a puzzle. So subtle and well done in creating the right atmosphere.

There was never a dull moment and I definitely enjoyed reading Origins to the point of not putting it down until I finished it. Unfortunately, Origins needed better editing though, with missing words, grammar mistakes and sentences in first person perspective although the book was written in third person narrative. It wasn’t enough to hinder my enjoyment of the book, it did disturb the reading experience slightly though, as well as lower the rating somewhat.

Origins didn’t really end with a cliffhanger, more like in the quiet before another storm. I’m excited to read more of these characters when the next book, Oracles, is released.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Origins provided by Painted Hearts Publishing in exchange of an honest review.


Reading, to me, is as close to an addiction as one can come without crossing the line... completely. I read a lot, and many different genres. I'd love to hear if my reviews helped you, so feel free to comment :)