On paper, this second book in Abriel’s Humanotica series shouldn’t work: a combination of cyberpunk and steampunk with a hefty dose of BDSM thrown in for good measure. In execution? You won’t be able to put it down. Haevyn moves through this sex-fueled world of intrigue and power struggles with a very human grace, and each character is multifaceted and fascinating. The sexual tension between Haevyn and the man Grisha wants to add to their relationship is incredible. If you’re craving a great plot with your very hot (and very edgy) sex scenes, look no further.
Haevyn Breina craves the rush of danger, whether it’s attending the illicit sex-fueled cage matches with her lover Grisha or working as a combination spy/courtesan for the Regulate. Meeting up with the humanotic fighter Ballador is a way to release all the stress of her job and worrying about her brother, who’s slowly turning more humanotic with each modification. But her job may bring her into more danger — and more complications — than even she’s ready for. (SAMHAIN, Feb., 272 pp., $15.95)