Well, I finally gave in and bought an ebook from Ellora’s Cave. Steele, a novella-length story just under 100 pages, is the first book in Sherri L. King’s Sterling Files series. We don’t learn too much about Sterling, except that it’s a research company that studies people with “special abilities”, is funded by the government. Sterling is rivaled by Siren Corp., a company which also studies such people, but with an aim toward designing questionable technologies based on their powers.
Brian Steele, known simply as “Steele” throughout, is first seen as an undefeated 13yo champion, fighting adult competitors in a world of illegal boxing. He’s an interesting character, and you can see a depth and a lot of possibility to be developed.
Years into the future, having spent may years at Sterling, Steele uses his powers for good. We see him again when he rescues newly “gifted” Marla Rivers from the clutches of Siren Corp. Marla has just come out of a year long coma and seems to have some facility with electricity. Thanks to Steele’s intervention, Marla agrees to be studied by Sterling.
And there’s not a whole lot more to the story. It’s an erotic novella, so I guess there’s not a lot of time to develop more about Marla’s powers, the research, nor to present any conflict within the relationship between Marla and Steele.
If you like to just see people dive into a relationship because they’re obviously meant to be together (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) then you’ll probably like this. I wanted more. More development of the characters, of the story, of their relationship… There was a little too much perfection for me, the waif with the core of iron and her gentle giant. It felt a little too much like wish fulfillment to me.
Still, it engaged me for a while, I’m interested in the concept overall and am sort of curious. So I might read on in the series eventually.
In other news, it was a bad spending day for me. I also bought Shiloh Walker’s The Hunters: Declan and Tori from Ellora’s Cave and from Amazon ordered Shannon McKenna’s Edge of Midnight, Brenda Novak’s Dead Right, and Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Bad Susan.