Author: Lisa Renee Jones
The Legend of Michael (2011)
The Storm That Is Sterling (11/2011)
"Renegade Passion" (e-novella, 5/2012)
The Danger That Is Damion (5/2012)
The two are immediately attracted to one another, and the plot mostly follows their love story. Lara has no memories of her life before Powell. He has made her believe that all GTECHs are bad—both Zodius and Renegades—and has turned her into an assassin, programmed to kill all GTECHS. The last thing that Lara can remember is that someone killed her mentor, and Powell has made her believe that the Renegades were the murderers. Damion begins breaking Renegade rules almost immediately by protecting Lara and refusing Caleb's suggestion that the Renegade medics should take a look inside Lara's brain. The Renegades fear that Lara may be faking her memory loss in order to infiltrate their ranks, but Damion—almost from the first moment he meets her—trusts Lara and believes that she is telling the truth.
In this world, there are no supernatural creatures—no vampires, werewolves, or demons. Instead, the main characters are super-soldiers called GTECHs, who are stronger and faster than humans, heal themselves from most injuries, and windwalk—that is, fade invisibly into the wind and travel great distances at super speed. The GTECHs were created by General Powell and his medical staff. They selected human soldiers and then, without the soldiers’ knowledge, injected them with the GTECH vaccine, which appears to have come originally from the DNA of aliens (the extraterrestrial kind). This secretive work was done at Zodius City (near Area 51). Early on, the U.S. government sponsored the GTECH program, but it was eventually shut down when some of the soldiers developed the X2 gene, which caused them to become violent and uncontrollable.
As the novel opens, Cassandra Powell (clinical psychologist and daughter of Dr. Powell), falls in love with Michael Taylor, a tall, dark, and handsome GTECH, who comes across like a 21st century version of Conan the Barbarian, but with better manners. Dr. Powell is secretly continuing to experiment with his GTECH serum, but now he wants to add Red Dart, a laser program that will turn the GTECHs into nothing more than super-strong robotic slaves who will do his bidding. Of course, Powell, in typical meglomaniac fashion, is doing all of this to keep our country safe; at least that’s what he tells himself and anyone who questions his motives. In the early part of the book, the GTECHs learn that they are to be victims of the Red Dart program. They rebel and overrun the Zodius compound, but Dr. Powell, his daughter, and some of the medical team escape. After the takeover, the rebels split into two groups: the Zodius, led by the sociopathic Adam Rain, and the good-guy Renegades, led by Adam’s twin brother, Caleb. So...the conflicts are as follows:
> Dr. Powell wants to capture all of the Zodius soldiers and all of the Renegades so that he can Red Dart them and get them under his control.
> Adam wants to capture Dr. Powell and his Red Dart medical team so that he can create his own army, and he wants to shut down the Renegades and get his brother to join the Zodius group.
> Caleb wants to capture Dr. Powell and his Red Dart medical team so that he can destroy the Red Dart formulas, and he wants to shut down the Zodius group.
> Later in the book, yet another GTECH soldier forms a group in opposition to both the Zodius and the Renegades.
> Adam wants to capture or kill Becca so that he can either use her powers or keep his brother from using them. He also wants to use her in his sex camps to try to find her Lifebond so that she can procreate.
> Tad wants power, any way he can get it. As a result of using ICE, he has developed some powers that he tries to keep secret, and those powers add complications to the plot.
> Sterling wants to trust Becca and hopes that she is his Lifebond, but still has some suspicions that she might be Adam's ally.
> Becca wants to trust Sterling, but still fears that he has ties to Adam. She is also afraid that she is his Lifebond and that he will die to protect her.
> Caleb wants to believe that Becca is on their side so that her astrobiologist background can help the the Renegades in their research.