USA Today Bestselling Author
Aliens are real.
I know because they abducted me. Now I’m trapped in a deadly game and everything I do is for the entertainment of aliens. If I fail, I die. My only chance of survival is a big, scary monster…but is he truly on my side or is this yet another game?
She’s my mate.
They showed me my fated female, then took her away. I will do anything to get to her. I will tear this planet apart. And once I have found her, I will claim her as my mate.
This book opens as Vruhag smells his mate is near. He’s trapped in his cell that even he with all his orc strength can’t escape. Although he does some damage before they get a restraining collar on him. The mating fever riding him hard.
Fay McLean has no idea where she is when she wakes with a massive hangover. At least that’s what she thinks it is. She’s in the dark and tries to find a window or door, but there aren’t any, it’s a cell. The question is where.
The next thing she knows, she’s naked and submerged in water on a planet that is clearly not Earth. She needs clothing, shelter and food and then to figure out how to get home.
Vruhag is forced to watch as his mate is sent to the surface with no clothing or weapon to use against the monsters that inhabit that planet. He needs to find her, mate her, and then survive for ten days to be freed. That was the rule of the Trials of Kalumbu. Unfortunately, he’s sent down with only an axe and with no idea of where Fay could be.
Fay has a stroke of luck when the first creature she meets on this horrific planet is a Chii, the small creature leads her to its home and there she begins to learn about where she is and what happens there. The chii who found her is called Ali’quii and her relative Ta’quii is the powerful clan-mother. Ta’quii is the one who tells her someone is searching for her and that Ali’quii’s chosen has found him and is leading him to her. It seems this someone is her mate. Not that she believes in such things.
The first thing Vruhag does is kill for food, he’s weak and not at his top strength. He’s not so lucky in his search for Fay, he has to battle not one but two rakefangs. They were attacking a small chirping creature, and he couldn’t let them win. The creature he saves is a Chii and his name is Ano’quoo and he is traveling to meet his chosen and will lead Vruhag to his mate. She’s with Ali’quii and her clan safe for the moment.
The first meeting between Fay and Vruhag is interesting to say the least. He can understand her, but she can’t understand him. Ano’quoo and Ali’quii get them to a safe place and create a mind room for them to talk.
This is a favorite scene.
I sat cross-legged opposite the two chii, while Vruhag kneeled to my right. He wore the same brown kilt as in real life, but he now had straps and holsters wrapped around his shoulders and arms. A knife glinted from a bone sheath strapped around his forearm, while the pendants on his necklace suspiciously looked like teeth or fangs. He oozed strength and uninhibited power.
“Can you understand me now?” he asked, his deep voice echoing through my mind. I didn’t hear him with my ears, but with my heart.
“Yes, I can.”
He smiled at me, and my mouth went dry. It was a sinful smile, full of desire and promises. He shouldn’t smile at me like that. Not when we were strangers.
“Tell me why we’re here. Tell me how to get home,” I demanded.
His smile disappeared in an instant. “This planet is called Kalumbu,” he began slowly, as if not sure what to tell me and what to sugar coat. “In simple terms, it’s an arena. Cameras watch everything we do. The show is broadcast on hidden channels across the galaxy. Contestants are sent here to fight for survival. If they are still alive after ten rotations, they are taken to safety.”
“How long is a rotation?” I asked at the same time as Ali’quii muttered, “Wrong.”
Vruhag’s attention snapped to the chii. “What?”
“They’re not safe.” For the first time, Ali’quii moved her lips while speaking. “I’ve seen them. They’re lifted on a floating platform, high into the sky, then they’re pushed over the rim. They fall. They crash. They die.”
A barrage of emotions ran across Vruhag’s face. He was so expressive. Or was I just particularly attuned to him? It felt easy to read what he was feeling even though he wasn’t human.
“Are you sure?” he asked hoarsely.
Ano’quoo’s tufted ears lowered. “I have seen it as well. Nobody ever leaves here alive. The beasts feast on them, whether they’re alive or dead. The forest feeds off its sacrifices.”
A series of shivers ran down my back and this time, they weren’t the pleasant kind.
Vruhag looked at me, his eyes hooded. The spark in his eyes extinguished as all hope seemed to flee him. The room turned cold.
“You said you have a way off this planet,” I said weakly.
“I nodded,” he muttered. “In my culture, that means no. I’m a captive just like you. I was abducted from my ship. My only hope was that we’d survive for ten rotations and finish the Trials that way. Ten rotations, that’s ten cycles of day and night. We haven’t even been here for one. And now it turns out we will die anyway, no matter if we somehow make it to the end of the Trials.”
He sounded so defeated. If this warrior, this beast of a man, didn’t see a way out, then what hope was there?
I wrapped my arms around my chest. “What do we do?”
He gave me a grim look. “We fight for as long as we can. Until the day the planet kills us.”
Skye MacKinnon. My Big Green Alien Orc (Kindle Locations 1062-1085). Peryton Press.
From this point on it’s getting to know each other and surviving. Fay has a lot of accepting to do when it comes to her mating. This is as foreign to her as her current environment.
So many things happen in this book, it kept me on edge through every page and there’s an interesting surprise as well.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series. I have a love/hate relationship with this strange world Skye has created that others use to torment and kill.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
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Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.