by Melissa ConwayKindle Edition
Review by J. S. Colley
I’m required to state I’m acquainted with the author through social networking.
This is the second book in Melissa Conway’s Xenofreak Nation series and is set in a future where undergoing animal-skin grafting is as common as tattooing is today. The difference is: anyone who opts for a xenograft is considered a freak and a social outcast.
From the first novel, we follow the stories of Bryn—an unwilling xenofreak—and undercover agent Scott Harding of the Xenofreak Intelligence Agency. Scott received his xenograft as a means to successfully infiltrate the xenofreak gang known as the XBestias.
The story begins as both Bryn and Scott endure painful effects brought on by nanoneurons unknowingly implanted in their brains during the initial grafting procedure. Someone is using the devices to control their pleasure and pain receptors, with devastating results.
In addition to battling against the debilitating effects of the implants, a mysterious illness surfaces that only affects non-xenofreaks. All Scott wants to do is find the person who’s controlling their minds and put a stop to the attacks, but he’s pulled off protection detail in order to help Dr. Mia Padilla — a self-admitted germophobe, yet ironically an infectious disease specialist — learn more about the deadly disease spreading across the city.
While Scott helps Mia, Bryn is put under the protection of undercover XIA agent Jason Alton, who takes her to the only place she might be safe from the painful signals—to the underground lair of the Mad Eye gang—the main rivals of the XBestias. Once underground, Bryn and Jason interact with the Mad Eye gang’s leader, Maddy, an eccentric, yet formidable, transgender woman.
Still struggling to resist the mind-control attacks, Bryn is forced to be in close physical contact with her new, handsome protector, and she begins to question her feelings for Scott.
Meanwhile, things get personal for Maddy when the disease infiltrates her underground fiefdom and, as the gang leader tries to find answers, Bryn gets caught in the crossfire between the two rival gangs.
Xenofreak Nation, Book Two: Mad-Eye is a thrilling novel that blends action and romance in perfect balance.