Marked: I admire Adam the drug addict

Marked by Alex Hughes SFF book reviewsMarked by Alex Hughes

For a couple more days you can still enter to win a copy of Clean or Sharp, the first two MINDSPACE INVESTIGATION novels.

My friendship with Adam has covered three novels now. Alex Hughes has taken me into a different future of the world I live in and made it very real for me, but the best part is that I’ve befriended a hero who I completely understand and admire. That’s right, I admire Adam the drug addict.

In Marked, the third book in Hughes’ MINDSPACE INVESTIGATION series, Adam is still recovering from all the trauma of having seen previous students go bad. The fact that he saved the Guild from a terrible situation and caught the bad guys has bought him a little good will, but not enough to get him the credentials that he needs to solidify his job at the police department. So, his fragile existence still dangles by the proverbial thread.

When Adam’s former fiancée, Kara, calls him for a favor, he really can’t refuse. Kara has tried, within strict limits, to help Adam in the past and paying his debts when he cans seems to really matter to Adam more and more. Call it a part of his management of his addiction, call it the wisdom of hard knocks, but it’s admirable. The fact that he can’t really say no only makes it slightly funny.

The Guild is in severe turmoil after one of the family heads who is also a high ranking leader goes insane and kills himself. Madness is always bad, but when telepaths are involved, it’s deadly. The historical problems associated with this sickness place it on the level of an Ebola-like virus and eradication can require extreme measures.

With all of this going on, Adam’s relationship with Cherabino continues to slowly blossom. Both of them are mortally afraid of what they are feeling and the psychic link that still ties them together makes it even worse. Still, they are both fundamentally good people and are drawn to each other like moths circling a flame.

I loved Marked, because it exposes so many very, very real human weaknesses. Adam has to deal with people who are great examples of paranoid bureaucrats and power-hungry politicians. Mixed in are the wonderful people who do the right thing even when it hurts them. The contrasts are spectacular to read about because I really feel like I know people who are just like some of these characters. At the center of the story is Adam, trying to do the right thing even when the cost to himself is borderline deadly. The ennobling effects of his experiences and his growth during the process make Marked one of the best books I have read in quite a while.


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JOHN HULET is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of.

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5 comments

  1. I’m going to have to read these.

  2. Hélène /

    Kat,I just listened to the first book and this is a time when an audiobook makes it better. I’m not really into UF and paranormal, I’m not sure John’s review would have been enough to pass the sample (sorry,John!). With Daniel May’s narration, I actually felt I lived in Adam’s head – uncomfortable as it may be. And I agree with John, he’s an interesting man to know. It’s a pity I’ve no credit left at the moment on my Audible account;I would have started listening to Sharp at once!

    • Hélène, thanks for letting me know you like the audio version. I’ve put this on my Audible wish list. Let me know how you like book 2 when you get it.

  3. No offense taken. I love this series. Alex Hughes is an amazing author.

  4. This is a good series. I think I’ve read through books 3.

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