Title : Freedom
Author : Jay Kirkpatrick
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Science Fiction
Length : 232 pages (e-book)
Published : March 11, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
In a future Earth, Patrick Harvey, newly promoted Class One Empath, dreams of the independence his position brings and the apartment he’s saving for. His first solo assignment is treating John Doe 439, a man found outside the city, battered, traumatized, and apparently mute.
Despite a strong taboo against Empaths forging romantic relationships, Patrick realizes he feels a strong attraction to his patient. Soon he learns the man is a high-level Psychic Talent named Jac. Then Jac reveals that there are abusive people hunting him for his gifts, and Patrick’s uncomplicated world explodes.
Jac needs to meet up with his companions and flee the city before anyone else can find him—but it may be too late. Word of Jac’s talents has leaked to Central Government in Chicago. If Jac wants to retain his freedom, he needs to run—now. And if Patrick wants to explore a relationship his society tells him he can’t have, he’ll have to exchange the safe fetters of his job for the uncertainty of liberty.
This was kind of a heavy read for me. To be honest the cover kind of scared me but I also found myself needing to know why that poor man was sitting alone naked in the corner. I am glad I put on my big girl panties and read this book. I was instantly submerged into this world and just had to know what happened to that man. The story is told from different POVs which I enjoyed for the most part.
Freedom is split into three parts. I found the first part highly intriguing. Patrick is an empath for a medical facility in a futuristic world. He was rescued off the streets as a kid and tested for what they call, Talent, meaning you have some kind of special skill. You are then given a score or level and trained or turned away as too low to benefit the City. His entire life he has considered himself lucky to have a place to live, food to eat and a bright future with the company. His first patient is a John Doe who came to them badly tortured and mentally broken. He’s been resistant to any help but Patrick manages to make a break through with the John Doe. He gets him to eat and is able to communicate with him. He learns the real name of John Doe is Jac through a talent of Jac’s. He is able to create illusions. That alone is an amazing talent but he also he has strong telepathy and a Shamen healing powers. There are no records of anybody ever having that many talents or at his level. Patrick and Jac form a connection and Jac trusts Patrick. Jac is almost childlike and kind you can’t help but want to protect him. He craves touch which Patrick has always been taught not to do. He has never had physical or emotional affection and he starts to feel love and lust for the first time. He realizes that Jac is truly special and those that know him see him as the key to the future. It gives people the freedom to live in the wild and not be confined to cities or the Outside like they’ve been led to believe. The Outside is on the outskirts of the city where people live in poverty and crime is high. His supervisor tells Patrick to keep Jac’s talents quiet. Patrick thinks Jac should have an amazing career ahead of him with his skills but this is about the time he starts to realize the people who raised him may not be the wonderful people he thought they were. There are stories of them breaking the higher level Talents just to see what they are capable of then disposing them into the Outside. Patrick is falling for Jac and he won’t let that happen to him even if it means losing him forever.
The second and third parts of the book weren’t as great as the first but still good. There is a realistic ending that didn’t satisfy the happy happy ending lover in me but I’m okay with it. The baddie was rather crazy but the author made it all work. The underground railroad was interesting and I would have liked to know a bit about that. The characters were rich and the writing engaging.
This book does have mention of rape. It doesn’t occur on page but was very upsetting. It was part of a very traumatic experience for one of the MCs. I rarely will read a book that has a rape occur in it but I was able to handle this. The torture that occurs is one of those things that is so awful you want to know the details but because you think surely they can’t be as bad as what your mind is creating. However, it’s also good to not know because just knowing it did happen was terrifying enough. Maybe I wanted to know because I wanted someone to blame or know they would be caught. Either way, this part of the book was necessary for the story but there is no escaping that tone it sets.
I found Freedom to be suspenseful and intense with a strong message of hope and enduring the bad to live for the good things in life. Freedom and love is what Jac wanted and he found it with Patrick. There are so many details that I couldn’t possibly include them in all in a review so you will just have to check this out for yourself. It’s a dark journey but worth it IMO.
Rated 4 stars by Whit