One Breath, One Bullet



Title : One Breath, One Bullet

Author : S.A. McAuley

Series : Border Wars, book #1

Publisher : total-E-Bound (BUY HERE)

Genre : M/M, Futuristic, Sci-Fi

Word Count : 24,000 (88 pages)

Published : May 17, 2013

Rating : ★★



Face to face, and rifle to rifle. The time and location change, but never the circumstance. Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan are enemies. And neither will be considered successful until the other is dead.

It is the year 2558. A mere decade has passed since the signing of the treaty which ended the three hundred year long Borders War. In the midst of an uneasy peace, the world gathers for the first Olympic games since the war began.

The Rifle competition showcases the very soldiers who fought in the war, pitting former enemies against one another again. Continental States Peacemaker Merq Grayson will once again battle the Dark Ops officer from the People’s Republic of Singapore, Armise Darcan, this time under the flag of their own uneasy truce. The relationship between Merq and Armise is one of violence, secrecy, and a growing intimacy that could have them both branded as traitors.

But there is more at stake than pride or medals in these games. And neither Merq nor Armise may be able to make it out alive before the fires of revolution are set ablaze again.


You could say S.A. McAuley has a way with words …. And my God but you’d be right! She has a way of weaving a story that just sucks me in, and holds me tight – right til the end! Leaving me begging for more! I loved her book “Immovable Solitude” and this new book, part of a brand new series, maintains her high standard of storytelling. If I tell you that there were parts that had me thinking about Special Forces and Rifter – then you know just how good it must be!

“Five countries, five leaders. Two warring causes. One bullet …”

The world building in “One Breath, One Bullet” is gradual and great! No huge infodump. But Sam rather casually mentions things as the story unfurls; and then at the very end ties everything up with a glossary of terms and a timescale of events … Do Not Jump Ahead! Read it at the end 🙂 To me there is no huge difference to today, which as a “non-tech-person” I liked…. okay, so they have personal transporter chips and need air purifiers, but there is no big technological leap.

This is just a mini breakdown – the year is 2558, so 545 years in the future, and the world has been divided into just 5 countries – the People’s Republic of Singapore (PRS), the United Union, the Continental States (CS), the American Federation and the Dark Continental Republic. (Seriously… Sam, if you read this …. I want a map in the next book!!) Air needs to be purified and electrical storms are commonplace (I could almost feel the crackle through my kindle). All paperwork was destroyed in a massive Paper Purge, with everything being stored electronically …. only for targeted electromagnetic pulses to wipe everything out. By whom? And why? One infochip remains. It is Merq’s mission to find it, so that all the information stored on it can be used. Can you imagine a world with no data storage? Would civilisation remain as it was if all knowledge was lost? And without records is knowledge actually lost? Would it be like starting again? I found this aspect of the book fascinating!

I also loved the portrayal of how technology can be used for good or evil, it is one of the most fascinating traits of human nature – a tool is only as good as the man who handles it. Merq Grayson (our Merq’s great Grandfather, 6 times removed) invented what was to be the ultimate tool to fight cancer; only for his work to be used to create the sonic bullet – targeted sound waves which when focused at full force explode internal organs on impact. Hundreds of years later his Grandson is a Peacemaker working as a sniper using this very technology. Waugh!! Okay.. I need to leave something for you to discover. So I will finish off with just a little bit about the 2 MC’s.

Merq Grayson – Peacemaker and sniper for the CS. He is totally oblivious to just how much he means to Armise. Totally in denial – which I always love in a book! They are just delicious together. Brutal enemies that cannot resist coming together whenever they can – this is the part that had me thinking of a certain SAS/Russian combo – good thoughts, indeed. 😉

Armise Darcan – Dark Ops for the PCR. He is Ab.Solutely scrumptious! A mountain of a man, yet he is putty in Merq’s hands. He is so obviously besotted with Merq, and Merq is just oblivious to it. Yes, I said that already. Damn, but he just makes me melt 🙂

I really, really loved this book! And was so thrilled to hear that there will be 5 novellas in total – all featuring Merq and Armise. I don’t know how often the subsequent issues will be released, and this is the Rifter bit, but I honestly see myself going crazy as I wait for them! I know there is still so much intrigue ahead – with Merq, Armise, Coach, Jegs and of course the search for the key to the info chip! Join in my madness … Go. Buy the Book!

kapowRated 5 stars by Barb

LYLBTB 50 star