Zoner

Michael Barnette
Zoner
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Publisher
Shadowfire Press
Release Date
September 2010
Series
Book 1 of Through Neon Eyes
Genre
BDSM, LGBTQ

SUMMARY
David Jessman has it all. A great job, a wonderful home and wealth. What he doesn't have is a lover, but that's about to change....

Received a Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nomination for 2003. Originally Zoner appeared in Wired Hard 3 from Circlet Press, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2003 in the Anthology category. Reprinted in the Idols anthology by Berbera and Hyde (Random House, Italy).

Warning: The Through Neon Eyes series is m/m with strong BDSM and D/s themes.

Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
May 23, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
144 people found the following review helpful
Changing jobs to a competitor's company has never been so dangerous when the penalty is death. In this cyberpunk story, Jessman is a high level asset for MLC. He's been kidnapped and acquired by competitor, NeuroTech. While he did resist the aggressive recruiting by fighting back, he was still overpowered and now works for NeuroTech. Working for NeuroTech definitely has many benefits which Jessman is now used to and enjoys. Unfortunately, MLC's SOP is to rehire him back by "retro-actively de-hiring" through the anti-personnel team.

Mr. Barnette's world is not for everyone. There isn't a full back story, which forces the reader to guess and make assumptions as to how his world works. For some people, this is off putting. For me, it was interesting. The short story kept me on my toes trying to figure out the terminology and the way of life.

Intermingled with the sketchy story, Jessman and Bell meet. Bell is a gunwhore hired to protect Jessman. In this world, a gunwhore is the best of both worlds, he guards and he supplies sex. Mr. Barnette designs Bell in a lusciously dangerous way. I specifically use the word "design", as Bell has been enhanced in many ways. The lust between Jessman and Bell is palpable. The predictable double twist in the plot was anticipated yet still tasted as sweet when it unfolded.

This short story reminds me of some of the Japanese anime I'm so fond of watching. While I was confused for parts of the story, I was left wanting more. I recommend this story to others who enjoy cyberpunk mixed with a dash of Japanese anime and a smattering of hot m/m sex.
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