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Book CoverSandy M’s review of The Legend of Michael (Zodius, Book 1) by Lisa Renee Jones
Paranormal Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 May 11

I’ve been on the fence concerning this book since the beginning. I’d jump one way and then the other, again and again, with scenes here and there, which all surprised me, because the few Lisa Renee Jones books I’ve read, I’ve not had any vacillation at all. Her hero is to die for. Her heroine gives me the most ups and downs. The plot is interesting, though somewhat convoluted and scenes could be more action packed, and a few secondary characters end up irritating me just a bit.

First the plot. The heroine’s father has his hands on an alien DNA serum from the 1950s and has turned military men into stronger, faster, more indestructible warriors – GTECHS. They were hoodwinked into allowing injections of the life-altering stuff, and now there’s two factions of those soldiers – one, Zodius, that wants to rule the world and one, Renegades, that wants to stop such madness. Oh, and Daddy wants to rule the world too. Since the split, both factions have moved from their original home base, so there are those newly named areas, but even the old ones get new names and both are used just to make things confusing. With the Zodius and Renegades wanting to off each other, there’s also Daddy and his minions running around in the mix trying to off whoever they can in their rush to test and eventually use Red Dart, a new product that will now control those men who are exhibiting overly excessive violent tendencies. So Zodius wants Red Dart too to have total control, while the Renegades want it for safekeeping if needed in the future for any reason. So there’s a lot more bad guys here than good. Of course, there’s a lot more going on that just this, some of which really isn’t necessary.

Michael is the strongest of those who survived the transition, a legend unto himself with his abilities and reputation. Cassandra works for Daddy, but she knows only half-truths of what he’s up to. When the two of them meet, it’s instant attraction and they end up together fast. Much too fast. There’s nothing more between them, no getting-to-know-you stage, and they’re in bed by page 42 or so. Time moves very, very quickly during these first chapters, and I think it could have been slowed down some to give them time to get them where they need to be. But, having said that, I can’t blame Cassandra too much, because Michael is one hot, sexy, sensual, handsome man. Don’t forget dangerous. A lethal combo if there ever was one. He’s a killing machine, and when the factions divide, he has a chance to go undercover with Zodius to try to bring Adam, their leader, down. Things happen fast at this point, and he has no time to let Cassandra know what he’s going to do. His first big mistake. But Michael feels that’s all for the best, because Cassandra deserves better than he can ever give her.

Now, Cassandra does give me fits now and again. She’s a Daddy’s girl; it’s been just the two of them for a long time. So she does believe what her father tells her. She starts out as a fairly strong character, even when Michael leaves her and she has to start over. When he returns she tries to keep him at a distance, but the man has a killer body, lips that won’t leave hers alone, and she’s his lifebond mate. She can demand all she wants for him to stay out of her life, but the pull is just as strong on her as it is him. Eventually she has to admit that Daddy has a god complex, he’s not the man she’s always known, so she’s now working with Michael and Caleb, Adam’s twin and leader of the Renegades, to the end, no matter what. Where Cassandra irritates me is her refusal to let Michael keep her safe. It’s her war too, she says. She has to help, make up for what her father has done. Hello? We’re talking super soldiers here. Beefed-up hard asses to begin with. And now being X2 positive for aggression after injection? Come on, sweetheart. Quit being stupid at times and get a clue!

A couple of little nitpicks: Michael’s hair is described as dark, long, down to his shoulders. A lot. But every time I look at the cover of this book, that’s not the Michael I’ve been introduced to. Not a nitpick the author has control over, but it still bugs me. Jocelyn, Daddy’s cohort in crime, irritates me too, to some extent. She’s in charge of Red Dart, but lets Daddy control her like everyone else he’s got around him. There’s never any explanation as to why she allows this. She’s a strong woman and she’s been through a lot, she should have had more control from the beginning. But I do have to say surprise hit me square between the eyes when it’s revealed who she really is. I didn’t see that coming at all. Of course, you can tell I’m also not happy with Daddy. No name for him in my review. He’s just a power-hungry nobody and expects everyone to do his bidding, again with no explanation, though I guess one really isn’t needed since it is a god thing we’re working with here.

I do like the other Renegade soldiers, just as much as I hate the Zodius soldiers. In that, Ms. Jones does an excellent job writing blood-thirsty, evil men. Adam is one sick puppy, as are his minions, including his mate, Ava. What a pair. The dichotomy of Adam’s and Caleb’s resulting reaction to the transition to GTECH is quite interesting, however, and Ms. Jones draws out that distinction very well. It’s the Renegades’ Sterling who has captured my interest with his seeming death wish attitude. His book is next, due out in a couple of weeks or so, and I’m quite anxious to see what’s in store for him. Lastly, I feel the fight scenes between Zodius and Renegade warriors should have had much more action. They just seem to be over too quickly for all the powers and strength these men wield. And I haven’t even mentioned their special abilities each one eventually realizes some time after initial injection. I do enjoy those and they way they’re used. Very effective. But these battle scenes should be almost epic in scope, as far as I’m concerned.

Even with my nitpicks, this is a good read. It’s interesting and full of hot men fighting for good.

SandyMGrade: B-



One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.


Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.

But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Book Cover