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Review: Volaria – M.D. Neu

Volaria - M.D. Neu

Genre: Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Horror

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Volaria, your home away from Earth.

Humans are no longer alone; they have been joined by Arcanes, Lycans, and Vampires. It’s been over a hundred years since the Earth went through The Shift. Where once almost eight billion humans lived, the population now holds at four billion.

But that wasn’t the only change. No one anticipated the branching of human DNA to produce new species of humans. Arcanes, Lycans, and Vampires are hidden throughout the genome, awaiting puberty before they manifest distinctly unhuman abilities. Finally, the new species of man were welcomed. No longer studied or treated as outcasts by most. People accepted these new humans and they integrated into society, albeit not easily. This allowed the UN Government to focus on colonizing space, in order to secure a future for all.

Risks remain however, permitting a vampire to feed from you can cause shared memories. Tobin Corsian took such a risk. He resides in a newly reopened district of San Jose, California, where his family’s old home stood. He lives there with his friend Mikel, a Lycan, and his dog Begger.

Instead of making his mandatory monthly blood donation at the government blood bank for the vampire community, Tobin decides, with the help of his therapist, to visit Biter, a vampire spa. The spa allows vampires to feed from humans directly while providing spa and sexual services, granting the donor a three-month reprieve from their required donations. Tobin’s encounter at Biter opens a window to his past and an experience he had as a child on the moon. Questions abound as he tries to unravel his past and make sense of his life.

The Review

Tobin Corsian, now thirty-eight, needs a change. He doesn’t want to believe in all the negativity that his father passed on to him. As a young boy, he loved being with his great grandfather, and remembering what he’d told Tobin about the world before. How humanity was thought to hold domain over the planet, but it was the planet that actually held domain over humanity. When “The Shift” took place, it changed everything, and the Earth taught them humility.

He still lives in his great grandfather’s house with his companion, Begger, and friend, lycan Mikel. When the Shift happened, humans, arcanes, vampires and lycans all had to learn how to live with one other.

Tobin has made up his mind to get control of his life, and to not live in fear of what he was told by his parents. He has struggled with depression, anxiety and nervousness, but he doesn’t want to take medication for them anymore. He does continue to see his therapist, Dr. Gana.

He’s also curious about what happened to him as a child when, during a vacation to the Moon, his family left him ill.  The memory of that trip haunts him and has left him with a fear of flying to other planets.

Tobin wants to be normal, to feel better and to become well informed. He’s also scared of needles, and tired being pricked every month to give his required blood donation for the vampires. He decides to go to “Biter,” a vamoire club that will give him a reprieve for three months of having to give blood, even though it will cost him some credits.

“Biter” offers extra treatments, but Tobin is only curious about his academics and himself. He also wants an experience without mental, physical, magical or pharmaceutical interference.  

The Vampire Technicians (V.T.) at Biter are assigned to each customer, to give them the best experience. Tobin meets V.T. Wilhelm, and after his experience, things start to change for Tobin. When he returns home, he discusses his experience at “Biter” with his friend Mikel. He tells Mikel about Wilhelm and then says he’s thinking about going to the Moon.

Mikel is surprised by this revelation and he thinks Tobin has been influenced by Wilhelm. As Mikel researches Station Inn on the Moon, he finds a picture of Wilhelm. As they dig deeper, they find that Wilhem was not only married to a man named Andrew but also to someone named Zeberley. And Zeberley met a tragic ending at the hands of Purists.

Trying to be normal and no longer let his fears rule him, Tobin is determined to travel to the moon and visit Volaria.  He has mysteries to solve about himself and feels a connection to Zeberley. Still, he has one more stop to make before he leaves. He visits Marval’s House of Spells and Potions, seeking something for the flight and for his headaches. Marval has helped Tobin in the past, and has discovered that Tobin’s aura isn’t right.

Poor Tobin has faced so many frustrating situations, including a strange seance involving his parents, and the police have only spotty information about him.  Will his journey to the moon reveal what’s been missing all his life?

This is the first time I’ve read a book by M.D. Neu. I was fascinated with “Volaria”.  The world building and the descriptions of Tobin’s space travel were so easy to imagine and understand. It’s a story of corrupt government, bigotry, hatred, manipulation, ignorance and lies to an innocent. Volaria blends sci-fi with spells, potions and magic, along with crystals and their meanings, and a different kind of seance. The story evokes a keen sense of sadness, self-blame and regret, wrapped around a very twisted mystery with lots of unanswered questions.   

My heart went out to Tobin. He was mistreated and lied to, and by the time he discovers the truth, it may be too late. I love that he found Lim, but I wished there was more for them.

There are several secondary characters who make their own mistakes within the story: Malifo, who had good intentions; Marval, who was evil in their own way because of bigotry.  And Golda Tatum Corsian, who believed the lies and hurt her son.

There is so much more to Volaria than what I have mentioned here. I highly recommend this heart-rending novel for anyone who loves a little vampire in their science fiction. 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

 

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