Scouts (The Orgone Chronicles, Book 1) - Nobilis Reed Won in first reads giveaway.

Challers Dizen and Valka Parl are young and in love. They live on an overcrowded space station where, unless they are recruited by “Scouts”, are constantly worried about being kidnapped and separated by two nefarious groups.

The Scouts are shrouded in mystery and live self-sufficiently amongst themselves. The only thing known about them is that they recruit couples. Just as the pair are about to be separated for all eternity (oh nooos!), a Scout craft conveniently arrives and whisks them away to begin their sensual training. The Scouts apparently have managed to figure out a way to harness the power of orgasm (oh yesss!). Let your imagination wander as you wish.

The initial world building is confusing. We know very little about the world or space station or whatever it is that the two originally hail from before the Scouts have swooped them up. It appears that young adults have no options but really wouldn’t you stay at home and hide if things were that dangerous?! I didn’t understand or empathize with their intense fear of being kidnapped and separated because apparently they freely wander around and only duck for cover after they spot a bad guy (or after one spots them). Stay home and hide under the covers you dummies, surely you could find something interesting to do there! And with the Scouts being so mysterious and all why would the couple automatically assume life with them would be all super fantastic? I was just not given enough information to buy into this stuff. A few more pages of setup could have cleared things up considerably and put an end to these questions that plagued me. So here’s what I’m told: Scout’s are oh-so cool and sexy in their skin tight jumpsuits and we should all want to be one and the other two groups are big baddies just, well . . . just because. And that’s the way it is.

The tale is told from Challers point of view which is a nice twist. He’s young and unsure and thought he was completely in love but this new world of sensuality, combined with strong hormones and the forced separation from his true love Valka are testing his resolve and, well, it was all Valka’s idea in the first place and she seems to be enjoying her mentor. We get to see all of his male insecurities, worries and his heartache. As a result the reader gets to know him pretty well. His initial reluctance to do his “physicality” training with his instructor because he feels unfaithful comes across as genuine. Unfortunately, we don’t get much of anything from Valka’s point of view besides some callous conversation, a longing glance and a moment of weepy eyes. She comes off as unfeeling and uncaring when Challers voices his concerns about their relationship and I thought she was a cold beyotch for much of the book. Left with no choice, Challer’s continues on doing his best to become a “Scout” so he can reunite with Valka at some point. He feels unsettled and wary of his mentor, has a lot of sexual experiences without having full blown sex (he’s saving himself for Valka, awww), meets some interesting genetically altered friends and begins to questions the purpose of the “Scouts” which gets him into a bit of trouble.

It’s all vaguely interesting. Especially the gender altering ;) I truly enjoyed Challers as a character, he was a real sweetie. There’s a bit of mystery as bits of the Scouts true nature are revealed and there’s backstabbing, murder, intrigue and nefarious goings-on but some of it left me totally confused. Characterization lacked a bit here and there as well, major events happen but there is a lack of remorse, guilt, or even confusion that left me saying WTF? The erotic elements are decent, if somewhat tame, and the storyline is inventive but far too often events happen that left me in a daze thinking I’d missed a chapter. The ending was very rushed, quite a few things just didn’t add up and in the end I was left with some nagging questions that frustrated the heck out of me. Sadly, despite my love for Challers, I can’t rate this one any higher than a three.