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Bone Rider

Bone Rider - J. Fally I want to give two different star ratings for this book, because my feelings changed completely towards the later half of the novel (and in a GOOD way). Anyways, let me explain...

The Bone Rider is a story told through third person perspective from many different characters. You have Riley, a mid-30 year old cowboy with trust issues. He is currently on the run from his lover, Misha, who is a hit man for a New York-based Russian crime syndicate. Then there's Misha's right and left hand men, Kolya and Andrej. There's also Nick Young, who is leader of the United States Special Forces. The army neurologist Dr. Butler who is working with Young to bring down the alien armor system. Which then leaves said sentient armor and weapon system, formally known as System Six and later named McClane.

So yes, there's a lot of POV hopping from one character to the next. The ones I mentioned above don't include all of them, but they are the major players in the story. While I am not a fan of head hopping, I will complement J. Fally's ability to implement it well. The POV changes only occur at the start of a new chapter, and the chapters themselves aren't very long. Therefore, if there is a character you don't really care for (in my case, I didn't really care much for Dr. Butler), then it won't be much of an issue since the chapters are pretty short and you'll be hopping onto a new character in the next chapter. Another reason I usually hate head hopping is that it takes attention away from the main MCs. In this case, J. Fally does a good job juggling attention. Enough for us to feel that the secondary characters are more than just plot devices, but still keep the spotlight on Riley and Misha.

In terms of characters, I will have to confess. While Riley is one of the main characters, I find him to be the least interesting and likeable compared to the other characters for the majority of the book. My opinion of him changes in the later half, but he seemed like another of those "guy with trust issues, because his family didn't like he was gay" kind of guys. He liked to play the "denial" game and prefers to run away than to stand up against his problems. I didn't dislike him by any means. He just didn't really click with me is all.

Since there are so many other characters in the Bone Rider, I won't go in depth into how I feel about every single one. My favorite character is Misha, because he's one loyal and possessive bastard who will do anything (and does) to get Riley back.

Now onto the relationship between Riley, McClane and Misha. Other reviews have mentioned that there is a love triangle among the three. Some have even mentioned that his was like a M/M/M. My feelings on this? Even though McClane and Riley had some sexual experiences with one another (it was more like enhanced masturbation if you ask me), it didn't really compare to the visceral emotions between Riley and Misha. I don't know if this is really M/M/M moreso than McClane is there for the ride when Riley and Misha are having sex (unfortunately, there was only one moment of sexy time between the two). This relationship is kind of complicating to describe. Riley LOVES Misha and vice versa, and McClane loves Riley and accepts Misha because Misha makes Riley feel loved. And okay, Riley does love McClane, but I like to think of it as a best friend kind of love. So I can see how people are drawing a triangle out of this. Even if one of the party involved is a sentient metal armor/weapon system riding the body of one other character...Gah! I'm moving on, since I'm having a hard time articulating the weirdness of my feelings on this relationship...

Anyways, I was kind of "meh" up to about 60% of the book. The author was setting things up: the key players involved, the issues that build up, and how each of these players come to finally meet. For me, it was aggravating that Misha and Riley don't actually meet up until 60% into the book. There was some action scenes towards the beginning of the book, but not much going on until we hit that wonderfully, spectacular 60% mark. And from there, the book went from "meh" to HOLYSHITFACE!!!111 awesomeness. If there is one more thing I can praise this author, it is her ability to write very great battle/action scenes. The battlefield violence is easy to follow, well written, and is not gory enough to gross the more light hearted readers. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

And the romance. *contently sighs*. I was worried that the romance would be shoved towards the back door, since it took so long for the main couple to meet, then some more time to reconcile. But boy, nothing makes romance blossom like a mushroom cloud than one reignited during a battlefield.

So yeah, the rest of the 40% made me giddy and happy. And over all? I wished there was more (a sequel, pretty please?). I will definitely keep my eyes out for more from this author in the future.