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One Breath One Bullet

One Breath One Bullet - S.A. McAuley Merq Grayson, 35 years old, is the product of a fragmented world fueled by three centuries of war. He’s been trained to become the type of soldier/peacemaker needed to tip the scale in favor of the States. He not only meets these requirements – he lives by them. And if war was the sun that drives Merq’s existence, then his shadow is Armise Darcan. Four years his senior, Armise is a black ops working on the opposing side of the war. These two have danced around one another for near seventeen years, with a precarious relationship built upon lust and emotions that Merq Grayson will not admit to.

However, a lot can happen in a short time. And Merq will learn how he must proceed in a volatile world where his loyalties lie in a few select people. But most of all, Armise Darcan.

What can I say about this book? For one, the world building is excellent. The author never does a full out history lesson info-dump in the beginning. If anything, the world starts out vague (and confusing), but becomes more vivid as we live through Merq’s first-person POV. We learn not only about the type of world Merq lives in, but the history that led to three centuries of war. These events are shown to us readers, as opposed to being told. Because the story is very date-centric, there is a timeline at the end of the book to help bring it all together (though I will warn you that the timeline contain spoilers. Therefore, read it only after finishing the first book!).

This is also a very plotty type of story, where nothing is as it seems. Our characters (Merq and Armise) live beyond the two dimensional soldiers we think they are in the beginning, to become interesting characters I became invested in. It’s interesting to see how their relationship progressed in the many years these two have met, and especially to see where it goes from here on out.
There are also a couple flashback scenes in the book that delve into moments of Merq and Armise meeting in the past. Worry not if you hate reading flashbacks, for they are brief and do not take up the whole chapter as I thought they would (I’m not a fan of flashback stories myself!). For the most part, the story stays in the present, just how I like it! The pacing is well done, as there never seems to be a dull moment in the book. But what I enjoyed most is how these guys never just meet, butcollide.

And as for the ending? Intense.