Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 384 Pages/224 Pages
At a Glance: Speed’s writing style is excellent. I love that the series is gritty and intense, but it’s also full of humor and snark.
Reviewed By: Jules
Series Blurb: In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds… all while he deals with personal tragedy and new love and does his best to survive in a world that usually hates and fears their kind. The cases range from investigating an unidentifiable species of cat that appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence, to finding and stopping murderers, and Roan is finding it harder and harder to see the line between justice and vigilantism.
Review: The Infected series by Andrea Speed has been on my radar for a few years, but for whatever reason I kept putting it off. So, when I saw that DSP Publications was releasing a bundle of the first five books, it didn’t take me any time at all to pounce on it. Though a bit intimidating—at eight books, this series is a commitment!—I felt I was ready to dive in, and I’m so glad I did. Everything I’ve read so far (which has just been the first two books at this point) has been unique, smart, and utterly engaging; this was exactly the reading experience I was looking for.
The first book, Infected: Prey, starts out with a grisly murder, quickly setting the tone and pace for the series. This is serious business. Alternate universe…urban fantasy…paranormal…It’s a whole package of awesome. To be honest, I hadn’t a clue what to expect going in. I had read the blurb, of course, and it spoke of werecats and being ‘infected,’ of murders and mysteries, and of an ex-cop named Roan McKichan and his boyfriend, Paris Lehane. What I had zero clue about, though, was how taken in I would be with the world Andrea Speed has created here, or how much I would fall completely in love with Roan and Paris.
Roan is a fantastic hero. He is dark and broody, as well as a little bit broken and self-deprecating. But, he is also sensitive, intelligent, a genius puzzle and problem solver, and he is completely in love with Paris—who is no slouch himself at working a case, or working a client or a suspect over with his lethal charm. Roan and Paris make an incredible team in all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s taking care of each other during the height of their viral cycles or working a case, they work together seamlessly and complement each other perfectly. And, Paris…Gahhhh, what can I say about Paris? He is strong and beautiful, with a wicked sense of humor. I truly love him stupid amounts.
Infected: Prey is broken up into two parts (though I wasn’t quite sure why, as both parts felt to me like complete books themselves), with each section involving a different case. While Roan is busily going about solving these cases, Speed is craftily weaving this universe together and introducing the readers to all of the bits and pieces that make up the world, and to all of the players that I assume, and hope, we will be seeing throughout the series. The worldbuilding and character development are phenomenal. Even though Prey is quite long, I personally didn’t feel like it dragged or had any loose baggage anywhere.
Both books are heavy on the mystery/thriller aspect of the storyline, of course, but the second book, Infected: Bloodlines also focuses heavily on Roan and Paris’s relationship, and the fact that Paris is very sick. The tiger strain of the virus is harder on those infected than any other strain, and we start to see the serious toll it’s taking on Paris’s body, and what that might mean for their future. Roan finds himself trying to meld his involvement in the case he’s working on with his need to be with Paris as much as possible, and his complete despair at what’s happening to his now husband; all while also dealing with some difficult and confusing changes of his own with respect to his feline half. There is a lot being dealt with in this book! The author shows us what an absolute and total badass Roan can be as he’s putting the fear of God into a potential suspect, as well as showing us his own fears and how helpless and lost he feels at the thought of losing Paris. The resulting story is both exciting and gripping, yet also excruciatingly gut-wrenching and unforgettable. I promise you I will not soon forget this book. I hadn’t legitimately snot-sobbed in a while—but, this one got me.
I have to just say a few more quick things about the language and the writing itself: Speed’s writing style is excellent. I love that the series is gritty and intense, but it’s also full of humor and snark. There is something here for everyone. If you think, “I’m a romance reader. This isn’t for me,” I challenge you to give it a go. There is absolutely something here for you. The storytelling is amazing and exciting, but residing in these two books is also, without a doubt, one of the most beautifully compelling and heart-rending romances I’ve ever had the pleasure of being gutted by. And on that note, I’ve got to say, “Go get this bundle!” If the first two books are an indication of the quality of the rest of the series, you’ll be so glad you went for it. 😉
The Infected Bundle (Volume One) can be purchased here:
Infected: Prey here:
Infected: Bloodlines here: