Born to Darkness

3/10/2012 03:04:00 PM / Posted by Kris /

Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann

Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists—including women half his size—can kick his highly skilled ass. Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results—including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans,” this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly. But in the depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and the have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich—and reckless—enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is epidemic. But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient.  Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she finds that one of the new test subjects is none other than Shane, the same smoldering stranger who just rocked her world in a one-night stand. Although Shane isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-SEAL, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from him—and reasons that are just as strong to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now, in the midst of the ultimate war on drugs, she must face sacrificing her heart.

This is the first book in her new series with a paranormal flair.  I have always loved her books because of their attention to detail and her characters.  This book is a great example of that.  Ms Brockmann is so good at writing multiple character story lines and sucking me into all of them.  In other books i will find myself occasionally skipping over sections to get to the character storyline that i am most interested in, but with her books i am never tempted to do that, because they all keep me interested.
This book introduces us to a cast of characters that work for/with a facility that does paranormal research and assists in taking down drug addicts that have paranormal abilities that the police cannot handle.  There is a drug that is becoming more popular and accessible that allows the user to look younger, live longer and use more of their brain at one time allowing some"paranormal" abilities.  But the downfall is instant addiction and possible insanity.  The facility is fighting against this drug and provides natural training for those who naturally use more of their brain at one time than the norm. None of this is public knowledge and most people scoff at the facility (if they have even heard of it) as being quacks.
In this near future world, most services have been privatized and those that are still available are a joke. For example, in the beginning of the book a woman goes to the police station to report her 13-year-old sister is missing.  Their response is the have her fill out an online form and pay a fee and they might get to it in a few days.  There have been major economical crashes and millions are out of work and just trying to survive.
The characters we meet in this book are the current top of the crop of people who utilize more than the norm of their brain at one time.   They are trying to find a missing young girl who was on their list of potential kids to recruit.  Someone has been kidnapping these kids and the police are too overworked to look for them.  So Bach, Mac, Diaz and others at the facility are taking on the job.  And of course, there is lots of great romance to add to the story :)
Mac meets Shane and there is instant chemistry and they are the main characters of this book but you also have a couple of other relationships in the works (including, a seeming prerequisite for her books lately, a m/m couple).
I really enjoyed this book (it is long!) and look forward to the next in the series.

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Comment by Tracy on 3/20/2012 1:42 PM

I read the prequel novella to this one and really liked it. I'll have to get this one as I didn't remember that it had actually released. Duh. lol

Thanks for the great review.

Comment by Kris on 3/20/2012 7:16 PM

Tracy - did not realize there was a prequel. It actually comes out today. I received an ARC from LibraryThing

Comment by Christine on 3/25/2012 9:33 PM

So good to see a post from you, Kris! :)

Would you believe I have never read Suzanne Brockmann before?? Unbelievable, I know. I always wanted to read her popular romantic suspense series [the name of which is escaping me right now..] but there are SO many titles.. I got intimidated from starting another very long series. But since this one is brand spanking new AND my library just got it in.. I think this might be a good place to start. Will look for the prequel novella Tracy is talking about! ;)

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