Reviewed by Jen B.
AUTHOR: Soren Summers
SERIES: Vertex #1
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 241 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2016
Bloodied corridors. Mangled bodies. Deranged test subjects. All in a day’s work at Vertex, a corporation devoted to perfecting the human form by any means necessary. But even corporations make mistakes. Sometimes the path to progress is littered with corpses.
It’s up to Jarod Samuels to keep Vertex’s hallways pristine and safe. He’s quiet and unquestioning, the perfect mix of tight lips and loose morals. But Jarod’s been looking the other way for five years. Scrubbing bloodstains and bagging bodies is losing its luster.
Then a handsome young maverick named Gabriel Anderson joins Jarod’s department, this man with a huge ego and an even huger mouth. He’s infuriating but intriguing, as brash as he is beautiful, and almost enough to keep Jarod preoccupied. Almost.
But between workplace hazards, psychic sociopaths, and a mysterious formula that alters the human body, Jarod’s doubts are surging strong. Should he stay with the corporation, or run like hell? This is Vertex, after all, where the walls watch with glass eyes, the laboratories groan with secrets – and employee termination ends more than just careers.
Boy, was this one creepy story! Jarod is an employee at Vertex, a mysterious company that is searching for disease cures and whatnot “for the betterment of mankind.” It is basically a test facility, or one big lab where humans are tested and experimented on with what seems like mostly disastrous results, a few of which we get the gory details. Many of the subjects are terminally ill, signing up for the tests as a last resort. The company is highly secure, with cameras everywhere being watched by central command. When subjects cause incidents and get out of hand, or expire, Jarod and his crew are basically the first responders. They are the security, touted as heroes who keep everyone safe, though the lab technicians and other staff are the main concern.
Much of the beginning of this story centers around the company and it’s facility and Jarod’s actual job. When a new guy is brought on, Jarod is tasked with showing him the ropes. Gabriel is a bit of a mystery for a while, and it takes Jarod a while to warm up to him. But he opens up his heart and home to Gabriel once he learns Gabriel is basically homeless and without friends. They dance around a bit and have quite a few trust issues to deal with before they become more than friends. It isn’t until just after halfway through the story that that actually happens and they partake in I believe the only sex scene in the story.
The rest of the story involves Jarod’s realizations about Gabriel and his motives, his work at Vertex and what they actually do there and his coming to grips with it all. In the end, the two embark on what seems like a new journey after things with Vertex go flying in another direction leaving the story somewhat open-ended.
This was quite an interesting story with everything surrounding Vertex and the budding relationship between Jarod and Gabriel. While I found the first half to be a bit slow going, things get rather exciting in the second half which kept me turning pages and longing for more story at the end. If you enjoy creepy sci-fi-ish stories with a hint of romance, you’ll be sure to enjoy this one. It was a nice change of pace from the rest of the books I have been reading, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more of this story, as well as more of this author’s work.