Kerick "the Grim Reaper" Riley and his two friends, Elijah "The Slayer" Carter and Xavier "Romeo" O'Connor escaped from the impenetrable Kong Penal Colony in Death Row: The Hunter and had made it to a series of underground caves where they started making plans to take down the Hierarchy. In the year 2249 in the region of Altun Ha (former Belize), part of the United Americas of Earth, life is very grim for any but the few very wealthy males who control every aspect of life. Scientists had played God by manipulating genes to breed more males, but, after a short period of time, the scientists lost control and there soon was an extreme shortage of females in the population. Women were quickly relegated to the status of a type of slavery. They were taken at 16 and auctioned off to the highest bidder in the marriage market where men who had saved their whole lives tried to buy a wife to have a real woman to make love to instead of the robots that most men were forced to use. Because women were so expensive, it was even common for one family - father, sons, uncles, etc. to share one wife.
Scientist Nellie Kan was an exception to the status quo. She had refused to get married because she knew that she was a gifted scientist. She was so close to developing the serum to cure the sub-humans disease - a viral infection that turned rational human beings into rabid, flesh-eating monsters. Nellie had already escaped from Kerick once, but knew that she wasn't safe and immediately was on the run again. She was determined to find the Underground or the Xibalba to continue her experiments and find a cure. However, Kerick wasn't about to let Nellie go and was relentless in his pursuit. Once he found her, he claimed Nellie and immediately began mastering her so that she would obey his will. Nellie thought that it would be better to please Kerick than make him angry, so she tried to do whatever he wanted while attempting to persuade him to let her continue her experiments. Nellie quickly learns that she has friends on the outside, though, and must make the choice as to trust Kerick or to go Underground and continue with her research...
This book is super short at only a little over a hundred pages and ends very abruptly. What the Death Row series really is is one book that the publisher/author split into three to make 3 or 4 times the amount of money than they usually would. This book is the second in the series and starts right where Death Row: The Fugitive stopped with no introduction for people who have not read the first book, as I am sure will happen with the third book. This world is pretty hot, but very, very sexist with the women walking around naked or nearly so. If they are claimed they wear nipple chains to signify to other men that they are taken and not to be touched. The women really are slaves, bought and sold because they are rare. They have no rights once they are claimed and have to do everything to please the men in their lives. I found quite a few aspects of the world repulsive and would think that someone as strong willed as Nellie would rebel more against most of these societal dictates, but she seems to take it as part of life and not really try to do anything to change it. This book costs so much money (although it is a few dollars cheaper in e-book format) that it just isn't worth it. Go read a book by Dara Joy or C.J. Barry or someone who actually writes a book for the cost of a book.
This report prepared by Debbie