It is ... some time in the future and the Earth has been taken over (I guess) by these humanoid alien people. Rachel Pryne lives with her daughter Pearl, castoffs from the small community, Suffer. In pretty typical dystopian fashion, the community is under the charge of "Elders", one in particular Cyrus who just ... ugh.
Anyway, one night one of the Ohnenrai shows up at her door injured, and Rachel decides to nurse him back to health. She slowly falls for him while continuing to be treated like dirt by most of the community in which she serves as a healer. There's a big to-do about the Elders taking her daughter away from her, and Rachel and Pearl run away with Ehtishem, the Ohnenrai soldier, and that's where the story kind of lost me.
I feel like this book really lost its way about a third of the way through. While still at home in Suffer, Rachel seemed strong but beaten down, but once she ends up separated from her daughter she seems to lose her fire. I realize even the strongest people can only take so much, but she almost immediately seems a different person. Back and forth with her emotions. Does she love Ehtishem, hate him, or even trust him? It's like running in circles trying to keep up with. And Ehtishem, ugh. While on Earth he's got the strong, silent type going on, but once back on the Ohnenrai ship and taking his rightful place as leader (or second or third in command, I dunno, it got kind of complicated) the strong, silent thing goes by way of irritating.
That said, sci-fi isn't my usual cup of tea, but the concept grabbed my attention, as did the story itself when I first started reading. I just really felt like the second half of the book did not seem to flow as well as the first half. This is listed as book one in a series, and should the series continue I would be interested in reading more.
*A free copy was provided by Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for my honest review.