The best part about my reading of Variant Lost was that I totally forgot it was a reverse harem story until about 25% of the way in. I kept wondering to myself, "Why are we being introduced to so many hot guys? How will Evelyn choose which one to fall for?" And then I got suspicious and googled it only to remember: SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO CHOOSE. (For those unfamiliar, reverse harem is not the same as threesome/foursome, etc. Usually it means that a woman had separate relationships with four men (I've only read one or two reverse harem stories where the men actually engaged in sexual acts with the woman at the same time).
Variant Lost reminded me a lot of the Divergent series, only I liked this story line and the characters a little more. It wasn't exactly the same, obviously, but it had some similar enough themes that I think Divergent fans would adore Variant Lost.
Blurb: When Evelyn Maynard receives a scholarship to the exclusive Bradford Hills Institute, she’s determined to make a fresh start. The Institute is world renowned for educating and training Variants – the 18% of the population fortunate enough to have superhuman abilities. As a human, she’s lucky to be admitted.
She’s done with fake identities, running and lying but once again she finds herself surrounded by secrets. Some she’s been keeping her whole life. Some have been kept from her. Some she finds herself dragged into…
Ethan, Josh, Tyler and Alec have some of the rarest Variant abilities Evelyn has ever seen. They fascinate, intrigue and attract her, but is it their abilities, their own secrets or something more that Evelyn can’t seem to stay away from? The secrets they keep could drag Evelyn so deep into their dangerous and exciting world that she’ll never be the same. And the answers she finds could get them all killed.
Review: The minute I finished Variant Lost I contacted author Kaydence Snow and politely demanded the second book in the series. I wasn't completely sold on the novel at first and it took me a couple days of short bursts of reading before I really gave myself the opportunity to fully commit myself to it... and I'm so glad that I did. This book is 100% worth the read.
The characters we're introduced to are all wonderfully unique and I never felt like there were too many of them or that we weren't getting to know them enough (which I feel can sometimes happen when you have as large of a cast as we do in Variant Lost). I could have read a separate book about each of them and been completely happy spending my time that way.
Evelyn is a strong, independent woman who has sustained ungodly amounts of trauma in her short life. So, it would take some very special men to be worthy of her attention. Kaydence Snow managed to create a harem of gentlemen that any woman would be lucky to have (although the jury is still out on Mr. Alec). They're all different from one another: some wise, some playful, some stubborn, some wonderfully kind. I couldn't decide which one I liked the most!
The relationships between Evelyn and her suitors are introduced to us in book one and we get to see them slowly develop as Eve learns to trust and the men adjust to their bonds. The intimacy comes from the strengthening bonds and less on actual sex acts, but you never feel like this isn't a romance novel. The romance is always hovering, although I will look forward to the physical nature of their relationships progressing as the series continues.
I'm telling you. If you love romance novels that fall a little more in that New Adult category and focus on the sci-fi/paranormal side of things then Variant Lost is a must-read. It really was a spectacularly written and exciting novel. It's already an Amazon bestseller! Pick it up today!