Review: Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

Blurb:

Their love is the catalyst that could save the planet… or cost their lives.26262453

As an environmental activist for Peace Warrior, Kier Mallory never hesitated to throw himself into dangerous situations. Until his hotheadedness costs the lives of two fellow crewmembers on an anti-whaling mission.

He finds no refuge in his hometown on Scotland’s north coast, where everyone knows what this son of a broken fisherman has done. Effectively homeless, Mal returns to one of his favorite places—Spindrift, a rustic colony of artist and crafter huts.

Spindrift is dilapidated and empty, save for a lone resident. Vivian Calder, a brilliant but emotionally detached scientist who appears to have done the impossible—mastered cold fusion. A clean, free, limitless source of power.

Despite Viv’s aversion to contact, a fragile bond forms between them, seemingly one atom at a time. Until Mal, determined to redeem himself by revealing Viv’s accomplishment to the world, brings down the wrath of an oil-dependent establishment, risking not only their love, but Viv’s life.

My review:

The  story starts with Kier Mallory aboard the Sea Hawk, on an anti-whaling mission for Peace Warrior. When something goes tragically wrong and two of his crew members loose their lives because of a desicion he made, everyone turns away from him; his crew, his boyfriend and his parents all want nothing to do with him. Because he has nowhere else to go he decides to visit Spindrift, a place where he used to take shelter when the situation with his alcoholic dad became unbearable.

After a night of drinking he meets Vivian Calder, the only person living in Spindrift. Vivian has Asperger and doesn’t like contact from other people. He is also a brilliant scientist who has mastered cold fusion.

I found Viv fascinating and endearing from the start. He’s a really interesting character and I wanted to know more about him. Viv is awkward at interacting with people, he needs a lot of structure in his life and environment. But he’s brilliant when it comes to science, especially everything to do with Cold Fusion.
Mal on the other hand I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or not.
There were moments when I just wanted to shake him and scream at him in frustration, (for example when he ignores something Viv asks him explicitely not to do. But Mal thinks he knows better and goes of and does exactly what he’s asked not to do which in the end leads to Mal and Viv having to leave Spindrift and try to find a save place so Viv won’t get killed.)
I understand that Mal was still struggling after the death of two of his friends and after everyone turned their backs on him. And the situation with his abusive dad wasn’t easy either. But that still left me at times annoyed with him.
Other times I wanted to hug him because I felt like I finally understood him, because in a way he was just trying to find his place in the world. He wants to be useful and do something, change something for the better.

I really enjoyed the story until we find out something about Viv. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so excuse me for being so vague, but that completely threw me. It was definitely unexpected and from that moment on the story lost a bit of credibility. I could overlook that cold fusion right now is just a fairytale, who knows if anyone can ever make it happen, but it’s fiction, so I can pretend that it exists, but that new storyline seemed unbelievable and in the end really rushed. Suddenly there’s a sister we knew nothing of and hospitals and an undercover agent.. And it just was too much for me.
I’m really sorry, but it didn’t work for me.

I loved the writing though. Harper Fox really brought northern Scotland to life with her beautiful words and I felt like I really was there. So I’ll definitely give one of her other books a try and hope that they are more my thing.

Overall I enjoyed the book. There were some parts I really liked, others I didn’t but it was never boring. The story just wasn’t for me.

Publisher: Samhain Publishing Review

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