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Moon: Captive Alphas – Wendy Rathbone

Moon: Captive Alphas - Wendy Rathbone

Genre: Romance, Omegaverse

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

Non-shifter omegaverse mm romance.

In a beta-ruled world where the betas are sterile and population growth is at stake, the breeding of alphas and omegas is strictly controlled.

Alphas, considered dangerous and aggressive, comprise only five percent of the population and are kept isolated from the public. Omegas comprise only fifteen percent of the population, and are required to enter breeding programs at age eighteen.

Moon lives in a locked cell where his alpha emissions are monitored, forcibly collected and stored.

Kaydi is an omega whose fated future is to live on a pension in a government subsidized apartment and, through artificial insemination, gestate as many fetuses to full-term as his body permits before he is too old to carry on that task. He is not allowed to marry. He is not allowed to keep his babies.

When both men are chosen to participate in a new beta-approved program of arranged marriage and a forced family unit, they are thrown together into close living quarters as utter strangers to each other.

With Kaydi about to go into heat, the two face conflicts involving their duty to society, lack of freedom in a controlled environment, and compatibility issues.

Arranged marriage, forced proximity, faking a heat, first time, milking machines, and an HEA.

The Review

This is the first part of the Captive Alphas series. It is set in a wolf shifter world / society with a difference. There are alphas, betas and omegas, as you would expect from the current trend in wolf shifter fiction. The main difference is that the ability to shift to a wolf has been bred out of the population. In fact, a lot more has been bred out of the people. Fertility is one of the most important things that has been virtually lost, and another thing is the lack of humanity in the ruling councils around the world for their citizens, the alphas and omegas in particular. 

What we are left with is an evolutionary dead end or cul-de-sac. There are some similarities to a bee colony, with some reversal of roles. The alphas are called kings, so they are equivalent to the queens, although deposed queens. The omegas are a fertile equivalent to drones. They produce the new workers but have no say in anything. The betas are the workers, and not particularly intelligent or creative at that. As parents to their adopted children, the betas are loving and supportive but are very deferent to the Beta Council, the queen substitutes. A very twisted bee colony.

Alphas are locked away once they are identified at puberty – fifteen in the case of Moon. The reason for this is based two hundred years in the past. The alphas or alpha kings as they were known were responsible for causing wars, deaths and slavery due to their violent natures. This led to the beta rebellion. which overthrew all the alpha kings. At least that’s what the history books say – written by the betas. This is the image presented to the population at large via every means possible, from social media to fiction to pornography. This is also the image young boys have fixed in their minds. If a boy becomes an alph. he will be treated as a vicious sexual predator with no moral,s even without having done anything wrong. 

So two hundred years on, alphas are incarcerated in isolation. Their names are taken from them and they are not allowed any contact with the outside world. As soon as they reach eighteen, they are ‘milked’ for the semen so as many omegas as possible can be impregnated. The beta males and females are infertile, and there is only a small percentage of fertile alphas and omegas – five percent of alphas and fifteen precent of omegas (although the figure is really less than ten percent in terms of fertile omegas).

On top of that, this fertility is decreasing and, imprisoned alphas are increasingly turning to suicide rather than accept the conditions they have to endue. The beta council has provided everything an alpha or omega could want in terms of material needs, but little else. The guards or prison warders are often vicious and violent towards the alphas, and show no respect or empathy. The milking process is extremely degrading, as well as painful.

Moon has been looked away for seven years, since he was fifteen. He has struggled to come to terms with what is expected of him and the way he is treated. He now finds he has been ‘volunteered’ to take part in a new project to reduce the alpha suicides. He will be given his own omega to share his prison cell, and any children born to them will be able to share their lives. As Moon says – what life is that for any child and his mate? Let alone himself?

Kaydi, that’s Kaydi with a “D,” is the chosen omega. Kaydi has life already planned out for himself, boring but a life none the less. Any hopes for a career in fashion were wiped out as soon as he reaches puberty, and all he had to look forward to was a life of pampered boredom and perpetual childbearing.

Now he’s lost the freedom to be with his family, meet with friends and enjoy the outside world. What he is given instead is a small but luxurious prison apartment to share with a violent, sexually rampant alpha – if he can believe all he has read.

The writing is decent and enjoyable, if you don’t mind a certain amount of cruelty, the concept of male pregnancy and the inevitable mention of self-lubricating orifices. There’s an overabundance of references to the alpha-omega porn available and I find Kaydi’s colourful wardrobe tiresome. And there are a few minor errors.

Moon and Kaydi are treated realistically and are both likable. They grow throughout the story to become more well-rounded, and the way they negotiate the trials life has thrown at them and around each other is believable. The solution to their predicament is equally realistic and probably not permanent as it is dependent on the whims of the Beta Council. 

The scene is set for the development of the storyline through the other alphas included on the project, and the sneaky revelation made early on that there are anti-beta council groups in existence. Everyone is being lied to, the beta population included, by the council. The same council whose actions has exacerbated the whole fertility problem.

I’ll stick around and see what happens next.

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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1 thought on “Moon: Captive Alphas – Wendy Rathbone”

  1. Come on ,Tony, Moon has no been looked away for seven years, he’s been locked away! Talk about minor errors, you knob! Yeah I know, I know. It’s just as tough being a reviewer as a writer sometimes. You read it through at least twice and I still miss it UNTIL it’s in print!!! (sigh)


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