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Review: “Recoil” by R. Phoenix

29615341Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance

Length: Novella

Series: Ripples in the Status Quo #3


HUMANS HAVE become slaves in this dystopian novel set in the future. With enough money, you can buy whomever and do whatever you want–legally. Khaz has a certain skill set for breaking people, one he’s used well in his line of pleasure work, and while he’s managed to keep his head above water for the most part, in order to get out clean from under his landlord he needs to do one more unsavory job, but it won’t be easy.

Noah has spent the last ten years of his life living free but on the run, until he gets caught. Now a mob boss owns him, and he wants him… broken. When Khaz is charged with conditioning him, Noah thinks he can take the vampire on. Khaz has more than vampirism on his side, but with both thinking they have the advantage, they’ll be equally blindside when the job develops complications. Complications or no, they each have a duty they cannot ignore.

This is a compelling novella: vampires and werewolves meets a bit of urban fantasy, mixed in with a dark thriller and the favorite slave-to-lover trope. The setting is grim, and takes place entirely in an apartment, with only flashbacks to bring you out of the setting now and then. The author makes you feel as trapped as Noah, waiting to see what Khaz will do. Because we have both points of view–Noah’s and Khaz’s–we know Khaz doesn’t actually need to do anything to Noah to get him to cooperate. But Noah doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know he lost the minute he was pushed through Khaz’s door.

Admittedly this is just a glimpse of a larger story line. The series, from what I gather, stretches over many different characters. I’m not certain if this is Khaz’s first book in the series, but if it is, it does a good job of setting him up. I had no problems following along, but I did get that feeling that I was looking at a very thin cross section of the world, and I’m interested in reading more.

The Ripples in the Status Quo series seems to have a heavy dark paranormal theme, with dubious consent and high erotic content, so that’s a heads up if you search for those kinds of stories.

You can check out Recoil here on Amazon.

And the entire series on Phoenix’s website:

B. A. Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is You can find him on Goodreads:


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