Review: Ashwin by Kit Rocha


Title: Ashwin (Gideon's Riders #1)
Author: Kit Rocha
Genre/Themes: Dystopia, Romance
Release Date: 7 March 2017

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
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My rating: 4 Stars


Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier--genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they're right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon's Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.

He's never failed to execute an objective, but there's one thing he didn't anticipate--running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.

When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace--a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance--if she can manage to touch his heart.

When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn't realize she's playing with fire. Because she's not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets--and one of them could destroy her.


This is my first book by this author duo, though I have some idea about the Beyond series, since I have read some of the free chapters available on their site. This is a spin-off series which I'm happy to say works rather well on its own. 

The authors build an intriguing dystopian world mixed with religious beliefs and a strong sense of community. We see it mostly through the eyes of Ashwin, a genetically modified soldier, and Kora, a highly skilled doctor/healer. And it's fascinating how they both discovered this unfamiliar world and become part of it.

Ashwin is is the type of hero I love reading about the most - socially awkward, a killing machine which the system tried to dehumanize completely. His awakening to a life of feelings, was a long, painful journey of trial and error. 

And Kora, I have so much love (and deep sympathy) for Kora. She was Ashwin's opposite but as it turns out they are more alike that anyone can suspect. In a way she is also on a journey of discovering her place in Sector One, of discovering and embracing the joy of belonging to a community of people who care about and love each other. I loved how the story explores the complexity of forming and maintaining relationships, especially in times of war, when people are often driven to desperate actions.

The community in Sector One was truly outstanding. There is a strong sense of joy and living your life to the fullest but also providing care and support to those who needed. 

The story presents us with an intriguing set of supporting characters, both the Riders (hello, Zeke!) and the rest of the people in Sector One and I'm excited to read more about them. 

It's a fast-paced story, both introspective at times and full of action at other times. There are quite a few plot twists that kept me turning pages almost feverishly. And the love story at the center of it all was beautiful - very sensual but also emotional and intimate.

Purchase links: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

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