Rapture's Mist by Cinnamon Burke is a captivating book. Although it's not the best book I've ever read, it still holds the attention and refuses to be put down.
Set in the distant future, Rapture's Mist depicts a world where Earth is part of the galaxy's history, not its future. The inhabitants of Earth that are described are the Guardians of the human race's history before the 21st century. The Guardians are an exclusively male group, although why that is wasn't satisfactorily explained. They walk around their keep dressed in what seems to be monks' robes and chant.
They seem to be a group of men with deeply held beliefs, none of which are particularly religious but all of which are suppose to somehow come from Earth's history. The whole concept of being a Guardian seems to play a big role in this book, but many of the details of exactly what being a Guardian constitutes, other than forgoing women and devoting your time to the preservation of history, are missing.
Tynan Thorn, our hero, is a philosophical genius. He's also a Guardian. Having been orphaned as an infant, he has spent his entire life inside the Guardian's keep. He's written extensively on the topics of living harmoniously and the importance of peace. He's never even seen a flesh and blood woman. One thing I can truly applaud about this book is that the author handled Tynan's first encounter with the opposite sex very well. She didn't shy away from awkward situations and Amara's innate sexuality was a perfect foil for Tynan's sexual ignorance.
Unfortunately, Tynan quickly went from being an amusing sexual novice to an insatiable and overbearing jerk. The book had the couple copulating about once every chapter, if not more frequently. Which, in and of itself, isn't terrible but I personally hate when characters are upset with each other and still fall into bed without resolving anything.
Quite a bit of the story was wrapped around Amara being forced to face the loss of her career or the loss of Tynan. I think the character handled that aspect of the story exceptionally well and we were able to follow her line of thinking and understand why she made the choices she did. Amara did come off a bit naive and insisted on thinking the best of those who obviously did not deserve the consideration but overall her character was pretty well developed.
Tynan, on the other hand, was, as mentioned before, a jerk who is extraordinarily intelligent. His jealousy was ridiculous. His reaction to finding out that Amara's boss and ex-lover was an old enemy was initially understandable but he took it to the extreme. However, it was obvious that he loved her. He was also an honorable man and that, combined with his amateur status when it came to male/female relationships, made up for some of his faults. His handling of the peace talks he was involved in, as well as his interactions with the other negotiators, left the reader with no doubt about the intelligence of the character.
While reading this book I was totally engrossed. It wasn't until afterwards that most of my misgivings arose. Throughout the reading I did have a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with the way things were going and many of the choices the characters made but I was swept along with the story.
Overall, I have to say I have mixed feelings about this book. It's definitely not going on my keeper shelf but neither was it a complete waste of time. It certainly did have its interesting moments.