Review: USE by CD Reiss


5 precise Stars

Precision. There is something exquisite about it. Absolute accuracy. A sense of pinpoint correctness. There is no slithering or sneaking. There is no guessing or room to move. It’s tight, restrictive, anticipatory. It’s pre-meditated. It’s intense in its choreography. Done well, it is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. But don’t ever mistake it for tame. In fact it is the inherent feral nature being denied within precision that makes it so overwhelmingly beguiling.

I think most would read precision as tightly controlled. And that’s not it. It’s the art of taking something so inherently wild and giving it direction, giving it purpose that celebrates its nature, not changes it. KICK and USE both do exactly that, for each and every character – we just get to see them in different stages.

Fiona Drazen is still locked up. She is still grappling with her memory despite the removal of almost her entire coping system. But things are starting to come through, starting to make sense again in little bits and pieces.

I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about Fiona in KICK. She sort of felt like a side show attraction to me. But I fell head over heels for her in this book. I love her particular brand of crazy. Because even though her public image has been crafted out of grandiosity and glamour, the truth of Fiona is smart and broken and struggling desperately for a way to make her addiction to excess mean something. She is a classic music box that plays Carmina Burana instead of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Elliott is walking along the knife’s edge of his own perfected state of precision. He is grasping for balance in the midst of internal guerilla warfare. My initial feeling that he has the potential to be a black hole to Fiona’s streaking comet was correct in a lot of ways. She wants to aim right for the center of him. He wants her to plunge herself right into his core. But as with all singularities there is no way to know the ramifications of such a collision. The sheer strength of his magnetism may drag her along regardless of what either wants however.

We get one scene with Deacon in the present. And it is enough to cement him as the sun in this story. To everyone. This man is a gigantic mass of pull, heat, energy and light. Self-sustaining, demanding of balance and order. Gravity exists because of him. The world spins because of him. He wrote the rules of precision at the dawn of time. He not only defined accuracy, but its limits and how to break them. The intensity contained within this man is unceasing and directed through an extensive breaker system to feed all of those fuses dependent upon him for life, current and purpose.

CD Reiss’ writing is the very definition of precision. She sculpts scenes with such exactitude that reading them requires you to completely immerse yourself into these characters and this story. There is simply no other way to fully grasp the sublime and transcendent nature of her words.

This book is gorgeous without the bling. This book is the very best high without the nod. This book is screaming into the wind without the echo. This book is all of the satisfaction of a one night stand without the shame. This book is a lightning strike without the charcoal left in its place.

This book is pure, soaked with want, hypnotic precision.


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