True Believers by Maria Zannini
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Series: unknown
Paranormal: Aliens
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True Believers is a far reaching and rather engrossing tale that had me captivated from the start. The premise is very original and quite titillating to those handy brain cells. I was quite impressed with the authors expansion on a belief system, a mythical race, science fiction technology and military and political maneuvering all in one novel. This novel was nothing more than epic with it’s base core, simply love. Romance lovers, science fiction fans and fantasy fans can be united as one in this fancy tale about a reluctant god that falls in love with an alien.

Raised by humans, Rachel Cruz is a woman stuck between two worlds. At her core she is Nephilim, worshipped as gods in the past and then hunted down for their wrong doings. Her race has been forced into hiding, never to reveal themselves to the humans. Rachel was brought up the daughter of a human archeologist and becomes one herself. Bringing her two worlds together she is on a hunt to find the references to the Nephilipm in Summerian hieroglyphics. On a dig in Texas with billionaire and amateur archeologist Paul Domino, the scientists are forced to leave their amazing discovery as black helicopters and strange military men force them away, basically stranding them in a desert, not caring if they will survive.

A flash flood whips through the stream bed they are hiking through and Rachel is washed away, her savior, one of the strange military men that accompanied the black helicopters. The man is Taelen Jessit, a commander of a fleet of aliens that has been sent on an ambassadorial mission to Earth. Their main goal is to track down their gods which have abandoned their own planet and seem to have taken up residence on Earth. Jessit manages to save Rachel, but they are both stranded in the desert with hardly a chance of survival. During their trek, Rachel and Jessit become close – but the whole time Rachel knows that she cannot reveal her true nature to him…because she is not a god, just an immortal.

As tensions rise between the aliens and humans and the Nephilim risk discovery things start heating up and it may just lead to war. On top of that Rachel and Jessit are getting closer to one another, but because of outside influences, duty, godhood and laws – they just mind end up getting ripped apart and Jessit probably castrated.

An intensely fun novel that had all the makings of a good tale: a lot of action, some hot and heavy scenes, whispered love declarations and political BS that had things turning pretty itchy. I really enjoyed this read and am quite impressed with the author Maria Zannini, she is definitely one to watch. Her writing was so good that I was actually cheering for the aliens — “kill those humans!” Takes some work to have a girl turn against her own race, I’m so ashamed, I’m a total traitor. And no less, with an alien with gills! Because put things in perspective if an alien walked up to me and was like “Hey check out my gills” I don’t think my first instinct would be to lick them, I would probably be all grossed out. Nope. Not anymore, thanks Ms. Zaninni, you’ve made gills and penis tendrils sexy – I think I need some ocular references though to confirm.

The few problems I found in the novel were the basis for the story. I was sad and ashamed that I wanted the human race beaten by these invading aliens. I guess it made me think twice, aren’t we supposed to triumph? Not really a problem, just a moral dilemma that made this novel even more unique.

Adults only, a good novel for science fiction and fantasy fans. If you like aliens! Fans of Showalter should enjoy.