The drinking, as you will see, was pretty justified considering what the main character, Shyla, was going through. But she does overcome her past and her drinking problem at the end --at least that is the message I got, all though it didn't say it outright. The swearing didn't seem crude and rude, it was more the result of a woman fraying at the edges from dealing with so many issues. And the sexual content managed to be fairly acceptable and only crossed the "line" once or twice.
On to the good news...
Rogue Alliance is an awesome novel. It has fallen into the rare category of too-good-to-put-down. That is a compliment that I do not hand out easily. The author grabs your attention from the very first page. The whole first chapter was an incredibly adventure in and of itself. I loved every moment and I think she could have made an entire book just out of that chapter. The setting for the beginning wasn't a new concept, although she added her own twist, which I absolutely loved. The important things is that every other time I have seen this setting in a movie, game, or book it has always come off as pretty darn cliche', but not this time. She managed to do it in a way that seemed real and possible, even with the paranormal aspect.
After the incredible launch, and yes it felt like a rocket launch that shoves you back in your seat with a powerful amount of force, the story continues strong and steady. The characters are compelling and you feel for their struggles and relate to them pretty fiercely. Personally, I connected to Brennan on a profound level. I felt my mood sour as he struggled with his trials, and I almost shouted as he overcame each hurdle. As for Shayla, I felt for her every step of the way. She is a superbly strong individual that faces the worst trials imaginable and comes out on top. The only character I didn't quite understand was one of Shayla's partners, Shaw. The reason for that is that while she is still trying to figure him out I concocted an interesting and explainable reason for his behavior and attitude towards Shayla, beyond just normal atraction, that never materialized.
The adventure that these characters all go through is an thrilling tale that never sags. The author creates just enough aspects to the story that there is always something stimulating and interesting happening without too much going on.
Just as the author excelled in that opening chapter, she rises again with the an amazing ending. As I just said, the story never sags or slows, which makes the ending even more incredible. Throughout the story there is just the right level of excitement, and then suddenly with about twenty pages to go you feel something. It is as if their is an abrupt, dramatic change to the story. A palpable feeling that sets your heart racing. It is like fierce storm clouds building up and threatening to unleash their fury, or the sense of a lightning strike slowly charging, gathering more and more energy until it cannot possible be contained, and then in a flash of light it strikes.
I definitely recommend Rogue Alliance to anyone who likes crime novels , vampires, and mad scientists - as long as you don't mind the swearing, drinking, and sexual content. It is a novel you can't put down, even if you wanted to.
(To learn more about the author, Michelle Bellon, scroll down to 12-02-13 to see her author interview)