I was reminded of Aquainted with the Night (but nowhere near reaching the same level of emotional impact), in the sense that the premise seems shady at first, but it turns out to be much more than that. Also, love becomes the main underlying force in both in the end. You are just getting bits and pieces (out of chronological order) of Dylan's life in this wildpack gang in the aftermath of the end of the world, 10 years he spends as Barbarossa's 'slave'. Except for some beginning scenes, it's actually not as explicit as the title and blurb may lead you to believe. The sex scenes are not really detailed or explicit and there are only a few, really. Probably the most intense (but still not really) scene would be where Barbarossa carves the title words onto Dylan/Kane's skin-but it's written like it's not that painful as it should have been.
The wildpack culture is rough and violent, but these are just men who have banded together in order to survive and help oversee the recivilization of this new existence.
The side characters weren't as fully fleshed out as I wanted them to be, since I really wanted to be immersed in this wildpack gang of crooks and new world protectors, except for maybe White and Owen. I didn't really care much for White, but he made for an interesting character, a priest in the wildpack who doesn't believe in refusing love-essentially meaning he partakes in the sharing and open relationships with the rest of the pack. I don't generally like reading about open relationships, but I was expecting it in here and it didn't bother me at all- jealousy just isn't an issue for them.
3.75 stars rounded up. My niggles with this story: 1) I wasn't emotionally invested as I would have liked to be in the side characters. 2) Ryder just made an annoying antagonist. 3) The reason for the wipeout of 99% of the human population is never made clear. Just one morning, everyone drops dead in their sleep. No one knows what made the survivors so special. I guess finding out why isn't really a necessary part to the story, as the main focus is on the wildpacks, but it was still something that bothered me in the back of my nosy mind. 4)
That said, this was an entertaining read for me and I read it in one sitting, so that says something. :) Take it as it is, fun escapism. Also, I did really like finding out Barborassa's identity~