There are many serial services out there for authors and readers alike. While my own work is on Kindle Vella, this week’s serial is not! Tapas, unlike Kindle Vella is a completely free to both authors and readers. Additional benefit to Tapas is that while the service relies on ads, it is fully fleshed out and has an active community which is growing every day.
As this serial is on a more established platform, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this amazing story has been running weekly since July of 2020. This means that there are more than 60 episodes as of writing this review in October of 2021. This is also the third serial I’ve subscribed to and I’ve been following Patient Zero’s adventure for nearly a year.
It was so hard to put this review together and not provide insane spoilers that would simply reveal far too much! So I went back to the beginning and have been enjoying my second read through more than the first because there is just so much to binge!
Before we got going, there are some warnings to be had. Because of content including some graphic descriptions, this serial is intended for mature audiences only. That said, if you are looking for an LGBTQ+ Boys Love story with darker themes that might bring to mine things that may have happened to Bucky Barnes while under Hydra Control, then this serial is definitely for you.
This also means that some of this tale can be dark and potentially triggering.
As always, we’ll get started with words directly from our author:
Patient Zero was kidnapped in 1939 at the start of World War II. He was only 14 years old when he was taken to a secret underground facility that did illegal and inhuman experiments on humans.
With no memories of his past or of who he used to be, patient zero is trapped in a living nightmare of torture. He has no idea how long he’s been trapped as time has escaped him. All he knows is that anything is better than being taken to the doctor, even death.
When Captain Alexander Harvey raids the facility with a team of special ops soldiers, patient zero is freed from his hell. But he quickly discovers that the world is not as it once was. His struggles have just begun.
With all that aside, let’s jump in!
I’m normally not a fan of work told in the first person. My reasoning for this that it takes a lot of creativity and work from the author to suck me in as a reader in those first few paragraphs. Without sucking me in and forging some sort of emotional connection, I tend to pass. In bookstores I put the book back on the shelf. When it comes to serials, I move on to the next tale.
Perspective of characters and the point of views of our narrators is important. We have to be hooked in. Some stories are meant to be told completely in the third person. There are so many works I’ve read in first person that didn’t jive and would have been better served in the third person.
There have been very few in which I’ve read a tale in the third person and wished it had been in first. To be honest, I’ve only been down the road of that thought process twice because the characters were so Mary Sue that I wanted a closer look at their thoughts and how they ticked. This leads me to the beginning of Project Infinity.
The second I saw the words I had learned to enjoy the quiet, I have to admit that I checked out. It doesn’t matter that at this point, I had already read The Reckoning by Kayla Knue. But because I’d read The Reckoning and had become invested almost immediately in KayIa’s characters that I was willing to keep going.
So I put on my big girl pants and pushed through. And this is what I found inside:
Project Infinity takes place in a world within our own. One where human experimentation continued following the second world war. We’re immediately introduced to the tortured Patient Zero who has been dehumanized to the point that he has forgotten his name. It isn’t just a witness to Patient Zero’s ongoing torture. It is a first person witness. There are no questions about his thoughts because in this moment we are him.
We run with him. We are tortured with him. We are blinded by the light and terrified of the darkness with him. We seek comfort with him.
This isn’t my first journey through Project Infinity. I can tell you that when I reached the words “Let’s begin phase two”, knowing what this means for Patient Zero and how it changes his life, that I had shivers.
In that moment I was so connected to the Zero that I honestly fearful for what came next even though I’ve been well beyond this experience with him.
If we weren’t warned ahead of time in the Author’s blurb, I wouldn’t share this passage with you because it would have been a spoiler.
As a reader we are so invested in the jarring, terrifying changes in Patient Zero’s life. His guard who has been with him for longer than Zero is able to remember is ordered to terminate Project Infinity.
We’re still don’t know what Project Infinity is, but what we do know is in that moment, Oskar is armed and has been ordered to kill Patient Zero.
In a unexpected move to save Patient Zero, instead of killing his patient, Oskar takes his own life.
“Oskar!” I screamed his name desperately. He couldn’t be dead. Even though his blood was pooling on the floor, I couldn’t accept it.
Everything moved in slow motion. Tears dripped from my chin as I pulled against the metal shackles. My body ached from the from the infusion, but I writhed anyway. I had to help him. He couldn’t die. Who would take care of me?Episode 14: The Americans
Life for Zero changes in so many ways from what he knows and we’re taken along for the ride like a leaf caught up in a tornado.
As a reader and a reviewer, I can honestly tell you that the second read through was actually better than the first. And I’m not one who reads books multiple times. Normally… yet Kayla has had me reading her work through more than once for both The Reckoning and Project Infinity.
So here’s what it boils down to:
If you are a fan of LGBTQ serials, this is an amazing story for you. I’d be cognizant as a reader of the potential triggers.
As this serial is posted on Tapas, it is completely free to read and it is one that I do go back to every week as I wait eagerly for another episode.
Not ready to take my word for it? Luckily there are some great comments along the way fro readers.
The hardest part about snagging reviews from Tapas is that they are in line with each episode. This means I had to be incredibly picky and select early reviews that don’t spoil the story or provide more details than necessary. I hope that I selected ones that inspire you to read Project Infinity:
Kitty: What was your favorite book growing up? Has that changed as an adult?
Kayla: Fahrenheit 451 was my “favorite” book growing up and I would likely still list it as my favorite book today, though I haven’t read it in years and can not recall much about it. I liked it for it’s sci-fi elements and I just connected with the emotional turmoil of the main character, Montag.
Kitty: Who is your favorite author?
Kayla: I don’t have one. To me if you have a favorite author it means you read/ like the majority of their written works and would buy a book just because they wrote that. I’ve not read enough books by any given author to have a favorite. In my younger days I would’ve said Ray Bradbury because he wrote Fahrenheit 451, but that is the only book of his that I’ve read 🙂
Kitty: Have these books or this author influenced your writing style?
Kayla: No, I don’t believe so. I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy but I never really read books. I did however watch a lot of movies and tv series.
Kitty: Do you have a favorite serial that you would like to recommend to other authors?
Kayla: I read a lot of boys love webcomics and would recommend basically any of them. Not sure if they count as serials though.
Kitty: I’ve had the opportunity to read your work outside of Project Infinity, and agree with you that boys love is definitely a great story that you tell. What drew you to writing in this niche of LGBTQ+ fiction?
Kayla: As an LGBTQIA+ author, boys love is just one of those things that I stumbled upon and immediately connected with. It resonates with who I am as a person. Basically it’s my kind of romance so it was easy for me to write. They always say to write what you know 🙂
Kitty: What drew you to writing sci-fi? And what inspired you to put the two together?
Kayla: I was basically raised watching sci-fi movies and tv series. It’s something that I’ve always loved because there’s no limits. Whatever you can imagine can be put into sci-fi. As for combining it with boys love, that just came naturally. I love when a story has romance.
Kitty: If Project Infinity existed in the real world and you had the opportunity to tell Captain Harvey anything about his fate or the journey he’s on with ‘Patient Zero’ what would it be?
Kayla: I would tell him that it’s okay for him to express his feelings and that there’s nothing wrong with loving multiple people.
Kitty: If you could tell your readers anything about Project Infinity without giving away any spoilers, what would it be?
Kayla: Project Infinity is a passion project created from two different stories I used to tell myself in my own mind to help myself fall asleep. The episodes are completely spontaneous every week 🙂
Kitty: With the sequel to the Reckoning on the horizon, do you have any messages for potential readers who have not yet read the first installment?
Kayla: The Reckoning is an adult dark fantasy novel that features lgbtqia+ relationships and characters. It is the beginning of the Intertwined series: a story of love, corruption, and fate.
Kitty: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything about becoming a writer and your writing career, what would it be?
Kayla:Just write! You must first write the story before you can make it a good one 🙂
Kitty: Finally, if you could tell your readers anything about yourself, what would it be?
Kayle: I’m non-binary but identify most closely with gay males, which is probably why I write boys love.
They have also released their first novel, The Reckoning which was reviewed in April of 2020. You can find that review here and this book is available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, D2D in addition to paperback hard cover.
When we’re not in the middle of nowhere with horrible internet, you may be able to find me in their streams.
If you haven’t seen the announcement, I am taking a week, possibly two off from writing reviews in order to move the content of our site over to a new provider. Unfortunately, attempting to import my Word Press export resulted in a big mess. This means I’m moving things over post by post and page by page.
The good news is that this new site will come with our newsletter and inline review recommendation forms on our FAQ.
Next week’s Kindle & Coffee Conversations will still be posted even though there won’t be a Kindle & Coffee review until November 1st. Keep in mind that November 1st is tentative.
The Explorers will be getting two bonus interludes in order to celebrate Halloween/Samhain. These two interludes originally would have made up the designated break between seasons but I don’t think I’m going to be taking a break from Explorers or Exile for quite some time.
There will also be an additional episode of Exile.
If you missed the social media posts The Explorers hit number three in the crime category! While this may change in the near future, it was one of those crazy moments in which I may or may not have cried.
All of this aside, I definitely look forward to the return of Kindle & Coffee once we finish migrating our site.
Until next time, may your adventures be exciting! Just not as exciting as X’s.