The Butterfly Code
Publication date: October 15th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
My friends say Hunter Cayman’s dangerous.
They say he’s a threat to everyone in town.
I’m not so sure.
As he stands before me in this crowded club with the lights shining around us, I catch something good under Hunter’s dark facade. Something decent and profound.
I don’t know who or what to believe.
But I will find out the truth.
Aeris Thorne is expecting a restful vacation in the remote town of Deep Cove. But on a stormy night, she meets the alluring and mysterious Hunter Cayman, and her life takes an exhilarating turn.
Aeris is both drawn to him and determined to find out what he’s hiding. It’s clear Hunter has found success with the high-security lab on his vast estate. But what Aeris doesn’t know is that he’s tormented by a secret: the truth behind his research.
As he and Aeris are drawn together, the walls he’s built to protect himself threaten to crumble. At the same time, she begins to wonder if she’s found the key to unraveling her own tragic past. When Aeris’s life is threatened, Hunter is forced to make an impossible decision about her future—one that could change everything.
The Butterfly Code wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and I have to say the book is all the better for that! From the synopsis I was expecting the focus to be very much on the romance, and for the plot to take – as often happens in books with a romantic element – a back seat for at least some, if not most of the story. I was expecting the tension and suspense to revolve around the relationship between the main characters more than anything else, and I was extremely pleased to find this wasn’t the case.
Aeris Thorne and Hunter Cayman certainly make for an enigmatic couple. That there is tension and heat in their relationship goes without saying. He’s not the cardboard cut out, stereotypical, looks gorgeous but has very little to him, love interest that often comes with romantic plots. Books that shot strangers meeting and instantly being attracted to each other generally speaking base the romance on one of two things: lust, or ‘insta-love’. I have no issue with lust, but find it a little frustrating when writers try to build meaningful relationships from something that is purely physical. I DO however have an issue with insta-love, at least, where there isn’t an explanation for it (time travel, mind reading etc.). So I was pleasantly surprised to find that what draws Aeris to Hunter is not simply the fact he’s gorgeous and she wants to hit that, or some foolish notion that she fell immediately in love with him the very second she clapped eyes on him. No, Aeris is drawn to Hunter for the same reasons the reader is (and I’ll be honest, I’ve got a bit of a book crush going on here where Hunter is concerned!). Aeris’ attraction to Hunter is immediate and very intense, which at first had me thinking ‘here we go’, but the more I read, the more I realised that there actually was a reason for this.
Two in fact.
Firstly, Hunter is an interesting character. He’s charismatic, intriguing, well-rounded, and displays some real depth at times. Again, I find this unusual in male love interests, so it’s a nice change.
Secondly, the actual PLOT of the novel goes some way towards explaining this inexplicable obsession. Yes, he’s handsome. Yes, he’s a doctor. Yes, he is in some ways the stereotypical love interest, but these aren’t the things that make Hunter interesting. It is his work at Phoenix Research Labs that piques the curiosity of both Aeres and the reader, and as the book unfolds – at a good pace I might add – it become clear that there’s a lot more going on that a simple case of girl meets boy.
There are a lot of elements to this story that I really truly enjoyed. It’s a work of speculative fiction, seamlessly weaving together elements of the supernatural with science and technology, futuristic science fiction, and aspects of a classic thriller/mystery. The romantic elements are simply another thread in this tapestry, rather than the focus, with the rest of it acting as support.
Speaking of support, another pleasant aspect of the novel are the supporting characters. While both Ares and Hunter are extremely well written – Ares in particular, I appreciated, in large part due to the first person narration and how well the reader gets to know her – there are a very good number of additional characters, very few of whom bothered me. By bothered me, I mean they all felt and sounded and acted like actual people, rather than puppets filling a stage for the sake of having other people in the background, or fulfilling one very specific role – such as the sidekick, or the comic relief – but having nothing else to them.
Without giving too much away, I will also mention the actual science ‘stuff’. I am often completely lost in science fiction literature. I love it on TV and in films, but I find written sci-fi is often very dry, lacking in human elements, emotion, feeling, and rather unrealistic. You might think it’s too much to expect sci-fi or speculative fiction of any kind to be ‘realistic’ but I believe it’s the same for Science Fiction as it is for Fantasy – the more believable you make those elements that could actually be real, the more easily the reader can accept the elements that are categorically impossible. If an author is incapable of getting me to suspend my disbelief when it comes to how human characters are acting or what they are saying, then they have little hope of convincing me that their ships can fly, their suns revolve around their planets, and the moon is made of green cheese. Wyshynski does such an effective job on her human characters that the realism of the world is more than enough to compensate for those elements that are fantastic. There is a certain logic to the scientific and supernatural elements that makes the whole thing work, although it did reach a point where I felt things were teetering on the brink of being believably, and threatening to tip over into the realms of nonsense. I wasn’t pausing every few paragraphs and thinking, “But…that doesn’t even make sense!”, but there were a few elements to the plot – in particular those aspects relating to DNA and the whole situation with Ares’ mother – that gave me pause.
The whole book flows very well. The pace isn’t break-neck, but neither is it slow, and it hops along at a fairly brisk pace most of the time, with the occasional interlude where things slow down to allow you to catch up. My one true criticism would be that, for a thriller/suspense/mystery, the pace could perhaps have been a little faster. It is by no means slow however, so this is more of an observation than an actual gripe. Wyshynski’s style tends towards the descriptive, and while I do appreciate good descriptions, they tend to get in the way of mysteries if they go on too long, or are applied to everything and everyone.
On the whole, however, it was a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading more from the author.
Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sue Wyshynski is a small town Canadian girl who moved to the United States to pursue the American dream. Sue grew up in the same place as musician Justin Bieber. Her last name is pronounced wish-in-ski.
Sue’s style has been described as immersive, emotional, and action-packed.
According to Sue, “Writers must do more than write; they must try to speak to the hearts of the world.”
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