Author: Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/10/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction
Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.
After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work. But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.
Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.
This story was fantastic. It was creative and full of wonderfully imaginative ideas. I was swept up in the concept of planet building from word one. The way the author created this vast world with all its own intricacies and terminology was well done. I loved learning about Kai and his culture. I also liked how it contrasted with Ollie’s world and it’s cultural aspect. I was constantly learning new things and being treated to wonderful ideas and images. What I liked the most was that though Ollie lived on the more Earth-like planet, it was Kai’s homeworld that had the most Earth-like traditions and concepts. For all its advanced technology, Kai’s culture really was just a play on current real world traditions and concepts.
The characters in this story were very well done. They were well thought out and well developed. Kai and Ollie had histories, personalities, flaws, and desires. I connected with Kai almost instantly at the start of the story. He was such an intelligent yet vulnerable man. He evoked strong protective instincts in me and his journey broke my heart and pulled forth a strong emotional reaction. There were times I wished he would have stood up for himself and not let Ollie get away with as much as he did, but that was part of his personality.
Ollie on the other hand was not always my favorite person. I liked him at first, sympathizing with his having been stolen away from a life and love he should have had. But as the story moved forward, I started to resent him for his attitude and the careless and sometimes intentional way he hurt Kai. Towards the end, Ollie became unworthy of Kai in my eyes and though I was extremely happy and satisfied with Kai’s overall happiness at the end. There was a part of me that still disliked Ollie and wanted better for Kai.
However, I think the fact the the author could bring forth such strong emotions and connections in me, both positive and negative was a great thing. I don’t always like every aspect of every character and every story, but this author created a world and a romance that went beyond my likes and dislikes. Kai’s happiness was so much a part of me that his love for Ollie overrode my need for him to be with someone else. I needed Kai to get his Sun and to be whole. My dislike for aspects of Ollie only made him more relatable and counteracted that almost perfect quality that often comes from fated unions. I think I needed to dislike Ollie a bit for this story to truly be satisfying. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it worked for this story.
The 0.5* deduction came from two minor issues. One being that there were times the story felt stalled or a bit repetitive. Times when the story’s forward movement was slower than my desire to know the outcome, and I almost found myself skimming to get ahead. The other issue was that sometimes I didn’t follow or understand Ollie’s emotions and the swift way they changed. I never really understood why he finally decided he loved Kai, and it was a decision on his part. He was very much focused on free will and being able to decide his emotions without Fate’s intervention. My lack of understanding came from the abrupt way he gave up his fight against fate and just one day loved Kai.
I greatly enjoyed this world and Kai’s story. If you are looking for something unique and well written, pick this one up. I enjoyed it and think you will too.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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