Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/13/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe/Alternate World, BDSM, Fantasy, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
Brady Garrett is back on Earth. He’s living with his partner Cam and they’re raising his sister Lucy together. Life is better than some feral reffo from Kopa has any right to hope, and Brady knows it. He’s even grateful for it, most of the time. He loves Cam, even though he’s afraid that he’s not good enough for him, and he’s still having nightmares about the alien Faceless.
Cameron Rushton loved being a pilot once, and he still feels the pull of the starlight. He’s building a life with Brady now, and with Lucy. Life is good, even if it’s not without its complications. Both Brady and Cam are dealing with the endless cycle of interviews, tests, and questions that the military hierarchy hopes will reveal the secrets of the aliens who could very easily destroy humanity. They have each other though, and together they’re making it work.
But from out in the black, Kai-Ren is still watching and everything Brady and Cam think they’ve won, they stand to lose all over again.
”Am I your heartbeat again?”
In this single query, Brady sums up his own point of view and his ceaselessly changing emotions and whether he and Cam should be together. Now, I don’t want to be a tease, so here’s a bit more:
I turned my head again to look at Cam’s profile in the darkness.
We weren’t a fairy tale, but he’d saved me all the same, and I was trying my hardest to be the sort of guy he deserved.
If it’s even possible, we are more deeply into Brady’s head, and heart, in this story compared to book one, Dark Space. He’s a walking set of contradictions and we’re privy to every one of them. He’s constantly warring with himself, going back and forth between strength and uncertainty, confident in love and then the suffering of self-loathing, and reveling in this thing he and Cam have while doubting it will even last another day.
Being in Brady’s head is one of the ways Lisa Henry maintains the tension through every word of this book. It’s not a slight irritation or minor discomfort, but something that had me feeling more and more like a ball of worry, winding tighter and tighter. There’s no let up and I constantly felt like something was just about to happen, that I was going to turn a corner and be knocked off my feet.
Throughout all of this, Brady and Cam are working so hard to get a handle on this relationship of theirs. Everything around them has changed, everything, yet they themselves are the same, and more. They love each other, everyone knows that, but is it enough? And what about Kai-Ren, hanging out there somewhere. Known. Waiting?
There are some passages that were repetitious and I did the head tilt each time. Then I would remember and make the connection: this is Brady we’re talking about here, a guy who doesn’t exactly let things go (no matter how much he professes to not care, and in much stronger terms than that) and is finally at a point in his life when he not only has the opportunity to examine it and decide what he wants for it, but also has the means to possibly make it all happen. He’s a whirling dervish of emotion and action. A huge part of that equation is his little sister Lucy, who is still fantastic and such an important part of this story, even more than before.
Also, Brady is ever the king of the dirty mouth talkin’ and I love it.
Henry also does a good job in referencing events and circumstances from Dark Space without feeling too obvious. They’re all well placed and help to remind and, even more importantly, add to that tension in regards to what all is at stake here.
A number of our favorite characters are back, along with some wonderful, heartbreaking, and surprising new ones. Just like everything else in this story, they’re non-stop in importance, carrying their implications around rather smugly and I loved it.
The quiet moments? Those come between Brady and Cam. Even then, Brady’s character remains true, his sarcasm and forced nonchalance keeping things in check.
It had taken a long time back on Defender Three, when Cam had first been in my head, to get used to him. To realize that I didn’t have to be afraid of having him there. To realize I didn’t have to be ashamed of all the stupid shit I thought. And said. And did.
There’s a major theme running through this story and it takes on several forms: Brady and the changes he is experiencing, the Faceless and their fate and that of the humans still surviving, and the role Lucy plays in all of this.
This is straight up kick ass sci-fi, yo. The note on my kindle read thusly: “this feels like Close Encounters of the Third Kind!” One scene in particular popped into my head as I was reading and it wouldn’t leave after that. The drive to understand. The risks taken. The feeling of soul deep fear. The necessity of knowing someone else, or at least the possibility of someone else, and their existence as being vital and we should know that perspective.
As I said earlier, we’re in Brady’s head (and how!) for this entire journey. It exhausted me. It thrilled me. It made me think and made me pump my fist in victory. Just like Dark Space, this will a mult-read book for me, one I grab when I can’t decide what I want to dive into next.
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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