This book was not quite what I was expecting in many ways and yet, I shouldn’t be surprised based on what I read in the blurb. It’s a Sci-Fi Romance, but it’s not a Sci-Fi Romance. Now what do I mean by this? It has elements of several genres- contemporary, historical, dystopian and sci-fi that are blended into one story. I make a point of saying this so others who may have been looking for a purer sci-fi romance won’t be disappointed. Now, while that is what I was expecting, I wasn’t disappointed one iota. The story pulled me in from the beginning and I groaned with disappointment at the abrupt ending that left me impatient for the next installment.
The story opens with Tyris discovering that a lapse in judgment in his past has far reaching consequences. In his world of The Colonies, overpopulation is a problem. The latest solution is to put a fertility inhibitor chip into each person who has a criminal record no matter how minor the crime or how distant in the past it was. Tyris’ wife considers this a humiliation and leaves him. This is the catalyst that makes him set out into space to find a lost planet that might contain the coveted fuel, anysogen, that will allow the Colonies to send ships further into space to find inhabitable worlds.
Tyris crash lands onto a planet where the survivors of another world that was destroyed by a meteor have taken up their lives. They live primitively and have set up a set of rules to guarantee their survival. These people struggle with infertility so they have a law that if a couple doesn’t conceive within eighteen months then the couple must separate and find new partners and make new attempts to conceive.
Marlee is nearly devastated when her last partner and her cannot have a child because she cares deeply for him. She is determined to never go through the wrenching break-up again so she eagerly accepts the task of caring for Tyris the man who crashed near their village. Tyris’ arrival stirs her in ways that no other man has and it isn’t easy to hold with her decision, but then again Tyris seems equally determined to keep things to a platonic relationship and has his sights set on finding a way to return to his home world. More is going on around them though and they learn to pay attention both to their own attraction to each other and that the counsel of elders may know more then they are saying about the village’s circumstances.
As I said, I was caught up in this story from the get-go. I loved the scenario of the lost group surviving primitively, the stranded space traveler, the doomed romance and the conspiracy plot all blended together. I did lose a little focus when the issue of fertility/infertility seemed to take over so much in the middle of the story, but it wasn’t a big deal and the pace picked up again. Truthfully, it made for an interesting bit in the story the unique way it was woven into the plot. In a contemporary romance, it would have just made the story sad, but as a barrier to survival in a sci-fi, it was more exciting as a plot device.
The characters were a strong part of the story. I loved how the story switched between Marlee and Tyris’ perspectives. They came from two different worlds and saw things so differently, but yet they learned to work as a couple. They definitely had a nice spark between them that I was happy to see fan into an inferno when they stopped denying themselves because of previous partners.
Now this one does end abruptly just after a spike of excitement both in the action and the relationship leaving me vested in what happens next for everyone.
As to whom I can recommend this? Those who love Sci-Fi for certain, but also anyone who doesn’t mind a blend or blurring of the line in sub-genres or a romance that’s more of a sweet than a spice even though its not lacking in spice for certain.
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