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Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander

Alpha TrineAlpha Trine by Lexi Ander
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Less Than Three Press
Novella:  49,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar’Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents’ court refuse to ever trust a frail human.

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psonics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they’ve brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.

Excerpt

This was a great book for the beginning of a series.  The world building done by the author was tremendous.  There are lots of different characters and worlds to describe to set up the story.  The author did well with integrating it with the story line so the reader doesn’t get this HUGE info dump that just bores and takes away from the story.  Instead she dives into it and gives us enough to not get lost and the rest we receive along the way without really noticing what the author is doing.

The characters the author created are very vivid and realistic.  Dargon is so arrogant and has to be taken down a notch.  Zeus is an interesting character.  I love that Zeus was adopted and then treated so much the same by his family.  I thought the author did a good job of setting it all up so you could see how a child like Zeus was struggled with the fact that he is but isn’t a race.  He was also very discerning when it came to skills.  He and Dargon did well with figuring out how to attack a problem.  The side characters are interesting and I am anxious to see what the author has in store for the whole group.

Though this is the first in a series and as the author leaves it there are a lot of loose ends but she does a good job in wrapping up this story in such a way that you aren’t climbing the walls waiting for the next book.  No cliffhangers!  Gotta like that;)

It was stated at the beginning of the story that this was created by a prompt from a group.  From that this series was born and the author was obviously inspired by it.  It is amazing what can come out of a fun prompt writing project!

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Sub Zero by Angel Martinez

Sub ZeroSub Zero by Angel Martinez
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Amber Quill Press, LLC
Novella:  40,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Major Aren Dalsgaard’s newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what’s the problem? Drass is where he died, more than a hundred and twenty years ago.

Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a cryo-revived investigator who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. Major Dalsgaard could be crazy or he could be lying, but the sincerity in his spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else he encounters in the foreigners’ city.

Now, confronted with mysterious black boxes and a beautiful yet evasive young man as a prime suspect, Aren hopes he can solve the murders before his fierce sexual attraction to Nyachung gets the better of him…

 Excerpt

Aren is the main character of the story.  He is a man lost in a future world.  Aren had been a linguist and a xenologist when he met with a man on Drass and fell in love.  He and his lover died in an accident and Aren was frozen by his government.  Now he has been revived over a hundred years later and all he knew is gone.  He now works as an investigator and is sent back to Drass to investigate a group of murders that is happening there.  Nyachung is a “native” of the planet Drass.  He is of the same race as Aren’s lover.  Nya is also the one that the authorities arrests for the murders that have happened in the city.  Now Aren must find out what is happening and what to do about his sudden attraction for Nya.

The world building that the author did in the book was amazing.  In short order without a huge info dump we are able to learn so much about the world we enter into.  Aren is an interesting character.  It is obvious that he was a rebel and believed in doing right.  Even now in this unknown future he struggles to make sure that what he believes is right it done even if it goes against the current bigotry and racism.  Aren isn’t current to the times but he does remember how hatred works and when things don’t make sense.

Nya is a singer.  When I first heard this and realized that the author was most likely to put these two together I couldn’t believe it.  A singer with a ledged and rebel, because that is what Aren is to Nya’s people.  Until I understood Nya’s people I didn’t think a singer would be a big role player in this world.  I love that Nya’s people are so peaceful.  They are a wonderful culture that I’m sure we all wish there were more like.  I think that human nature as it is took advantage of this sweet race of people.  I’m glad to see Aren return and help them.

This story is a really lovely one.  The writing was excellent and the characters and world just vibrant.  I really enjoyed the read.  I will say some may have difficulty with Aren and Nya’s relationship considering that Aren’s death, along with his lovers, seemed to him to have occurred a short time ago.  Some will wonder about the amount of time that Aren seems to have grieved for his lost love.  I will say it seemed to have been really quick.  I would have enjoyed seeing that play out a bit more.  The route to love seemed to get drowned in the story itself.

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