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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…


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.