Wednesday, August 15, 2018

To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen

Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

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Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

This is one of the most original Sci-Fi concepts I can remember. Bram and Gael’s galaxy caught my imagination and I loved the details of Bram’s life on Alkirak. Bram and Gael’s romance plays out against a slightly terrifying dystopian future. The story is probably more romance than Sci-Fi but the interplay between the two genres works well.

The relationship between Bram and Gael develops at a painfully slow pace. The lack of communication is frustrating, and I never quite believed in the chemistry between them. From the start (Gael is an intergalactic mail order groom), the relationship is one of convenience for Bram and desperation for Gael. And I’m not sure they ever quite move past their utilitarian beginnings.

While I really love the unusual world the author builds for us, I feel like much more world building was needed to really help me fully understand Gael and Aavi’s life before Alkirak. And Bram’s mining past. And the politics on Alkirak. And the communication and transportation systems in the galaxy. So many elements are introduced in this book and not fully explored. This feels like part of a series and I did have to check that I hadn’t missed a previous book.

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, cowritten with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen to read and review.

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