Title: Bright Star
Author: Talia R. Blackwood
Genre: Science Fiction/Futuristic
Length: Novella (164 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 8th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: “I am his guardian angel. I don’t know who he is. I know every line of his face—the curve of his lips is carved in my soul—but I don’t know his name. I always called him just Prince.”
Tasked to watch over a young man in suspended animation, Phae, a clone, spends his life alone on an empty spaceship, focused only on the protection of his ward. Prince isn’t scheduled to wake for another twenty years, but an attack on the ship starts the automatic awakening procedure.
Prince relieves Phae’s loneliness and teaches him the meaning of love. However, the mission becomes more complicated than either man was led to believe—and far more dangerous. Their destination is a world held hostage, where clones are disposable and Phae is scheduled for “recycling” when his duty is done.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5525
Review: This is a fantastic book! It’s just… wow! Being the science fiction fangirl that I can be, this book immediately made me think of a mix of Firefly, Star Trek and even some Wall-E. It’s certainly unique, which makes it more appealing. (The use of alien, as seen in most of sci-fi, is what reminded me of Firefly). Not only there, this is packed with emotion and you can feel the plight of both characters. The only problem is I don’t want to gush so much that I give away the entire thing.
The book is written in first person, but the setting and the setup of the plot lends itself to it. The only thing is that the first person actually swaps between the MCs, Phae and Prince, and it might take readers a while to get used to the change in tone when the swap is made. Certainly surprised me when I went from Phae to Prince’s voice.
There are definite subtle differences between the characters that make it interesting: Prince is far for relaxed in his language than Phae is. Prince is the one responsible for words like “yeah” and “crappy” in the beginning, while Phae is more formal, for example he uses the more formal “cannot” to start with but once he’s known Prince awhile, he starts saying “can’t”. There are a few interesting things like that.
Phae is not hard to love. He is the strong silent type. He’s also incredibly sweet, innocent and naive. He’s lived in isolation for many years, completely alone except for the sarcophagus of the man he is watching over, who he calls Prince. He is a clone, raised by another clone for the sole purpose of watching over Prince. It’s bittersweet to read as the love grows between the two men, Phae learn what true companionship, and love is.
Prince on the other hand is much worldlier than his “guardian angel”. Circumstances have forced him to go into suspended animation and sent to some other corner of the galaxy. Because of this, he resents his father and chooses not to talk about his family to Phae. Understandable, I get that. There is also some sort of loneliness in that doesn’t come from actual aloneness, but from lack of love or something thereof. Prince is rather charming, no pun intended, and despite his rough exterior, I think he’s a pretty decent sort.
These characters are so isolated there is very little in the way of supporting characters in the background, unless you count Ship (because ships are characters too!). Of course, there are a few unlikable person when Phae and Prince leave their isolated life, but not a lot of detail was given. My only complaint comes from what happens to Prince and Phae, and the use of the first person voice.
The end is from Phae’s POV, so unfortunately what could have been a few additional, really interesting chapters from Prince’s POV, were skipped to get to the climax. Not that I’m letting this affect my enjoyment of the book. Prince explains things briefly enough, it’s just the engrossed sci-fi nerd in me wanted details!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *