Title: Under a New Star
Series: Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calender package “Celebrate!”
Author: Leo d’Entremont
Genre: Science fiction
Length: Novella (77 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: In the 26th Century, mankind has breached the light speed barrier and begun to colonise other planets. They’ve also learned to Design human beings, known as Morphs, for specialised colony missions. Adrian is an Aerial Morph, on his way to colonise the low-gravity planet Eridani VI with his scientist Partner, Michael. In violation of the rules of the Morph Projects, they’ve been lovers for months. Michael cares more about his work than anything, while Adrian doesn’t take anything seriously except Michael. Before they arrive at their new home, they need to curtail their relationship before it destroys their professional Partnership.
The colony ship is scheduled to arrive at their destination on Christmas Eve. Some old holiday traditions persist, but when Adrian and Michael have differing ideas about what’s best for their relationship and their careers, holiday gifts and ideas for new beginnings lead to crossed signals.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calender package “Celebrate!”
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5858
Review: This was just… wow! This is certainly science fiction and there are many stories that go along these lines: colonists are leaving earth for a new planet. But in the spirit of Christmas, this is definitely lends to the historical context of colonists leaving the old country for the new in what is their first Christmas away from home, in this case Earth. I’m thinking in particular to the references to “Solstice” and “Longest Night”, both are accurate terms and certainly what was celebrated before Christianity began to dominate cultures.
In this story, Michael is a normal human, which simply means the only genetic alterations he’s experienced are those to remove susceptibility to disease. Adrian is a Morph, which are genetically altered humanoids grown in labs. This is something commonly seen in science fiction, though the first thought that came to mind were the GELFs, in the TV series seaQuest DSV. But, in the spirit of Christmas, in this book they have wings to adapt to the low gravity of their new colony. The idea is that Morphs are paired with an ordinary human by some mysterious group to work together – some matches are just more perfect than others.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. Michael is the stoic, hardworking scientists who would keep to himself if not for Adrian. Michael is cute, clever and professional. Adrian, for a genetically engineered life form, is up to all sorts of mischief but is incredibly sweet, particularly when it comes to Michael. Both men have each other’s best interests in mind for everything they do. There were times when I wanted to give Adrian a slap because Michael was trying, but that’s all in the best parts of the book.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *