Book Review: Fey Lights
Because I follow @lianabrooks on Twitter, I had seen her cover development efforts for Fey Lights and happened to catch her request for ARC readers. Since I enjoyed Even Villains Fall in Love and her blog, I signed up. The title caught my eye, and I wondered whether she was going to do something with energetic beings. I should have known she would turn my expectations on their ear. Her book’s blurb wasn’t available when I got the ARC, so I really had no idea what to expect, aside from the alien landscape and the potential for romance that the cover indicated.
So it turns out I’m one of those people who’s sold by the cover.
The blurb is worth noting now, after the fact:
When Jeani crash lands on a backwater world, she knows she’s in trouble. The slave trader Hothi is looking for her, and her bosses are going to eat her alive if she screws up another mission.
Discovering she’s half a world away from the planet’s only space port is a blow – but it doesn’t rock her nearly as much as her reunion with a man she barely remembers, from a past she wants to forget. Can she do the right thing, and leave him again?
The short story is written in Brooks’ signature style: Tight language and enjoyable banter. I had hoped it would be a novel when I started it, so my main disappointment was that it’s really only 50 pages long and is one of those super-fast reads that leaves you wanting more.
That’s also a tribute to the author’s skill at building a world that contrasts low-tech indigenous society with high-tech space-faring society and makes some interesting commentary about how those worlds collide.
Dominique caught her as she swayed. Her blood was red as his, but she was no island-born or Lander. He’d known it the first time he’d seen her lying on the streets of Urull. The first time he’d carried her home and cared for her as she healed. It seemed he was bound to do it again.
Brooks builds mystery on mystery by passing the perspective between her two protagonists, one of whom is hell-bent on accomplishing her assigned mission and the other of whom had escaped to the islands years previous in search of her. The conflict between them speaks to the power of duty and the drive to be with the one you love, so adds depth to the slow build of their relationship.
The characters get their happily ever after at the end, once again turning the reader’s expectations on ear, while tying up the main story line with finesse. I can happily recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read in the otherworldly romance genre with an understated nod toward scifi.