Thursday, January 5, 2017

SFRB Recommends 66: The Caphenon by Fletcher DeLancey

On a summer night like any other, an emergency call sounds in the quarters of Andira Tal, Lancer of Alsea. The news is shocking: not only is there other intelligent life in the universe, but it’s landing on the planet right now. Tal leads the first responding team and ends up rescuing aliens who have a frightening story to tell. They protected Alsea from a terrible fate—but the reprieve is only temporary.

Captain Ekayta Serrado of the Fleet ship Caphenon serves the Protectorate, a confederation of worlds with a common political philosophy. She has just sacrificed her ship to save Alsea, yet political maneuvering may mean she did it all for nothing.

Alsea is now a prize to be bought and sold by galactic forces far more powerful than a tiny backwater planet. But Lancer Tal is not one to accept a fate imposed by aliens, and she’ll do whatever it takes save her world.

I enjoyed the way first contact worked in this book-- I got introduced to a full and vivid society through the eyes of the ship’s crew. I also liked the how the story addresses some larger questions of what to do what desperate tactics people must sometimes employ in a war and the toll it takes on them.
The romance plot in this story (f/f, fade-to-black heat level) is atypical in that it showcases a couple who’ve already gotten together, though only recently. Their new relationship is tested by a worthy rival and the circumstances that force some decisions that hurt them. I really believed that by the end the two of them could weather anything together.

Author site: Chronicles of Alsea

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

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