I’ve seen this one on some book blogs with high praise. Found it at my library, surprised myself by reading it in just one sitting. Some parts bothered me, but on the whole it was compelling, interesting, and full of fantastic artwork. It kind of just drops you immediately into the story, not much background given so I had to puzzle out what was going on. (I guess it helps that I’m in the middle of watching Star Trek Voyager with my husband, so the idea of interstellar travel and different species that interact across planets was frontal in my mind).
The basic premise: two different species are involved in a war that envelops planets across the entire galaxy. One race has horns (deer, sheep, goat, etc) and uses magic. The other all the people have wings of some type- bat, bird, butterfly, etc. There’s tension, insults and violence in nearly every scene where these two races encounter each other. Except our main pair. Alana from the planet where people have wings, and Marko who sports ram horns. They’re soldiers from the respective sides, who’ve each defected. Marko in particular wants to eschew violence, but sometimes he doesn’t have a choice. The opening scene is Alana giving birth to their child, and then they’re immediately on the run. Both sides of the war condem their interspecies union. Many scenes are from the viewpoint of a bounty hunter on their trail (who has a giant, blue, lie-detecting sphynx cat). There are fantastic alien species galore. And some I just don’t get- like the humanoids with tv screens for heads. Is that supposed to be some kind of social commentary?
This story is full of snark, sarcasm and a hefty dose of humanity and compassion as well. The evil creatures are really horrifying looking. The banter between Alana and Marko is lively but feels part of a solid relationship, not them cutting each other down. I could do without the constant profanity, and the graphic depictions of sexuality (the bounty hunter visits an alien brothel at one point and tries to free an eleven-year-old girl who is a slave there) but well, this is one case where I’m able to accept it as part of the story and move on. There’s gory violence, too. If that would disturb you by all means, don’t read this book. I’m ready for the next one already- really wanting to see where the story goes- especially after Alana and Marko get a pink teenage ghost to babysit their child, and escape the planet at the last minute in a spaceship that is (as far as I could tell) made from a living tree.
Borrowed from the public library. Next book in this series.