Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Escape Velocity - Anah Crow & Dianne Fox


First published as Runaway Star and recently revised by it's authors, Escape Velocity was an impulse its-on-sale! purchase. Concerning a colony on the cusp of breaking the strange musical language of the Pandorans. Elios is a top governmental linguist and is hard at work trying to figure out what is up with those ships that are just on the horizon of their sensor scans. On this almost-Utopian colony, there isn't very much budgeted for defense, yeah, I know, and this is causing unrest as long as the Pandorans and their undecipherable plea remain an unknown. Sender is a Harpy (fighter jet) pilot, and squad-team leader. Through fortuitous events, these two meet, hook up and fall in love in a usual sort of way.


Through minimal fault of the narrator, I didn't think I would take this seriously until the plot suddenly kicked in, just after the half-way point. Having read some really good* Gay Romance in the past, I was quickly geared up not to like this one.

Not one to go out for gratuitous sex in romance novels, this was full of them in the beginning. But, as stated, after some densely packed sex scenes, we were in action: romantic leads are forced asunder, the lovers are star-crossed!--will it ever work? Considering that Harlequin, like many romance labels, has a strict 'happily for now' policy, of course it will. But one shouldn't hesitate to admit hunger for one of the scientists to steal credit for Elios's work, or Katie and Sender to end up in a family arrangement with Vochi and Shakira, leading Elios to next see and date Sender when he was fully healed on the Arega. I would have loved for that kind of a cute but subtle ending, hands held across the table in the cafe, full of hope, but here we have lots of repetitive sex scenes and a clear happy ending.

The fact that this is a two author work, really impressed me. Even if they went with the safe route of 'you write that perspective, I'll write this one,' this was a great example of author collaboration. The club scene early on is also worth noting, because I find that kind of thing hard to convey.

The world building was a mouth-watering tease. But a quick scan of other reviews clues me into the fact that this is first in a series, and was expanded from a shorter work. One looks forward to more Roman-religion world building and sex of the character building sort**. (Especially that scene in the temple where Elios talks to the Vestal... I have hopes.)

Since this is a review of the audio book, here is a further note: The sex scenes were so quick in succession to one another that I began giggling through mundane tasks at work, wondering how often Charles Carr said the word 'cock' in a paragraph. One's mind easily wandered.

In conclusion, dear review readers, this is sweet romance with wobbly legs. Yes, there is a hospital scene, yes, there is some angst of the my-parents-and-religion-hate-what-I-am sort, but its Sci-Fi zest make it forgivable. One is also so very chuffed with the resurgence of Roman Pagan religion that things are balancing in the book's favor.

* I'll be going into that very soon.
** For those interested, I highly recommend How to Write Hot Sex edited by Shoshanna Evers. While only one chapter address m/m, the whole tome is worth a quick read through.

6:46. Carina Press. Audiobook.
Narrated by Charles Carr.

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