Review: Storms and Stars by Neena Jaydon
Hired to capture a high-ranking fleet officer, Luke doesn’t make it far before the target sabotages their shuttle. After a rough crash landing that only Villum and his captor survive, they find themselves marooned on an alien world with no one to depend on but each other. Struggle for survival leads to friendship, and camaraderie leads to love and a partnership stronger than duty, tradition, or old flames. Storms and Stars is a GraveTells Recommended Read!
Title: Storms and Stars
Author: Neena Jaydon
Prominent Characters: Villum, Luke
Recommended Reader Age: 16+
Sexual Content Level: light to moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Villum is a student of philosophy… steady, loyal, cool under pressure, capable, and driven, this man is more than merely likeable: he commands respect, and is the kind of man I’d want by my side as a friend, lover, or colleague. Raised in a poor society that experiences such a high mortality rate that they condition their children to cut themselves off from emotion, Luke is a monk trained as an assassin, a thief, a pilot… whatever job he can get to bring income to his destitute colony. What should be a simple mission, capture the imperial officer and deliver him to the contact, becomes a battle for survival and a clash of wills as these two remarkable men realize they must work together or die.
This story slowly and meticulously pulls away layer after layer… from the characters, from the intrigues of political mechanisms, from the relationships and beliefs that make up the soul of a people… to reveal love and humanity in its basest form, without deceit or distraction, only truth and acceptance.
What starts out as a survival story slowly becomes an exploration of what makes us who we are and the boundaries we must all cross to reach unconditional self-acceptance. There is love, yes, and sex, but foremost this is a journey of the soul on a slow simmer, riding on the shoulders of two men from vastly different upbringing and mindsets. The pace is leisurely, the introspection meticulous, and the environmental detail vibrant and expressive in unique and visceral ways.
Storms and Stars is not a particularly quick read, nor is it overtly sexual. This is not one of those stories that shines a giant spotlight the sexual orientation of its characters; it doesn’t focus on that aspect, giving you just enough tantalizing glimpses into relationships (current and past) to complement and support the story. Now don’t get me wrong, this book has sex, and it’s pretty hot, but it is neither gratuitous nor excessively explicit. These people love who they love, and all have their own unique sexual preferences, without it having any extra importance to the story. There is no discrimination, no bigotry, only camaraderie and respect. I also liked that while the main characters are in shape, largely due to the demands of their professions, there is no extra emphasis on how drop-dead sexy they are or their rampant sex appeal. Their physical appearances are described through the eyes and feelings of their contemporaries, and their personalities are as important as their looks.
A man needs his curses as much as he needs his blessings…
“Iopintha’s sweet mercy,” Villam said softly.
“Do you ever pray to goddesses, instead of just taking their names in vain?”
Thinking is good. Falling in love is even better.
He toyed with a flower, falling silent. These thoughts just kept spiraling through his head. It’s become … He looked at Luke through his lashes, blinking slowly. It’s become very important that I don’t lose him.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said.
Lubricant is for more than greasing your shuttle engine gears, Luke…
“Where did you get that?” Villam demanded.
“They sell this stuff,” Luke said, not hiding his heavy ambivalence, “in just any old general colonial store. Is everyone using things like this all the time?”
“All the time, I’m afraid, lad,” Villam said, his voice suddenly throaty with amusement.
If you liked Storms and Stars…
If you enjoyed Storms and Stars and are looking for more space adventures and survival stories, don’t miss Ainsley’s Lost Prince, a story about passion, betrayal, and living through the pain of loss and devastation. Lost Prince was named one of GraveTells’ 5 Books of 2011 You Absolutely Must Read!
Rating: Storms and Stars