Are you interested in reading an M/M, scifi, military, mind connection, mostly character study book with creepy angels aliens?
That’s how I recommended this book in a tweet the day after I finished reading it. I threw after a warning about sibilant hisses galore but forgot to mention the rape triggers. I also might have persuaded someone by saying “you’ll like the ending” vaguely implying I was less than satisfied. And I was, but it didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying everything else.
Dark Space is set in an unknown future where humans fight a terrifying alien race called the Faceless. There are space stations that orbit the Sun (presumably) at the edges of our solar system and keep watch. These stations are manned—quite literally—only by human men because women are too precious to be put in danger like that. This was the world building detail that most annoyed me, but if the alternative was reading about poorly constructed female characters I’d suspend my disbelief for a short book any day.
Some of the world building details I liked were every single thing that made Brady Garrett the nineteen-year-old conscripted recruit three years into his ten year military service—fifteen should he choose to become an officer—trying to keep his head down, and out of trouble while helping out at the medical bay. I loved the idea of stark class differences, refugee camps, factories, and all the problems that were only implied instead of infodumped on the reader. That includes the alien race, which—as creepy as they were—was nothing compared to the Weeping Angels.
Cameron Rushton is an officer—three or seven years older than Brady depending on how you look at it—and a prisoner of war who has just been returned to home. Or as close to it as Defender Three, Brady’s space station, is. The doctors make a mistake and Brady becomes a temporary human pacemaker to the man who no one trusts. They’re locked together in a room and have to spend prolonged periods of time together adapting to this new situation. Their connection forces them to learn much about themselves and about each other.
Because it’s an M/M novel, sex is a big part of that learning process. And because I liked it, you can expect to read about dark themes, and horrible things being done to the characters.
The pacing is pretty much perfect. Whenever I started to think “that’s a bit much” the author would make shift that not only made sense within the story but also advanced the overall storyline. There weren’t any unnecessary scenes or exposition for the sake of exposition. The repetition that was there—like Brady thinking of his home and family—felt natural to the cycle of human psyche and the way humans think. We get stuck on something, move on, and come back to it when the time is right again. Brady also didn’t accept the mind melt connection unreservedly. He had doubts and he fought it, but he also learned to trust his own judgement about the connection.
And the heartrending goodbye… Well, I’ll let you read about that on your own.
Pages: 216 (ebook)
Publisher: Loose ID LLC
Published: December 4th 2012