I was super excited to win Earthman’s Bride as an epub in a contest on the author’s blog. I had read the synopsis and a sample and put it on my “to buy” list before I won it in the contest. It’s fun to win things, but even more fun to win things you planned to read anyhow.
Earthman’s Bride belongs to a small category of Romance called “Futuristic”. Sometimes this means hard SF mixed in with your Romance, sometimes it simply means an SF setting. This is more of an SF setting style of Futuristic, with the setting providing a great deal of the conflict in the story. The world building is careful and lush, and the SF elements are believable. Earthmen have gained the ability to travel to other planets, and they are out scouring the universe for deposits of a rare metal. It’s Neo-Colonialism in space, well and realistically done. The struggles of a marooned occupying force torn between meeting the demands of superiors who may never return and long term survival play out nicely as backdrop to the main romance;.
The title sounds like a “captured bride” tale. This is more of a political bride tale– Rebeka and Philip’s union is borne from political expediency on both sides. One of the delights of the story is watching these two pawns refused to play the game the way their elders had planned. Both hero and heroine are quite young and grow up a lot over the course of the story.
The one element of the book that stood out for me above all others was the way the author handled the antagonists. In many novels, there are protagonists who are the “good guys” and antagonists who are the “bad guys”. Although any good writing course will tell you that antagonists don’t have to be evil or bad, just to have different goals in conflict of those of the protagonist, it’s rare to see a story follow this course. The occupying force and various relatives of our young couple are often at complete odds with them, and occasionally do some very bad things, but they are not “evil” characters. The antagonists learn and grow with the protagonists, and we learn to like many of them as well. It’s a great illustration of how this writing technique can carry a story well.
Thanks again for the great read, Icey Snow Blackstone!
Buy it at Class Act Books: Earthman’s Bride