NOTE: The Starcrossed was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by BlackWyrm Books.
Small press publisher BlackWyrm has been putting out some neat books, filling the void of short novels and novellas in the current market of thousand page behemoths and never-ending series. While I find them to be hit and miss at times, I really enjoyed a couple of their books, and was excited to receive their latest release, The Starcrossed, which seemed right up my alley.
On the first trip in space searching for alien life, humanity struck gold and found some. Cat-like humanoids, the beings are a couple years behind humans technologically. Barret and a group of soldiers arrive on the planet and act as ambassadors, but when Barret falls in love with Paum, one of the aliens, he tries to abort the mission, only to have his plans fall through. A year later, after finally being released from prison, Barret finds an exhausted and disoriented Paum on his doorstep, and opens his future to the machinations of an ancient evil that has ravaged both the catmorphs and humans before.
William I. Levy has crafted a wonderfully fun science fiction thriller, as Barret and his friends fight a renegade military group and a demonic-like evil to save Paum and the planet. The pace is fast and doesn’t let up, but it isn’t at the sacrifice of well-developed characters. All of the numerous characters Levy throws around are very fully formed, and are a lot of fun in their interactions.
I did find it a little odd that, while the aliens people weren’t too happy about the inter-species relationship, no humans actually spoke up against it. I found that a seemingly large gap in logic. Even friends might have concerns if their friend had brought back his new alien girlfriend, especially in the situation of first contact.
However, small flaws aside, there is a lot to like in this novel. For fans of fast-paced science fiction action, a smidgen of romance, and a wonderfully fun tale, go grab a copy of this (it isn’t in big bookstores, so head over to BlackWyrm’s site, found in my links section). You won’t regret it.