Title: Gravitational Attraction
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Science Fiction / Action / Adventure / Romance
Length: 84,206 words
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Thoroughly enjoyable escapist space opera working with the full set of heart, balls and brain to produce a fun package.
Blurb: A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty that is, except for the blood and gore-spattered corridors and one lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.
Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he knows he’ll always carry with him.
But Turk harbors dangerous secrets, his brain a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.
I bought this from an Amazon recommendation, and when I’d finished reading asked Wave if I could review it…….that doesn’t happen often with me as ……well, free books to review are always a draw and I’m a greedy reader. What I found particularly appealing here was the completeness of this very entertaining book, all the bits combined like a well designed Apple product.
The main characters were lovely together- vulnerable, damaged, heroic, brave and tender. The action was fast paced, but with some really good getting to know you interludes that didn’t feel rationed or an authorial indulgence. The science fiction constructs melded with my fuzzy ideas of reality while the aliens and their world really worked for me- visually and emotionally. Aliens usually just feel weird, contrived or are simply Spock knock offs, but I really enjoyed the Drak’tar, the Corzin and their integrated society. The introduction we got to their language was enough for anthropological realism but not so much that I felt irritated or the need to enrol in a language school. The secondary characters filled the cast with added interest and warmth, no paper cut outs here. The bad guy was effective enough for me to want him splattered across the universe- he shouldn’t have touched Isaac that is all I’m saying. So, yes as you can see I was totally lost inside Angel Martinez’s highly coloured but satisfying creation.
Isaac and Turk formed a believable relationship, this in spite of an almost instant attraction- which was acceptable given the Corzin cultural experience. Both main characters have a nice level of depth about them, Isaac’s curiosity is a significant feature of his personality, keeping his life going after his failure to become a pilot. While Turk’s star gazing adventurous spirit is bruised but not broken by his experiences away from home. Often in the romance genre the story, somewhat naturally, concentrates on getting the guys together with a few problems on the way and that is it done. Incidentally, Isaac’s nicely detailed back story helped in understanding just why he reacted less than sensibly to one of those ‘problems’. Here, we got to see the guys really together- albeit still threatened by outside problems – as a delightful working and fighting partnership.
Within the story, both Isaac and Turk experienced different environments to those they were used to, which was a good way of getting a lot of information across in a casual way. There is a creative balance between the close focus intimacy of the main relationship and a wider large scale angle that encompassed the bigger picture of the world building and the action sequences. Moreover I really enjoyed the metaphors involving resonance, sound, and gravity which were used to describe Isaac and Turk’s perfect bonding, but also extended not only to the way their altered brains meshed but to actual components of space travel. A very satisfying synergy of images.
This was a great escapist read for me; a strong dynamic love affair, warm friendships, enough detail to make a universe believable and exciting world threatening situations to test all the joins.