Finding King

findingking400Title: Finding King
Author: Casey K. Cox
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Buy Links: Amazon; Publisher
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novella (21K words)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by LenaLena

Review Summary: Really good scifi m/m story with an enjoyable balance of worldbuilding, action and emotions. Too short, though.


Merrick was always content with his life of piracy, raiding ships throughout the galaxies, relishing the thrill of the capture and the plunder they obtained. But then a raid went wrong and cost him the man he loved, and now Merrick spends his days pillaging ships only to continue the desperate search for his lost love.

When all his efforts finally pay off, however, he realizes that though his lover has been found, he may well be lost to Merrick forever anyway.


I shouldn’t read novellas. They leave me ultimately unsatisfied, because they are just too short. In the case of Finding King this is extra tragic. Because it is so good there needs to be more of it. It needs a bigger story, more complications, more plot, more people, more time for character growth and, dammit, I want to see that threesome they’re hinting at.

I’ve been looking for a long time for a good scifi m/m set in space. Lord knows the genre is full of bad ones, mostly because the scifi is just used as an added flavor to your standard romance. A thin veneer that anyone who has actually read a decent amount of science fiction tends to find unimaginative and boring. Either that, or it’s just an excuse to play out the sex slave trope with aliens. Who may or may not have tentacle dicks.

Despite the existence of sex slaves in this universe, this book isn’t like that at all. Instead of drooling over the male equivalent of Princess Leia in the gold bikini chained up in Jabba the Hutt’s lair, the story deals with one of the MCs recovering from a prolonged stint of such slavery. It has an amazing amount of worldbuilding shoved into its meager 21K words, and it’s done without any draggy infodumps. The universe depicted here feels solid and real. The MCs are solid too. The story is crammed with action (including Star Wars style rescues), the emotions run high and the sex delivers. It really is a satisfying blend of all these elements.

What is disappointing is that the secondary characters (and the villains) are a bit thin. This is where we run into the limitations of the novella format, there is just no room to develop all these people. They’ll be featured in future books, though, so I am sure they’ll get their due then. The plot is necessarily a bit thin (and predictable) too. A few more twists and turns would have been awesome.

The writing style is a bit choppy at times, with lots of sentence fragments, which is something you may have to get used to. It works really well when used to heighten the tension at important moments, at other moments it can feel a little odd. It didn’t particularly bother me, but a bit more variation in style would have been good. On the other hand, I really didn’t notice any editing issues at all, which is nothing short of miraculous these days.

All in all, a really decent scifi story and I will definitely read the sequels.

And thumbs up for the pretty cover!


3 years 25 days ago

I started, could not stop, really fast read – agree with your review and I really liked it too. Thanks.

3 years 25 days ago

You didn’t waste any time! LOL!
Glad it worked for you too. The author says the next one is going to be longer, about 50-60K.

3 years 25 days ago

Sold, love good scifi . Thanks.

3 years 27 days ago

I agree with you on novella’s, but sometimes they are just so much fun to read! Especially this one. Glad you liked it too! I normally hate stories containing sex slaves, but this one was the exception!

Thanks for the review 🙂

3 years 28 days ago

Thanks for the rec. Lenalena. I do love a good sci fi story, yes even a short one, as long as it delivers. This genre is given short shrift by many M/M writers who just use it as window dressing for their stories without giving it the attention it so rightly deserves. This one seems to be different.

Despite its length I’m going to put this book on my TBR. Great job on the review. 😀

3 years 28 days ago

I am all for authors taking their time (and space) to develop a story.

And yes, historicals have the same problems that science fiction romance does. It’s often used as a garnish or even a ‘look how well I have done my research’ showcase, while the characters and story lines are completely contemporary. Disappointing…..

3 years 28 days ago

Excellent review Lena :god: and more excellent observations regarding novellas and Scifi! Although raised on bodice rippers, I now avoid historical b/c so many read like a contemporary dressed in historical costume (ugh)…scifi can suffer similar problems 😥

I’m also not usually a big fan of novellas, the shorter format is a niche skill set on it’s own…even some excellent authors struggle with the length restrictions. There have been a couple notable exceptions I would have loved to see extended to novel length (The Dogs of Cyberwar by Jamie Fessenden).

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