Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Adam Yuga, a rising young star in the imperialist Terran Protectorate, is on the verge of a massive promotion…until a routine physical exam reveals something less than perfection. Genetic flaws are taboo, and Adam soon discovers there’s a thin line between rising star and starving outcast.
Stripped of wealth and position, stricken with a mysterious, worsening illness, Adam resorts to stealing credits to survive. Moments from capture by the Protectorate, help arrives in the form of Lochlan, a brash, cocksure Bideshi fighter.
Now the Bideshi, a people long shunned by the Protectorate, are the only ones who will offer him shelter. As Adam learns the truth about the mysterious, nomadic people he was taught to fear, Lochlan offers him not just shelter—but a temptation Adam can only resist for so long.
Struggling to adapt to his new life, Adam discovers his illness hides a terrible secret, one that the Protectorate will stop at nothing to conceal. Time is growing short, and he must find the strength to close a centuries-old rift, accept a new identity—and hold on to a love that could cost him everything.
I’m always a sucker for some good sci-fi/fantasy and “Line and Orbit” definitely did not disappoint. It was funny, addicting, creative and unique.
Adam has it all: lots of money, a successful career, perfect health. That is, until he has to go through a health check for a promotion. The doctors find a small problem with his heart. Nothing life threatening, not in this day and age, but anything other than perfection is simply unacceptable and Adam suddenly finds himself without job, money and a rapidly deteriorating health. With his last bit of money he buys an old spaceship and leaves his home.
Lochlan hates the very thing Adam stands for, but when Adam literally falls in his arms, half dead and on the run, he saves the man’s life and takes him to the Bideshi homeship.
I absolutely loved the idea of the Bideshi. They’re space nomads, outsiders, exiles, outcasts and yet they have a rich history and a deep understanding of the stars, of their line and orbit. They’re magical. It’s not something I’ve ever encountered before and the authors did a wonderful job describing everything in great detail, without making it feel like an info dump, leaving me with a sense of wonder and a longing to join the Bideshi. That’s an example of excellent world building right there.
The romance is very slow to develop. It’s a bit of enemies-to-lovers, a trope that I really don’t like. That’s the only reason I didn’t give this a five star rating. But the slow pace suited the story. The two protagonists are so very different, everything else would have felt unrealistic to me. And I’m always thrilled when an author actually takes the time to develop a real romance, and doesn’t take the easy option of insta-love. Sex did happen, too, but it wasn’t explicit, and that kinda fit the story as well. The romance part was very balanced with the rest of the plot.
At times I wasn’t too sure if I like Lochlan, but he always won me over. Ultimately, I think I really like him, his character just takes a bit of getting used to. Adam, on the other hand, was somehow immediately likeable.
“Line and Orbit” does get a bit violent at times, so beware. Personally, I think fantasy isn’t really fantasy when you don’t get at least one battle scene and this book didn’t disappoint. I liked the spaceship battles, it’s not something I’ve read before.
Long story short: If you like a mix of romance, fantasy and sci-fi, you should read “Line and Orbit”.
I couldn’t help comparing this book to the truly epic “Song of the Navigator” by Astrid Amara. While “Line and Orbit” wasn’t quite as epically awesome, I can definitely recommend this to fans of “Song of the Navigator”.
I’m definitely going to read the rest of the series. I really enjoyed this.
Cover: I really like the cover by Kanaxa. It looks delightfully mysterious and the planets fit with the overall theme of the book.
ebook, 325 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 1619212196 (ISBN13: 9781619212190)
SeriesRoot Code #1
Series: Book 1 of the Root Code Series