Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Bard has been the Captain of the Unit for the last two years. Gordon has become his de facto second in command, even though there seems to be no such designation in this military. The Universal Council is constantly conquering other worlds for their galaxy spanning empire. With the men on an ice planet where electro-magnetic-based technology doesn’t work, one has to wonder why they even care about taking this planet inhabited by an insectiod population with primitive weapons.
This is a short read about two military men who have feelings for each other, but neither knows until one of them is injured. The reader gets both points of view, glimpsing their respect and longing for each other. While there seem to be no regulations against fraternization, anyone caught doing it disappears. In fact, none of the men seem to be allowed to be friends. They are not encouraged to forge ties, making their whole service seem senseless. I have decided to give the author the benefit of the doubt that this was the point of the story–endless war is pointless and institutionalization is demoralizing. There were two love scenes, neither of which were particularly sexy or emotionally moving. I think this is because the reader doesn’t get to see their two years serving together. There is only a sentence that even alludes to Bard showing an interest in Gordon as a person with small kindnesses. A short story can be captivating and pack an emotional wallop–so it’s not the length I am critiquing, just the execution.
The cover design was done by Written Ink Designs. I think it is actually very fitting, showing the only love and color in their lives happened in that tent. It’s the start of a new dawn for them.