Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Captain Ales is a lonely smuggler at the galaxy’s Outer Verge, and the last of his people. He’s been trying to move on from a life of drugs and meaningless sex, but finding love in this forgotten corner of the galaxy is difficult.
When he’s sent on a mysterious smuggling mission to a world under siege, he’s enticed by promises of the domination he craves. But soon Ales finds himself entwined in a galactic power struggle that could cost him everything.
I don’t know what exactly I expected after the blurb, but “Siege Weapons” definitely surprised me.
This is one of the publisher’s “literary/genre” titles, so this is more Sci Fi with a gay MC than anything else. Which is something I’m always on the lookout for, so yay. There are several explicit sex scenes, with pretty heavy BDSM in the second half, but no real romance to speak of. The sex was hot but I can see how the BDSM elements might make some people uncomfortable. They aren’t really of the “safe, sane, consensual” sort, even if there’s no rape in this story – past or present.
Ales is a complicated man. I think we barely touched the surface of his personality. There were so many layers of him and new sides kept popping up that I really didn’t expect. I’m not sure I actually liked him in a traditional way, though I certainly cared for him. He’s the most important person of the story and we don’t learn much about the other characters, which don’t get much on-page time.
I like my books to be angsty, so I’ve read some pretty dark stuff. But “Siege Weapons” is a whole different kind of heavy. The flashbacks to Ales’ past really made my hair stand on end. And even though this is set in the distant future, it reminded me a great deal of how our world works atm. I was close to choking up once or twice, which very rarely happens.
The world building was really interesting. We meet all kinds of aliens or “homos”, as they’re called in this universe. Ales could probably called a racist, so a lot of that experience is coloured by his rather negative emotions. We also get a lot of space travel and intergalactic politics. It’s a wonder how the author managed to fit all of those elements into such a short book and make it all seem so natural.
The plot has a pretty good balance between fast-paced action scenes with a fair bit of violence and quiet introspection. There were quite a few twists and turns and that epilogue was very unexpected.
Overall, I really, really liked “Siege Weapons”. It’s solid Sci Fi with a gay MC with a lot of issues. There’s sex, but no real romance. If that’s the sort of thing that makes you sit up and pay attention, then I believe this book is for you. If, however, you’re on the hunt for a solid romance set in space, then this you’ll want to keep looking.
Personally, I’m really looking forward to the next part in the series. I want to know what happens next!
The cover by Natasha Snow is pretty cool and gives you the right idea about the contents of the book.
Book details: Kindle Edition, 143 pages
Published September 24th 2018 by NineStar Press