Review: Dark Space
Dark Space by Lisa Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Predator-like aliens destroying and possibly enslaving humans with a subtle undertone of D/s and pet play equals nirvana for me! Ms. Henry woos me again with her delightful worlds and awesome characters.
Cameron Rushton is the war hero captured and probably tortured by the Faceless. These aliens in freaky armor decimates Earth and leaves behind a shattered mankind. Now, the young sixteen year old boys are drafted into space to help defend against an enemy who outguns and outthinks them. Talk about a set up for failure.
Garrett is three years into his ten year stint in a space station filled with aggressive and horny males. Women are considered a commodity too precious to allow into combat zone. Garrett is struggling with his own personal demons when Cameron Rushton is returned. This is when the book becomes very interesting.
The world building in here is dangerously erotic. It's just enough to provide a good framework of this alternate futuristic science fiction. The world is depressingly worst off than it is now. Instead of pulling together, humans appear to be even more divided. The hints of menace from the Faceless reminds me of the Star Trek series. It reminds me of a mix between the aliens in another spatial dimension and Q Continuum in Star Trek Next Generation. Then again, it also loosely resembles the Dominion in Star Trek Deep Space 9 in the military strength and mysterious ways. This is a genre I enjoy enthusiastically. When it comes down to it, an alien race which uses methods seemingly sexual in order to dominate and communicate causes a high sense of arousal and fear in me. The fear of the unknown combined with forced arousal at the hands of a cold blooded species which considers humans as pets is my blend of erotic fantasy.
The story is well written as the reader watches Cameron re-acclimate to human life. It becomes complicated due to a couple of hot headed military men, causing Garrett to be linked to Cameron through energy and mind. This linking is mind blowing as it leaves Garrett completely naked and defenseless to Cameron's thoughts and dreams. The dreams described in this book are hot, though some may find them frightening nightmares. Since these dreams echo some of my own personal ones, it's easy for me to relate and vicariously enjoy it.
There is not enough sex in this story for my taste. The M/m sensual encounters between Cameron and Garrett are sweet. The flashbacks of Cameron at the hands of the Faceless is powerfully intoxicating. Ms. Henry dances around the details so it becomes much more intimidating and sadistic in the mind of the reader. It makes me want another book in this series. I want to read more about the Faceless and how they could keep humans as their pets.
The characters in this book are endearing. I am so drawn into this story I didn't even realize it is written in first person. Since first person is a pet peeve of mine, this goes to show the great allure of Ms. Henry's writing. Garrett is an angry teenager forced to grow up too fast. Reading it from his perspective sets the reader in a rebellious mind frame. Cameron is the hero who is badly damaged and is now considered flawed. The interaction between these two characters is moving. At times I want to hug and protect them from their fears and sorrows. Because really, they are young boys. Other times, I'm riveted as a voyeur to their sexual encounters. I'm particularly fond of Cameron's relationship to one of the Faceless.
This book is highly recommended to m/m readers who love science fiction with a hair-raising kinky twist.
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