Will love set them free—or seal their fate?
In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.
But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.
I enjoyed this story so much. I loved the ins and outs of Trev and Khim’s journey. They were a bit of an unlikely pair at first. But when they get together they’re amazing and so well suited for each other. the story kept my attention right from the first page and I had to know what happened all the way until the end of the book. Ms Rathbone’s typical lyrical writing style was absent in this book. However it’s still wonderfully descriptive.
Trev was so smart. But he was also unsure of himself and his place in the world. He was wary in some situations but totally took charge in others. He came across reserved because of his childhood and how he dealt with the outside world while under his father’s thumb. Seeing him gain confidence in himself over the course of the book was wonderful.
Khim was completely fascinating. He was a human, but so utterly different at the same time. He struggled with some of his programming and his theories on why were interesting. I enjoyed seeing those inner thoughts and how he was far ore human than anyone believed. Khim’s point of view was wonderfully written. His outlook on life was intriguing.
The way Trev and Khim come together slowly was amazing to watch. They start out not quite enemies, but there’s serious dislike going on from Khim. Poor Trev is confused but his caring from the start is beautiful. I adored the scene where Trev realizes his and Khim’s feelings. It was amazingly well written and you could see that lightbulb go off for both of them. That scene is full of emotion and you can feel it with Trev and Khim both.
Their happy ending was a little too easy right at the end. With everything that had to overcome to be together and free I expected a bigger plan with more details. The simplicity was nice but I also felt like they weren’t truly free yet. You can tell though Trev and Khim are going to love each other as long as they live and are free to do so. I would love to read a sequel. I want more Trev and Khim and how they’re surviving many years into the future. I also would love to know the answer to Trev’s question to his father. Maybe also see Arch and Renn again. I’d gladly read more books set in this world.
Four and a half
Wendy Rathbone lives with a cat, three dogs and her partner of thirty-six years, Della. She has been writing since the age of twelve. She lives in the high desert of southern California.
Male/male romance has been a passion of Wendy’s before the signature “m/m” was even invented. She wrote a lot of slash fanfic in various fandoms to assuage that obsession, but moved on to original writing in the fields of science fiction, fantasy and horror where she is published in many anthologies and magazines. She is also a Writers of the Future award winner.
She is an award-winning poet, a graduate from UCSD, and runs her own retail business. Her self-published science fiction and m/m romances can be found on Amazon, and her novel, The Android and the Thief, is available everywhere.