?Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience?
TITLE: Service to the State: A Literary Seduction
AUTHOR: Starlight Barque
PUBLISHER: Carnation Books
RELEASE DATE: July 22, 2019
BLURB: In the year 2190…
Brilliant surgeon Galen Jayr has given up on love and moved halfway across the world to escape heartbreak. While working at a relief hospital in Alaska, Galen meets and befriends Navojan, an alien living on Earth but hiding his true identity as a being from another planet.
Over the course of their unlikely friendship, Galen and Navojan spend their days working and spending time together, often discussing their favorite books. It never occurs to Galen that Navojan has a flair for writing himself, until one day he happens upon Navojan’s open tablet and his unfinished romance novel.
The steamy contents of the novel activate Galen’s imagination, sending his feelings for Navojan into overdrive. Could the human character in Navojan’s book be a stand-in for Galen himself? Galen is completely distracted by dreams and fantasies of his friend, whose physiology feels pain as pleasure, and whose features–among them, a tail–are so very alien.
This short read is full of passion and sensuality, exploring the relationship between pleasure and pain, and detailing an alien/human love affair that is a bit sweet, a bit strange, and extremely, delightfully sexy.
REVIEW: I feel compelled to start by saying that science fiction, futuristic, alien/human or dystopia themed books are not my cup of tea, hot or cold. However, the the blurb for this novella piqued my interest. Deciding to step outside of my familiar zone, I gave it a shot.
I am really glad that I did!
Because if I hadn’t, I would’ve missed out on a really great story. This novella was sweet, sensual and sexy. The characters, although a bit strange, were quite interesting. Here you have Galen, a human and Navojan, an alien running from their past lives. In this futuristic semi dystopian world, these two manage for find each other and form a friendship based on a love of literature and companionship. I also feel that their mutual loneliness is something that also brought them together.
Navojan’s character especially drew me in. Here you have this sweet and gentle alien man who altered himself to fit into this planet, this which for him is backwards and somewhat primitive. You’re able to feel that he’s homesick but understands that he can’t return. He’s not a fan of this planet but his friendship with Galen makes it bearable. There’s a trust and a genuine love he feels for his friend.
Galen has always been attracted to his friend but didn’t want to act on it, not totally sure if Navojan shared the same feelings. His attraction reaches new heights when he discovers a few pages of draft of Nav’s book.
The journey these two make together is beautifully written. This is strange story but not in at all in a bad way. Quite the opposite, in fact. This story is truly outside the box. The author successfully combines science fiction with sensual romance and erotica. And it was very well done.
This story pleasantly surprised me! I am really glad that I decided to step outside my comfort zone and read this novella. This author also did a great job making this novella feel like you were reading a full length book.