“Today I felt pass over me, A breath of wind from the wings of madness.” – Charles Baudelaire
Since that fateful night when he and his friends were taken away from Earth, John only knew pain and subservience under different masters. Resigned and losing all hope, John could not believe it when Mita shows up and tells him that he is finally free.
This is the second book in the Encounter Space series and it delves deeper into the trauma of alien abduction. The first book discusses that as well but on a “lighter” note compared to what John, the protagonist abductee had to live through in this novelette. From the opening scene to almost a third of the book, we feel and share John’s mental and emotional anguish as he recalls everything that he experienced. The worlds where he is taken and the masters he served may be different but it mattered not to John. He only wanted to live and survive despite it all.
Although much of the story focuses on John’s sufferings, the rest of it counteracts the gloom and torment through the presence of the alien rescuer Mita. Like the stars that swirl outside the rescue ship, he is a beacon of light who finally provides John comfort, security, hope and the possibility of love.
Mike and his alien Coi from the first book are mentioned here but only Mike makes an appearance and interacts briefly with John. This is one detail that I liked because it shows the connection between the two books although I feel that each book can stand on its own.
There was nothing grandiose about the worldbuilding but I felt transported to space just the same. There was not even a speck mentioned of what sex with an alien would be like but the lack of it was refreshing for a change. Sometimes, less is truly more.
Overall, author Bronwyn Heeley did a great job. Her extraterrestrial story may be short but it was packaged just right. I want to read more stories like this and I look forward to the next ones in the series.
This book deserves a rating of:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book’s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.