This book was exactly the kind of angsty, struggle-filled relationship story that I wanted. Zander and Felix used to be best friends and then, briefly, lovers, but they got separated because of the war. Not only that, Zander thought Felix was dead. So once they ended up on the same ship, of course things got interesting. Even though the book didn’t make me emotional the way I wanted it to, I still loved all those realistic feelings of longing and sexual tension and confusion between them. They clearly still had feelings for each other, but neither man was the same and nothing was the same between them after so many years apart.
Another thing I really liked was a realistic inclusion of disability (unfortunately it ended up being essentially cured in a later book, but at least it was realistic for a few books). Felix’s hand got injured at some point during the war and basically rendered useless. He did have a prosthetic-type glove thing, but it sounded very similar to a type of prosthetic that actually exists already in which he wasn’t able to move it with his mind or anything, but he was able to use his wrist or his thumb or maybe his other hand to move the prosthetic into different positions. So he still had struggles with it, and there were also times when he didn’t wear it at all. And although the actual term was never used, Felix also seemed to have PTSD throughout the series from his time as a POW, so there was mental illness in the book too.
I also thought the characters themselves came across as believable and realistically flawed but still likeable. There was also quite a bit of action in the plot since the goal was about rescuing Zander’s friend, Emma, but the focus was still on Zander and Felix’s relationship, so there was plenty of character-ness too.
Also, this wasn’t something I noticed in this first book (I’ve already read the whole series), but I want to point it out for anyone considering reading, the world-building in this series was absolutely incredible, realistic, and detailed.
I only had a couple complaints, one being that the book could’ve used one more proofread. Nothing major, but it just would’ve seemed more polished. Also, it was sometimes confusing to remember/figure out whose POV I was in since all three sounded very similar and were in 3rd person.
Overall though, I liked the characters and the angsty romance and the space settings and went on to read and enjoy the whole rest of the series!
Anyone who likes M/M romance, angsty/struggle-filled relationships, books set in space, realistically flawed characters, and imperfect but sweet relationships among lovers, friends, and family.