Circles of Life and Death by Rayne Auster

Blurb: Forced to take diplomatic passenger Makiel onto his courier ship to take him to Earth, Kyle is stunned when their first handshake leaves him reeling. He’s attracted to the handsome alien, but he doesn’t know why or how—and he’s determined to find out. The last thing he expects is a mystical connection that will change his life forever and make him a part of an alien civilization struggling to survive.

I’m a sucker for mystical connections and similar plots, so I figured this would be a great story for me. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

One of the reasons might be that – again – the format of the story is the wrong one in my opinion. On 40 something pages it touched so many things, that it could only scratch at the surface of each and never explore any in any greater depth.

S P O I L E R S !

The balance theme was a nice thought, but I found it confusing. Was the power transferred to be shared? Or only as some sort of storage? Was it transferred full force at first touch or not?

The history of the Siminrhod race, their destruction and their struggles to survive was explained once in short and that was it. I didn’t feel any connection with that and couldn’t really feel for or with them.

Makiel was first taken on to be transported to Earth as an emissary, but then it turns out another Siminrhod was the negotiator. I was never aware of the fact that Makiel was supposed to look for the circles of life and death until they found them. By the way, to make Stonehenge one of the circles is such a trite idea, even I could have thought of that.  The esoteric talk about alignment with the sun etc. was so obvious, I couldn’t believe it.

The rebellion was mentioned once after the rebels attacked Makiel. What was that good for? It was never talked of before, then the rebels turn up out of the blue, attack, never to be heard of again – at least for now.

What on Earth did Makiel expect from Kyle at the end of the book? Am I so slow that I didn’t get it? The ending was more than abrupt and left me totally unsatisfied. Was the word count up?

Too many ideas in this story were begging for their explanation that just couldn’t be given on a mere 40 odd pages. It had some interesting possibilities which could have made for a good story, had the author not used the very short format. The way it is, I can’t recommend it.  

Available at Dreamspinner Press

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