Class-M Exile by Raven Oak

CLASS
Class-M Exile by Raven Oak
Publisher: Grey Sun Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (102 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Bay-zar.

Class-M planet in the middle of no-where. Dust, dust, and more dust. Unless ya circled ‘round to the more habitable region, you’d be stuck without a ship to anywhere. ‘Round the corner though, you could find everything from ship parts and dried food packs, to roast dog and the rare bi-cycle. Hell, you could even buy yerself a gen-u-ine religion if you were so inclined.
The ultimate tourist trap. And here I’d taken the bait.

When Eerl stepped off The Marzipan, he was one of a billion tourists on Bay-zar. He expected to shop for rare artifacts from war-ravaged Earth and maybe study at the grand library, but not even his background in Human Studies from the University of Tersia could prepare him for what came next:

A military beefcake with a grudge, a wartime conspiracy, a stolen ship, a galaxy full of prejudice, and at the center of it all, a young human named Mel in search of the truth.

Her search for her past and his quest for knowledge take them across the stars as they uncover the darkness and fear in us all.

How far would you go to protect a stranger?

Mel’s backstory was a smart addition to this tale. I wasn’t expecting to learn as much about her as I did, but all of her anecdotes about the past rounded out her personality nicely. Her appearance was described vividly. It was nice to have such a clear image of what she looked like, especially once the plot started moving quickly and I wasn’t sure what was in store for her.

The aliens in this story sounded fascinating. I would have really liked to read descriptions of what kinds of species they were and what they looked like. While I appreciated knowing the names of their planets and the few details about them that were shared, that information on its own wasn’t enough for me to form a picture in my mind of what it would actually be like to meet one of them. Not having those details made it hard to immerse myself in what was happening.

Some of the best scenes in this book involved short conversations between Eerl and Mel about human culture and history. These talks provided glimpses into corners of their minds that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. I looked forward to every single one of them due to his unique take on subjects that I think of as completely ordinary. While I don’t know if Ms. Oak is planning to write a sequel, I hope she’ll consider the possibility of it. It would be entertaining to see what Eerl does next.

Class-M Exile is a good choice for anyone who likes science fiction set in the distant future.

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