Wandering Star by K.M. Penemue

Wandering Star by K.M. Penemue
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (123 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Zane and Sixia are Jacks, meaning they’ll take on almost any job, though most of their time is spent running cargo and hunting bounties across space.

While on Venus, they take on a job well outside the usual: deliver Isais, a slave, to his waiting master. The job comes with explicit instructions not to treat Isais like a person, but it’s not long before Zane finds himself enjoying Isais’s company more and more.

Adding to the stress is the fact that someone doesn’t want them completing the job and doesn’t mind leaving them dead if that’s what it takes. But if they somehow manage to make to the delivery point, Zane fears letting Isais go will prove infinitely harder than keeping everyone alive.

A supposedly easy paycheck is usually much harder to earn than you might think it would be.

The various alien creatures that were introduced in this tale were fascinating to me. One of the things I enjoy the most about the science fiction genre is how creative it can be when imagining what life on other planets might be like. This book was no exception to that rule. It was full of sentient beings that had completely different cultures and ways of thinking than could ever be found in the human race. These aliens genuinely felt like they’d come from a completely different world to me, and that made me like them even more than I would have otherwise.

There was a plot hole that was never explained. It had to do with Zane and Sixia’s behavior. Based on their backstories and what appeared to be good reputations with their clients, I would have expected both of them to diligently follow all of the instructions they were given about how to complete a mission. How they actually reacted completely threw me off guard. Their choices didn’t seem to fit what I knew about their personalities at all, so I was surprised to see how little attention the narrator paid to this part of the storyline.

What I liked the most about this book were all of the plot twists that were hidden in it. While I did see some of them coming ahead of time, one or two managed to sneak up on me. Not knowing they were on their way made it exciting to suddenly stumble across them. I don’t want to give away any spoilers about what they were about or when they happened, but I did enjoy how they were written. They worked well with the main plot line and were a lot of fun to read.

I’d recommend Wandering Star to anyone who likes adventures in outer space.

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