The scene was set in Book 1: Skythane, and the danger with second books is that the plot can fall a little flat, but that is not the case here. Wisely, the author has created another world out of the old one, with the occupants of Oberon and Titania having to get used to their new reality.
Not everyone is happy with this new world order, and conflicts from the last book rear their ugly heads. The good news is that Quince makes a discovery laced with tragedy, and Xander and Jameson’s fledging relationship suffers a knock when an old flame arrives on the scene. Amidst all the fantasy elements, there is a good old human story of love, of struggle and torn loyalties.
I loved how human these characters are. Having got to know them in the first book, I really cared about their various predicaments. There is an element of fairy tale as well as sci-fi, which stops the plot from being too tech-heavy, with panoramic scenes to enable the characters to spread their wings. And it had a very welcome dash of corporate intrigue which was a great foil to the fantasy element. It is a very visual book, as the last one was, and painted in vivid colours. I could definitely see the climax being directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) It had that kind of cinematic feel.
The story lagged slightly in the middle of the book, but soon picked up again when Jessa, Jameson’s former fiancee, is thrown into the mix. She could have been given a bigger role, as she was a strong character, but I loved her kick-ass feistiness. The big message of this novel seems to be “seize the day” although it never actually says that. It was done beautifully and it’s hard to say which book I enjoyed more, the first one or this one. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Today is Release Day for Lander, J. Scott Coatsworth's epic second instalment of the Oberon Cycle!! See below for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt, and find buy links as well. My review will be coming very soon....
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
Format: paperback, ebook
Story Type: novel
Word Count: 90700
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genres: Sci Fi, MM Romance
Pairings: MM, also includes FF
Tropes: second chances, ex lovers
Keywords/Categories: Wingfic, Gay, LGBT fiction, Queer Sci Fi
Series Title: Oberon Cycle
Position (Number) in Series: 2
Necessary to Read Previous Books: Yes
Other Books in Series Available for Review?: yes
Book BlurbSometimes the world needs saving twice.
In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.
Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.
In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.
Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?
The Oberon Cycle: Book Two
Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.
Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.
What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.
Exclusive Excerpt from Lander
Quince struggled up the slope toward the cliff, trying to see far enough ahead to find a protected spot where they could rest.
Venin let her put an arm on his shoulder, supporting her. She was grateful for the kindness.
She’d considered flying, but the rain and wind were still heavy enough to make that a really bad idea. She’d been lucky to get off with just a sprained ankle in her last fall. What if she broke a wing?
For a brief moment, the rain let up.
Quince looked into the gray sky and then back the way they’d come. The shimmering air parted to reveal the ruined valley, half-filled with water from the storm.
She hoped Xander, Jameson, Kadin, and Alia had survived. “The prophecy never mentioned a flood,” she grumbled and turned back toward the ridgeline.
Venin laughed. “Prophecies are notoriously vague. Let’s keep going. We’re almost there.”
He seemed solid and steady. She needed both at the moment, though she’d never admit it.
They resumed their climb as the rain descended again in heavy sheets. Venin helped her clamber over slippery logs and boulders. She’d scraped up her knees several times, and the blood now flowed freely down both legs along with the rainwater. Her cuts were small enough to pose no immediate danger of blood loss, but she’d be lucky if they didn’t get infected.
At last they reached the white cliffs that ran along the south side of the valley. She stared up to the point where the limestone disappeared into the mist and rain above. “Which way?”
“West it is.”
They found a rock hollow about a hundred meters along the cliff face, with an overhang deep enough to give them respite from the rain. Quince pulled out her pulse pistol and used the laser sight to provide enough light to check for inhabitants. There were whipcats up in the mountains, and who knew what else. Luckily the hollow was empty, with a deep loam of leaves and dirt to provide them with some cushion.
“Looks like heaven to me.” Venin let her go in first.
She stooped and made her way under the protection of the cliff.
She was itching to return to Gaelan. The shift had many practical consequences, including the fact that OberCorp now shared a world with Errian and Gaelan, the skythane nations. The corporation was a clear and present danger to both, and the denizens of the Slander wouldn’t be far behind. She had promised Rogan a shitload of pith, after all, that she’d failed to deliver.
They’d have to do something about all those things, and figure out how to shift the damned Oberon half of the world back to its own universe once the flare was over. Otherwise the misplaced landers would soon take over all Titania—Erro now—and the skythane nations would never be the same. It looked like she was going to be needed, after all.
Until the storm passed, they were stuck.
She opened her carry sack and pulled out some more of her rations, and Venin did the same. She was still hungry. It had to be late afternoon, maybe? She’d lost all track of time in the rush from the Mountain and during the storm.
She took a bite of the remainder of the bread and dried fruit they’d brought with them. The bread was soaked through, but it filled her stomach with nourishment, and for that she was grateful.
They watched the rain fall outside.
“I’ve never seen a storm come up so hard and fast.” Venin chewed on some bread.
She offered him her canteen.
He shook his head and held up his own. “I brought something stronger.”
“What is it?”
“Mothrot, my mother called it. It’s a home-brew liquor, and it’ll take the sting out of just about anything. Want some?”
“Yes, please.” She had a lot of sting to lose. She took the flask and sipped it. It was about the vilest thing she had ever tasted. “Oh my gods, what’s in this?” She stared at the canteen with disgust.
He laughed. “Wait for it.”
“For what?” Then a warm feeling of contentment began to spread through her gut and out to her fingers and toes. “Oh man, that’s nice.” She looked at the canteen with new appreciation. “What’s in it?”
Venin grinned. “You don’t want to know. Splash a little on your wounds too. It’ll kill just about anything.”
She did. “Damn, that burns.”
He winked at her in the dim light. “That’s how you know it’s working.”
An errant breeze blew a splash of rainwater into the rock hollow. Quince laughed. “I imagine this storm is all the atmosphere on the split side of both worlds, forced out by the shift. Unintended consequences and all.”
Venin nodded. “There’s a whole mountain-sized pile of rubble out there that could fit under that header. What happened back there?”
Quince shook her head. “I don’t know. Something new. I still don’t understand how Morgan vanished. Or what he was.”
“Maybe a sneach?”
Quince shook her head. “I thought so at first too. But now…. He had his own agenda. But he helped us when we needed him most.” She could still see him, there between Xander and Jameson, pulling the worlds together. Then vanishing as if he’d never been.
“There are stranger things than we know in the world.” Venin held up his flask. “More ’rot?”
“No thanks. That little bit did the trick, I think. Tell your mother thanks for me the next time you see her.”
“Wish I could. She’s been dead three years now.”
Well, shit. “Sorry.”
He squeezed her shoulder in response.
They sat in silence for a while. Quince pulled out a clean, damp shirt from her carry sack and used it with some rainwater on her legs, wiping off her wounds as best she could. They were shallow—mostly just scrapes, but she longed for some warm water and soap to truly clean them out. The mothrot would have to do, for now.
City life had made her soft. Time to harden herself up again.
Buy and Review Links
Dreamspinner eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9317-b
Dreamspinner paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lander-by-j-scott-coatsworth-9318-b
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/lander/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088645-lande