Genre: Sci Fi Romance
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters - the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
Asha and Pax - strangers and enemies - find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource - information - viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.
Good sci fi romances are hard to find. I can only guess that this is because the romance reading masses have yet to discover the pleasures of this particular sub genre. I think its day to shine is coming though. Books like this are sure to help. It had intrigue and sexual tension from the start and is riddled with plot twists.
The author doesn't tell the reader everything up front. I love reading books like this if the writing is gripping and I like the characters. I'm quite happy to keep reading to figure out what the heck is going on. It takes a certain type of writing to skill to pull off and this author does it very well. For the first quarter of the book, there's a bit of a mystery around exactly how the two main characters ended up together. Even the characters don't know.
I liked Asha and Pax from the moment they appeared on the page. Despite their curious circumstances, the chemistry between them was instant and continued throughout the story. Just when it looks like everything might be alright between the two of them, tricky plot twists appear and pull them apart. I love how the author stayed true to the characters, even when I was wishing the romance would hurry up and blossom.
In the acknowledgements at the front of the book, the author mentions going to a ScienceOnlineSeattle seminar where they discussed "garage bio," a kind of DIY bioengineering that, among other things, has the potential to create havoc in our world. She uses this concept in her world building. I adore that! Taking a nugget of real life and twisting it into a whole new world is one of my favorite pastimes. The author won my heart with that little reveal. Plus I'd never heard of garage bio. Learning new things from romance novels is a quite pleasurable way to learn!
I'll definitely be looking for more books by this author.
I highly recommend this book to readers of sci fi and paranormal romance, as well as romance readers who like post-apocalyptic settings.