A Bright Celestial Sea by Chani Lynn Feener

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a pleasant surprise. I chose this book rather randomly, because I wanted to read an M/M romance, and this was the first thing that popped up. But when I started reading, I realized that it is more of a mystery with the romance plot very elegantly woven in. I love it, when the romance is mixed in with interesting stuff happening outside of the actual romance arc and the main conflict is not just two lovers being too dumb to communicate properly. And in this book the blend of romance with sci-fi mystery works very well.

The main character, Pryor, works for an intergalactic task force of some sort and is sent to a world ship together with his partner and best friend Castor to solve a missing person’s case. A noble from that world ship takes a keen interest in the investigation and, as we soon learn, in Pryor himself.

The writing it fantastic and really pulls you in. The characters are interesting (with the main character Pryor being a bit angsty at times, but for good reason as we later find out) and the world building is excellent. It is more of a space opera world, but the author moves through it with confidence and gives it enough depth and details to make it believable.

The story has a few twists and turns, with a pretty gut wrenching one towards the end, but even that is set up so well, that once it happens (and once you discover from the fact that the rug has been pulled out from under you) you ask yourself: “Why the heck didn’t I see that one coming?” (I even did for a minute and then forgot about it again).

If there is any point of criticism I have it is that there is (quite common with M/M books) a lack of interesting female characters. There are female side characters, and some of them are even vital to the plot, but they remain very underdeveloped or don’t get much time on page.

This was the first book I’ve read by this author, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last. Full five stars from me.

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