Touched by the Fire of the Sun. That title gives the book something of a series feel from the cover. It really is something other than what is pitched on the front (a graphic that feels like an anime version of Marvel’s Multiple Man/Jamie Madrox.) Flipping to the back we find it’s something more of a SF rom-com, and that’s a genre there are not enough of. Everything these days are ripped bodices and turgid members. I’d prefer not to break into a nervous sweat during romance scenes in a book.
While this isn’t exactly an adult romance with Calvin’s cardboard cloning machine, I certainly wondered if Bill Watterson’s classic strip might have had some kind of inspiration. I also wondered what it would be like to watch author LeVar Ravel try to flirt with girls. I assume some of that tongue in cheek wordplay like “how do you like my graduated cylinder” comes from real life, laughable situations. Those and Zelda’s frequent romantic bumbles (which I find all too relatable.)
All in all, I felt it a little long. The writing is fine, even if it could be tighter in some places (meaning both the tightness of the prose and also the actual length), but I’m used to a different genre entirely, so that could be me. It’s a solid book, and any story with as many references to MacGuyver can’t be bad, right?
There is enough intrigue to keep the story moving without being a straight-up comedy and enough aside moments to keep it from waxing too serious. It strikes a pleasant middle ground where it could be a perfect guilty read. I got a free copy in exchange for a review on Inside the Inkwell Blog. You can check it out by clicking this link.