Book Reviews

Ostakis by Angelica Primm at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Nonbinary / Genderfluid / Science Fiction / Aliens / Other Planets / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 19-April-2019

Book Blurb

The Human Planets Collective sent young Ambassador Kaj Deder to the former colony planet Ostakis to establish relations. But in the twenty-five hundred years since Earth lost contact with Ostakis, the people of that colony have dramatically changed. Kaj is tasked with finding the reason for these changes while he forges trade links between the HPC and Ostakis. Without trade with the HPC, the dwindling resources of Ostakis will ultimately end human life on the planet. But his mission faces a huge obstacle in the form of Most Reverend Thyenn Sharr, the head of the Faith Progressive Church, who sees the arrival of Kaj as the beginning of the end of the Church. Kaj’s powerful attraction to Trademaster Klath’s son, Arlan does not smooth relations.

 

Arlan Klath, the son of the Trademaster of Ostakis, bears the secret that the pious people of his planet want to hide from the homeworld and the HPC. The Curse of the Unspoken, wrought through the unspeakable acts of the First Colonists, afflicts all Ostakians, but some more strongly than others. Arlan is totally Cursed, considered born sinful and he lives without legal rights or property. He is scrutinized by Sharr who is enraged that Arlan’s father defiantly refuses to submit Arlan to a cruel act to “redeem” Arlan’s soul. The stakes increase when Arlan and Kaj form a relationship that Thyenn Sharr considers ample justification to usurp the Trademaster position through the power of his Church.

 

Book Review

“Modern and old, wide and close, bright and dark, these were the contrasts of my new home. In which light would I stand in the coming days? Despite the heat, I shivered, because I did not know the answer.” ~ Kaj

It has been quite a while since I have read a science-fiction story and there was something in the blurb for ‘Ostakis’, something merely hinted at, that had me very curious as to what Kaj was going to find on this planet and who the Cursed are. Kaj has come to this planet, originally settled by colonists from Earth, as an ambassador in hopes of setting up trade but also to get a clearer picture of what has happened to the Earth-related humans here in the twenty-five centuries since Earth last had contact. What he finds is something he never could have foreseen.

Kaj is only forty-eight hours into his stay on Ostakis when everything basically goes to hell in a handbasket. Unfortunately, there is a lot to this story that I can’t reveal as it would be gigantic spoilers and I’m not going to ruin the read for another. What I can say is Kaj is disgusted by the culture he sees with some people being more important than others and by a religion that leads by fear, intimidation, and scare tactics. It takes Kaj a while to discover all the secrets this unique world is keeping but he’s determined to understand, not just Ostakian society, but also Arlan.

“This world was too foreign to me. I did not understand it. Or rather I did parse it, but it repulsed me. Earth learned long ago that it is senseless and wrong to devalue any person. We no longer have religion, not in the sense that these people do. Instead, the general population subscribed to a set of principles. One is, “All prejudices are lies.” ~ Kaj

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book was even better than I had expected. Even though I can’t share many details, I can relay the excitement of the story, the intrigue and mystery surrounding Ostakis and its society/culture, plus the love story that blossomed between Kaj and Arlan. The political machinations that took place were suspenseful and kept me on my toes wondering what was going to happen next.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and can easily recommend it. If you like science-fiction with a plausible worldbuild, a planet full of secrets, and a love story borne of fate, then this might be the story for you.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by XXX for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 52600 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-February-2019
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link https://ninestarpress.com/product/ostakis/