I just finished reading Angel Martinez’s MM sci fi book Gravitational Attraction, a title I’ve been meaning to get around to for more than two years. Anyone who knows me also knows how rare my free reading time is. So when things calmed down post-Christmas, I decided to finally jump in and read it.
The story is set in Martinez’s ESTO universe. In a nutshell, Isaac is a damaged ex-starship pilot working on an independent ship. Turk is a mostly human, strapping giant mercenary who is dealing with some damage of his own. They could be the solutions to each others’ problems, and soon they find themselves enmeshed in a fight that spans several star systems and threatens to destroy Turk’s homeworld.
I have always been impressed by Martinez’s apparent ease at characterization – it’s something I long to emulate. Turk and Isaac both have very clear, different characters that share a… well… gravitational attraction to one another, but even the minor characters in the ESTO world she has created are clean and crisp, especially Turk’s rakish cousin Nidar, the adorable hacker Rand, and the enigmatic matriarch of the alien race that… well, I’ve said too much. Suffice it to say that Martinez has a true gift for well-drawn, interesting characters.
In addition to being a great romance writer, she also gets the sci fi details right. She beta’d for my forthcoming novel Skythane, and pushed me hard to figure out the science behind the story which was kinda in my head but needed to be much more explicit on the written page.
Here, the GEM drive brings sci fi versimiltude to the story, and you can tell that she has taken the time to nail down many of the other aspects of the sci fi portion of the story that make the plot tick.
Gravitational Attraction feels a bit like a really good Star Trek film – set in a world where alien races comingle and try to uphold the best ideals of humanity – if Star Trek also featured a drop-dead gorgeous race of giant gay guys who like to carry far too many weapons (one of my favorite scenes in the whole book, BTW).
There are a few sex scenes in the story, and they were well done, but they don’t overwhelm the plot. Indeed, they serve to forward it in a positive way.
I’ve read a few of Martinez’s books, and so far this is my favorite (though they’ve all been good).
Only one thing wrong with it. It’s badly in need of a sequel.