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Review: “Gyrfalcon” by Anna Butler

GyrfalconTitle: Gyrfalcon
Series: Taking Shield #1
Author: Anna Butler
Genre: Gay Science Fiction
Publisher: Anna Butler
Pages: 317

Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—or with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.


I’ve heard so many good things about this book and have wanted to read it for so long, that I began to worry it wouldn’t meet my expectations (I’m looking at you, A Tale of Two Cities and Moby Dick). Turns out, much to my delight, this story was full of awesome surprises.

First surprise–the author contacted me about a review. How awesome is that? And then the protagonist had my name! Well, he spells Bennet with one ‘t’ and I spell it with two, but still, I thought that was pretty cool. And the best surprise of all? Gyrfalcon exceeded all my expectations with flying rainbow colors.

Military science fiction/romance is one of my favorite genres. I love noir, science fiction, and I’m always looking for that book that’s sort of like Lethal Weapon but gay and in space. Though this wasn’t really like Lethal Weapon at all, the book was a perfect fit for me. If you enjoy slow burn gay science fiction romances, you definitely need to check this out.

The plot of Gyrfalcon kept me engaged with plenty of space battles, other worlds, creepy technology, and the like, but it also has great interpersonal conflicts and, of course, a LGBT love story. It gave me enough action with a touch of romance to raise the stakes–and my blood pressure. What more could a guy ask for?

Bennet is surprisingly complex. He has problems with his spouse, problems with his father, and problems with loneliness and asking for the intimacy he needs. However, despite being a younger captain of an intense covert military operation, the one problem he doesn’t seem have is with his job. That was until he–and only he–was sent on a suicide mission by the higher ups, right into enemy droid territory. Bummer. And the ship that’s going to take him to the boundaries of enemy space? Yup, captained by his father. Well that’s not going to be awkward!

On the Gyrfalcon, Flynn’s our up-and-coming potential recruit. As a pilot, he’s a bit cocky, hasn’t been in love before, and is dealing with all sorts of problems–professionally and personally–from his trampish behavior, but he’s good at what he does, maybe the best. Bennet’s been eyeing him throughout most of the book for the program, but then sparks fly and it’s anyone’s guess what the future will hold for the two of them. That is, if Bennet makes it back from this mission. *bites nails*

I’m always grateful when an author or a reader recommends my next new book love affair (I can be a tramp too, Flynn). It’s better than a cozy blanket, a fire, and a cup of hot cocoa on a brisk autumn day, and if you love this genre as much as I do, I’d also check out Translucid by Zen DiPietro and Zenith by Arshad Ahsanuddin. If you want something more MM Romance, I’d recommend Dark Space by Lisa Henry.

To boldy go!

Special Offer: Gyrfalcon is free until the 16th of April, 2017:

Ben Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys running, whisk(e)y, the mythical gluten-free doughnut, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is You can also find him on Goodreads:


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