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REVIEW: The Light Years – R.W.W. Greene

The Light Years - R.W.W. Greene

Genre: Space Opera, Sci Fi

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Gender Fluid, Poly, Robosexual

Reviewer: Mark

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About The Book

Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family’s sub-light starship, the Hajj. 

Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger. 

Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.

File Under: Science Fiction [ E=mc2 | Happy wife, Happy life | Marital Bliss | Light Years Away ]

The Review

Maintenance Engineer Adem Sadiq lives aboard the family-run starship, Hajj. Plying trade between the colonies life isn’t easy. But things are about to change for Adem, for his family have organised a bride for him, sponsoring the birth of a child gene-tailored to the ship’s requirements.

Time is relative, a few months aboard ship means many years have passed for those who remain behind planet-bound; and when the Hajj returns Adem’s bride Hisako is all grown up. Her bridal purse means that she is well educated and her family have lived relatively well, yet she resents the fact that her parents ‘sold’ her to someone she’s never met.

We have to feel for the bride, who’s about to be torn from the life she knows and married off to someone she has never met. Will she be able to love him, to even stand him; and how will she find life aboard ship knowing that when she returns from their voyages no doubt her family will have either aged dramatically or even passed on?

When the pair finally meet they discover a mutual interest in music, which begins to draw them together. A chance discovery means they’ll could easily have an edge over their competition and it’s here that Hisako comes into her own.

It’s unusual to find such a family-oriented book and that really gelled with me. In particular I enjoyed the Arabic atmosphere, the backstory of how the colonies were created and how communication with Earth and much technology has since been lost.

There’s a strong disparity on how the poor and wealthy live planet-side, and one feels the rumblings of discontent. I loved the concept of future brides being designed to need, life aboard ship, and how family love binds this crew together. The realism of conflicted emotions between husband and wife comes over well, and you find yourself hoping it all works out for them.

Greene writes well. The world building is excellent and with his description you soon find yourself immersed in the tale. I keenly look forward to further novels from this author.

The Reviewer

Mark worked as Far Eastern Correspondent for several magazines while based in Hong Kong. He’s also had short stories and poetry published in a variety of markets, plus three novels, a non-fiction book and a short story collection professionally published. He runs several writing groups and holds a Masters in Professional writing.

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