SPOILER ALERT!

A Stranger in Skoria by John Tristan

A Stranger in Skoria - John Tristan

Short but sweet!

 

The world building was nicely done. It was very original and any inconsistencies were cleverly resolved (like understanding an alien species, or navigating different social and cultural mazes). You have to take on a speck of disbelief and go with it when seeing Jason reach Skoria through a never before seen purple storm raging the deserted road he was on. But this is a fantasy book and if that bit disturbed you, then most of the story will fail to meet your needs.

 

I liked that Jason wasn't the perfect male model, with sculpted abs, high IQ and perfect life, but a rather average guy, just having the bad luck of being dumped and needing some time away. While his traits might be average on Earth, he is anything but that on this new world with silver grass, populated by various species of aliens. He luckily stumbles (or is stumbled upon) by pirate Aedar Rictus. And with such an exotic backdrop, Jason's story unfolds. He feels drawn to the half alien-half machine kidnapper, ashamed for desiring his possessive handling, surprised by the strange, yet exhilarating connection he feels to Aedar. The feelings that spring between them seem a bit too sudden but can be overlooked when considering their mind link helped.

Aedar is the opposite of Jason. Stunningly built, confident and an almost outcast in his own world. A half breed, fighting tooth and nail for his place among the dwellers of Skoria. Despite him taking Jason as slave upon sight, he later redeems himself and frees the human. Luckily for him, Jason was already smitten and decides to remain by his side.

 

However, while I liked the characters and the story itself, I feel they could have offered more. I expected more information on the customs of the species, the cultural ways, wanted more sexual differences within a species as well as an increased variety of species. Aedar presented a fascinating past but there wasn't enough focus on it. In fact, the story seemed but a glimpse into a wholly different world. One I would have liked to know more about and investigate as well as see how the characters fit together and how they acted in every day life.

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