Title: Awake My Soul
Author: CE Kilgore
Genre: Space Opera/Scifi Romance
Publisher: Tracing the Stars
Available: Amazon $2.99 (Kindle) 71 pages
Bred to be a perfected example of Xen'dari genetic code, Hark had always known that something about him was slightly askew when compared to the rest of the Xen’dari in line. He could tell that there was a slight variation. He could feel it, but there was still something missing. Something within him that remained slumbering, awaiting the spirit that would awaken his soul.
Zasi was not certain what to make of the blue-eyed man found nearly dead in space, but one thing became quickly clear. He was not the typical Xen'dari that she, a proud Ruisk, had come to loathe and fear. Something about him called to her spirit and asked her to see past what he was to help him discover who he could become.
What I liked:
This is a book that deals with discrimination, subjugation, and diversity. All things even our civilized Western society still suffers from, and it was great to see it tackled so head on and so well in this story. As always the world building is well done and interesting, and continues to build on the Corwint universe.
What I didn't like:
The romance was too rushed and not believable for me. I also found the conflict at the end resolved too quickly and easily. Much as I'd love years of intolerance and cultural brainwashing to be stamped out so instantly and with no bloodshed, but even in fiction I find it unbelievable. Not for the central characters so much, particularly Hark, as we see their understanding grow and know their background, but for all the secondary characters to just fall in line with a short speech didn't ring true. I would like to have seen this acceptance and understanding take place at a more natural pace and with the inevitable conflicts.
I don't normally post reviews for books that I rate three stars, or review or rate anything less than that, but since I've reviewed all the other books in the series so far I couldn't really skip one. Although well written and enjoyable, the rushed romance and too pat resolution spoiled it for me and left me dissatisfied with this particular title. Still worth reading as part of the universe to learn more of the races, cultures and characters making it up, but not the best of the bunch.