Title: The Last Hour of Gann
Author: R. Lee Smith
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Summary (from goodreads.com)
It was her last chance:
Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth's first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq-a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world . . . but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her.
It was his last year of freedom:
Uyane Meoraq is a Sword of Sheul. God's own instrument of judgment, victor of hundreds of trials, with a conqueror's rights over all men. Or at least he was until his father's death. Now, without divine intervention, he will be forced to assume stewardship over House Uyane and lose the life he has always known. At the legendary temple of Xi'Matezh, Meoraq hopes to find the deliverance he seeks, but the humans he encounters on his pilgrimage may prove too great a test even for him . . . especially the one called Amber, behind whose monstrous appearance burns a woman's heart unlike any he has ever known.
Completely disregard that summary, and just trust me when I say this: YES YES YES.
Yes, this is a HUGE book. Oh, some 1277 pages, no biggie. Right?
Yes, we are talking alien romance here. Like, legit alien-human romance. Not aliens who just so happenly look like us (cough cough Jennifer Armentrout), but like LIZARDS.
And, um, it works.
Yes, I am basically fangirling over this monster of a book AND IT DESERVES MORE ATTENTION!
You would think a book this long would get majorly boring after a while, right? WRONG. Now, yes, it might be cliche at points, but it ain't boring. Frustrating? Yes. Boring? No.
Because it takes you on a roller coaster of a ride and doesn't give a flying poop about whether or not you scream your head off. Ups and downs and loops and sudden, potent, pivotal moments- oh yes, it's ALL there.
Like I warned previously before, it is lizard/alien and human romance. Skeptical?
As was I . . .
It really, really, reeeeeally worked. It was a perfectly slow build, and while I didn't really feel the sexual tension (eh . . . sorry, I just couldn't. Lizards don't have that effect on me.) it was all good in the hood!
Oh, man. I have conflicting feelings here.
First off, they are (for the most part) deep, complex characters. Many facets to them that Smith slowly but surely polishes and reveals to the readers.
Secondly, I commend Smith for creating characters that are real and not entirely 100% likable.
Now that that's done:
Amber, our main character, started off REALLY strong. Like, I felt strong and empowered just by reading about her! But then her flaws came out (i.e. her complete inability to see how her fellow humans used and abused her) and at times she seemed very weak. I hated those moments of hers; I got so frustrated and wanted to knock some sense into her!
I mean, seriously! When you're stranded on an alien planet with no laws to guide you, you slap the shit out of men who annoy you! Assert your dominance, and then beat them with a sharp stick just to make your point again. (If you're really feeling feisty, I advise sitting on them as well. Just for kicks.)
Meoraq, our alien paramour, fell kind of flat for me. While reading, he worked. He really did. But if I thought about having to deal with a Meoraq in real life, I'd be hopelessly bored and frustrated. Why? Because he's so stubborn and set in his ideas and won't listen to any outside reason (90% of the time). While that's all fine and dandy for a male lead in a romance novel, I was kind of hoping for something more. Everything else was so GOOD and then Meoraq was so stereotypically MALE.
One wee concern:
I'm no feminist (ughhh bring on the hate) by any means, but the society of Gann was SO. DANG. SEXIST!
I don't even want to explain how annoying and angry it made me.
I mean, I get it I guess, but . . . REALLY?!?
It's not unbearable, but it did raise my hackles. I also may have wanted to slap someone (repeatedly), but whatever.
IT'S A GREAT BOOK EVERYONE. Seriously, go out and read it if fantasy or sci-fi is your thing!! If you like the first few chapters, you will devour the rest of the it. Trust me, and all the many, MANY others, when we say it's fan-freaking-tastic. Lizard aliens and all.
Hugs and kisses~~~~