Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Starlight

Starlight by Arshad Ahsanuddin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Note: This re-read was of a potential 3rd edition omnibus paperback that includes elements of some of the novellas.

Disclosure: I edited the original, 1st edition manuscript in late 2011. I have just finished a re-read as a beta-reader of a proposed new edition paperback that includes elements of some of the novellas and a new epilogue. I do not receive any monetary compensation for my opinions about this book.

Synopsis: Secrets and lies are the watchwords of Starlight, the fourth chapter of the gay vampire saga Pact Arcanum. After over thirty thousand years of war, something new walks the Earth, which may be the greatest weapon yet in the war between the races.

Earth, 2142. A century after his father’s death, Antonio Jameson has returned home to pay his respects to a man he never had a chance to know, but has always resented. Captain of the Jumpvessel Singularity, he has spent his entire adult life navigating the void between the stars, blissfully avoiding any part of the fate that the higher powers had decreed for him in the war between the White Wind and the Red. But in a world where immortality is commonplace, death is not always what it seems, and destiny is not so easily cast aside.

My Thoughts: If you have seen my reviews, you know I'm a fan of the Pact Arcanum, and of Ahsanuddin's wonderful writing style. The plot in this one is just a wonderfully smooth, beautifully detailed, and engaging as in each of the previous books. It is obvious that the author has put a lot of work into getting this book "just right". I was one of the fortunate ones who was able to see this one develop from an outline to a finished product as a beta reader and editor at an intermediate level (there were some before me and some after me, so I was not the only one to put a red pen to this book), and that was a great experience. If you still haven't experienced the Pact Arcanum, I highly recommend you do so, now that there are four books and a few short stories and novellas out there to feast on - because trust me, once you get started, you'll want to immerse yourself into these books. This is not "Twilight for gay men," but a rich story that is developed perfectly and will appeal to a wide range of readers - fans of vampires, space opera, near-future sci fi, magical reality, and so forth. As always, I highly recommend the Pact Arcanum and hope that you will take the opportunity that a new book in the series gives you to join in the fun.

I really love what Arshad has done with this proposed new edition - the extras put in since the originally developed story add to the richness. I spent a lot of time during the last 20 percent of the book crying, but it was a good thing - bittersweet tears, some out of sorrow, some out of joy. I've mentioned in previous reviews that these characters have become real to me - I would love to know these people. I think it is a real sign of talent for an author to create that kind of devotion in a reader, and I can't praise these books highly enough. If you have not yet experienced the Pact Arcanum, after all my raving about them, what's keeping you? Go, read them!

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  1. Cool! Thanks for this one. It's new and the authors new to me too.

    1. He's still building his following - just be aware this is book 4 in the series, and there are also a number of novellas sprinkled through the series. It should be all up-to-date on Goodreads...


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