Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: Santuario

Santuario by G.B. Gordon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera with Western flavor and police procedural suspense/mystery; M/M romance
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of M/M romantic suspense
Trigger Warnings: violence, unwanted sexual advances (not quite bad enough to warrant the description “assault” as it was just grabbing and a forced kiss and the one being advanced on could have stopped things if it went too far), murder, attempted murder, torture

My Thoughts: This book is like a crazy quilt in a lot of ways. The writer has put the characters on a different world, making it science fiction. It's Space Opera in that it's highly dramatic with some romance elements. The setting is created to be sort of like Mexico, I think, with almost a Westernish feel to it at times. And the main characters—two men that are drawn together romantically—are trying to solve a murder. I think the only element missing from this book to include even more genres would be some paranormal elements or monsters or something. It's incredibly ambitious. And as a result, it could have been a hot mess.

It wasn't.

I actually quite enjoyed the story. The characters are realistic and the development of the relationship between Alex and Bengt was realistic, as were Alex's reactions when he learned Bengt was gay. Bengt essentially told him, what, did you think you would have to walk around all the time with your back to a wall? I laughed so hard at that, because that's how so many men act, as though gay men are ravaging sex beasts that chase after any piece of tail they see.

The conditions on Santuario were heartbreaking, and the push for freedom by the underground was handled well too. All in all, a very satisfying read. If you enjoy M/M romantic suspense (which is what this is officially labeled), then you will probably enjoy the story. Check it out.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Police teniente Alex Rukow has spent his life trapped on Santuario, his people’s isolated home-slash-prison-island. They’ve been living in poverty under the tyrannical regime of their own elite familias for the last two-hundred years, ever since their generation ship landed on the planet and found it already populated by earlier Earth settlers, the Skanians, who banished them to the inhospitable south.

Increasingly shamed by the decisions of their ancestors, the Skanians seek to open their borders. But dissent exists on both sides, and in the midst of this explosive political situation, a dead body appears on the island.

Bengt, a Skanian investigator, is shipped to Santuario to lead the murder investigation—which, he quickly realizes, the local teniente wants nothing to do with. As far as Bengt is concerned, things can’t get worse than the brutal climate, his own memories, and a growing attraction to a partner who will barely say two words to him. But then he and Alex run afoul of the local familias, and the problems with their investigation and their budding relationship seem like nothing compared to just getting out of this whole mess alive.

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