Title: Changing Worlds
Author: Cari Z.
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Characters: Jason Kim, Ferran
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction, Erotic Romance, Series
In this sequel to Cari Z’s Opening Worlds, former starship captain Jason Kim travels to Perelan, the home world of his lover, Ferran, to start a life together. The ruling council of the Perels have allowed this unconventional union to continue in the hopes of strengthening relations between themselves and the humans. And while Ferran’s family welcome Jason with open arms, not all of the other major families are as pleased. The arrival of an outsider to their insular, subterranean world challenges the traditions of centuries.
Tensions soar as old rivalries are rekindled in the wake of Jason and Ferran’s relationship. Inevitably, something snaps. Jason and Ferran soon find themselves literally fighting for their lives when xenophobic anger pushes things beyond the breaking point. Only their devotion to one another can see them through, but a ghost from Jason’s past threatens even that. With Perelan on the brink of civil war, Jason and Ferran must find a way to stand together in the face of chaos and to change the world on their own terms before it tears itself apart.
Cari Z. is a fairly new author for me. I’ve read one other book written by her and I really enjoyed it, so I admit I was looking forward to reading and reviewing Changing Worlds. Science-fiction romance isn’t one of my favorite genres, but I still enjoy them. I have to confess that after reading this book, not only am I sold on the author, but I’ll have reevaluate my hesitation on reading the genre as well.
Jason is a captain of a spaceship that carried passengers around the universe to visit other planets and species. A year ago, Jason and his partner broke up because one of the males/aliens from the planet, Perelan, had slept with his lover. The males from Perelan are known to be a very sexual people, and often like to brag about their conquest in particular with human males. Since this betrayal, Jason has emotionally shut himself off from others, and has been going through the motions of life. When Jason meets the very uniquely beautiful, Ferran and Ferran’s two cousins, he is to take them to some surrounding planets and then back to Perelan. After this vacation all three of them are to be married off to powerful females, and then will live basically in a harem with other Perelan men. Since the males are primarily used for breeding, Ferran is not as valued to his race because he is sterile. But since his mother is a very powerful ruler of Perelan, this still makes him important and he’s still expected to marry.
As soon as Ferran meets Jason he is immediately captivated by him and despite Jason’s reservations about Ferran and his race, he too feels the heavy attraction between them. At first, Jason does what he can to push Ferran and the attraction they feel for each other aside, but as he continues to run into him, he soon gives into it and they form a deep friendship and bond between them. As the weeks go by, the two fall in love with each other, but they know their relationship is doomed. Ferran must return to his duties at home, leaving Jason behind.
Jason is heartbroken and returns to his home planet for some much needed solitude. Several weeks later he is approached by an Ambassador offering him a deal. He can marry Ferran and live with him for at least a year. During this time, he will accompany Ferran with missions for Perelan’s behalf. Stunned and thrilled to have a chance of a life with Ferran, Jason agrees and within a week the two heroes are taken back to Perelan. As soon as they arrive, there is trouble for Jason. There are some Perels who do not like Jason because he is an outsider and has married Ferran. Plus, he isn’t able to see Ferran as much because his lover is going through much education so he will be a good diplomat for his world. As the weeks and months go by, each hero is put through a lot. Jason in particular, has to prove himself time and time again to some Perels, and he’s still not readily accepted. Jason finds himself constantly fighting for his right to stay on Perelan and to remain married to the man he loves.
I really loved this book! I was so enthralled by the storyline; I read the book in one setting. Both Jason and Ferran are well-written and unique characters that I found very appealing. Even the secondary characters in the book, lived and breathed off of the written page. Ms. Z’s descriptive writing swept me away to other worlds, where I could easily visualize the characters surroundings as easily as if I were standing there with them. Most importantly, I loved the emotional connection and bond between Jason and Ferran. Never once did I believe they were not meant to be together, and I loved how they felt like two-halves of one whole.
Jason and Ferran’s characters do a lot of self-evolving throughout the novel. Jason changes from a man who basically just existed, to a man who lived and had a purpose in life. As much I like and admired, Jason, it was Ferran who intrigued me the most throughout the book. He’s got a heart of gold, and his sheer determination to have Jason as his partner in life, and to do what’s right for his home planet made me adore him. Plus, he’s so sexy! Whew! Jason honestly never stood a chance once Ferran set his eyes on him!
I urge anyone who has never read a science fiction romance to give Changing Worlds a try. Between the amazing storytelling ability, Cari Z, has and her loveable, well-written characters, Changing Worlds has definitely earned a place on my keeper shelf. My only gripe about the book was that I hated to see it come to an end. Even though it did leave me with a few unanswered questions, I hope that means I’ll be seeing more of these wonderful characters in the future.
Reviewed By: Gabbi