Title: Letting Lier and Finding Pax
Author: Harper Moon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal, Vampires
Commander Raze is on a mission to capture the exiled Prince Lier. Tension between Raze and Lier blur the line between past and present.
For refusing the crown and renouncing his title, Prince Lier was eternally banished from the planet of Arden. After finding asylum in a Deep Space colony, he took a position in a bordello as the Master of Ceremonies. During Lier’s exile, Emperor Sardius I conquered Arden and slaughtered Lier’s people. From the destruction arose a new species dependent on blood. Seizing the opportunity, Sardius praises vampirism and blueprints mass blood manufacturing with Lier’s blood as the key. Lier is not only the last of his kind, but his blood is strangely addictive.
On a mission to capture Lier, Commander Raze, son of Sardius, can’t help but try it for himself. When he does, he experiences strange flashbacks of himself with Lier. Tense relations between captor and captive blur the line between past and present.
During the perilous journey to Arden, forces opposed to Sardius attempt to rescue their lost prince. Raze’s mission changes from retrieval to survival. Soon it becomes clear that, although neither man recognizes what the other has become, this meeting is not their first. And by no means will it be their last.
I have struggled with this book and writing this review, not because it was badly written but because of the story matter. I should have loved it, set in a fantasy/sci-fi world with magic and baddies with vampire tendencies it hit all my buttons but sadly by a third of way through I was losing interest and by the end I just wanted it to finish.
This story is about two young men Lier and Pax who grew up as Princes on their planet, but as Princes in opposing factions who can never be more than friends and political allies. Opposing factions where one side is magical and the other their protectors. As the story unfolds we learn that Lier and Pax crossed the line of friendship and allies and became lovers but in a fit of misunderstanding Lier refuses to ascend his throne and is subsequently disowned and banished from his planet.
Years later on a planet far away we meet Lier working as an entertainer and part-time whore, but his whoring seems to be more about vampiric aliens Regulites or Regulans (I forget which) drinking his blood. We learn that Lier’s planet has been conquered and everyone slaughtered leaving Lier as the last of his kind and his blood is magical and addictive.
After everyone at the bordello is killed Lier is taken prisoner and off planet by Commander Raze who bears a strange resemblance to Lier’s first love Paz.
The story follows them across the galaxy as Raze tries to take Lier back to his evil father, Emperor Sardius I to become the messiah of a twisted religion based on blood drinking. I never did entirely understand what that was all about and unfortunately as the story progressed I cared less and less about Lier and Raze and the Emperor’s twisted plans. I was constantly confused by multiple planets all with names beginning with the letter A. Aliens with names too similar to each other and random other characters that didn’t seem to serve a purpose.
And all through this confusion Lier kept escaping Raze only to return to him in a fit of guilt and twisted love promising to never leave again only to be abused some more.
Finally the story just stopped. No real conclusion it just ended. Yes Raze had reverted to Paz but Emperor Sardius was still after them and other characters were left hanging.
Ultimately this book is about abuse and how a victim can keep returning to their abuser hoping that things will have improved and that with their love the abuser can become better. A subject matter that whilst very worthy and serious is not what I wanted to read about in a fantasy/sci-fi world.
Overall this story left me with a bad taste in my mouth and feeling extremely disappointed. It has far too much angst from Lier and not enough of Paz’ back story for me to feel that I understood his character and why what was happening was happening. A desire to understand what Sardius had done to Paz to turn him into Raze was the only thing that kept me reading at the end, but I’m not sure I ever really got to the bottom of that question. I’m assuming Harper Moon is planning to write another book continuing the story but I’m afraid I won’t be volunteering to read it.
As I said disappointing.
Reviewed by Smidgeson.