Thanson Nez thought his career as a Discretionary would take him to the stars, not strand him on a space station at the ass-end of the Empire. Thanks to his last client, he’s carrying a secret he can’t get rid of fast enough, but his oath to the guild means a swift, painful death if he shares it. Already desperate for help, he runs into yet more trouble: his ex, and an explosion that paralyzes the station moments after their uncomfortable reunion.
Kazra Ferdow, Station 43’s communications officer, is almost as blindsided by the return of his first love as he is by the sudden loss of power and life support. The station is a floating graveyard in the making, and something is turning its inhabitants into savage killers. Fighting human monsters and damaged tech, Kazra and Thanson must put aside their past long enough to try to save everyone.
The more light they shine into dark corners, the more Thanson realizes how many people might die for the secrets locked in his head—and what he’s willing to sacrifice to make sure Kazra isn’t one of them.
This is a short little scifi horror/romance story about two ex-lovers who meet again on a space station while on the run from angry zombies, assassins, and their own unresolved issues (it wasn’t a happy break-up).
I really liked this! I wish it was longer, as I didn’t entirely understand the background conspiracy plot which lead to the zombie outbreak. A little more room for worldbuilding would’ve made it more emotionally satisfying when the conspiracy came to light. As it was, I mostly didn’t care since it was barely there. And the characters, Kazra and Thanson, really stole the whole show.
They’re childhood sweethearts who broke up in a bad way, who haven’t seen each other for years, and Thanson’s got secrets that’re driving Kazra nuts. Betrayal! Abandonment! Not being able to trust each other because they’re both hurt and pretending they’re not hurt and there’s a lot of snark but it’s painful and then they have to go on the run and save each other and FEELINGS come to the SURFACE and then one of them almost dies and it’s SO GOOD.
It’s like all the worldbuilding that would’ve gone into the conspiracy plot went into the characters’ backgrounds, which totally works if you ignore the rest of the book except for the romance. And I definitely enjoyed the romance! But I did want to know just a little more about the other stuff, too.
More Kazra and Thanson wouldn’t have hurt, either. I loved watching them slowly crawl their way back into admitting they’re (still) in love and I very much want to see what happened to them after the end of this book.
Read: July 5, 2015