Score: 92/100 (9.2 out of 10)
The Space Traveller's Lover is a roller-coaster ride of a sci-fi/romance novel by Omara Williams.
The book follows a hybrid alien-human being named Erin/Shaillah who lived much of her life as a sort of sleeper agent living among the humans on Earth. When Shaillah's people, the aliens known as the Rom-Ghenshar, touch bases with her to awaken her latent self, Shaillah finds herself in a very tough spot.
On one hand, she loves the Earth and its people, especially her best friend and love interest, Sam Sheppard. On the other hand, she also wants to prove her loyalty and gain a sense of belonging with her original alien tribe as well as becoming enamored with the handsome navigator of the Grand Fleet, Rothwen. Ultimately, Erin/Shaillah finds herself stuck between two opposing sides and between two men she loves in different ways.
The Space Traveller's Lover really is a roller-coaster ride, for better or for worse. What do we mean by that? Well, it started off on a pretty low note. The first 50 to 60 pages were incredibly slow and quite boring, to be honest. We also didn't buy into the romance angles until quite late in the book. However, this book really picked up and actually became quite interesting and even cool.
It's actually very cool that these aliens whom we expected to be benevolent actually had ulterior motives—and clever ones at that. Chief among the aliens is Kuzhma-Or, the leader of the “invincible” Grand Fleet who is known to be a conqueror of many worlds. Kuzhma-Or is effectively the main villain of the novel, however, he doesn't come across as pure evil or tyrannical—just as someone who is following what he perceives to be the natural order of things. What's interesting is that Shaillah (and the reader) get a very sympathetic understanding of the Rom-Ghenshar and Kuzhma-Or. Shaillah actually spends quite a bit of time getting to know them, and actually enjoys her time with them. It's not that much different from when John Sully befriends the Na'vi in Avatar and turns on the humans. The Rom-Ghenshar in this scenario are more like the humans in Avatar, but you get the point. They all seem to have a good reason and motivations to do what they're doing.
The one thing that's a bit strange is how robotic and unnatural the protagonist, Shaillah, begins to act about midway through this book. It's almost like she's been reprogrammed or brainwashed, and she kinda has been. The thing is, it's so sudden, abrupt, and seems unnatural. It also takes away from whatever emotional connection we initially had for her, though we do get some of that back eventually.
The technology and space travel in this book really impressed us. The most impressive thing about the technology in this book was how the aliens figured out how to transverse space-time in an instant, even in the absence of wormholes (which they scoff and laugh at as if it's an archaic concept). Also, this book actually makes sense of the existence of structures like Stone Hedge and the pyramids of Egypt since it is explained that the Rom-Ghenshar were on Earth basically helping the humans to build themselves a colony. Conflict ensued between the two, and tragically, it seems like the Rom-Ghenshar are out to get retribution on a totally separate generation of humans than the ones who turned on them centuries ago.
Oh, yeah, by the way... the Rom-Ghenshar and Shaillah have superpowers like telepathy and weather manipulation, which is actually really cool!
Check it out on Amazon!