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Guest Review: Sparks in the Dark – James Siewert

Sparks in the Dark - James Siewert

Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Marines

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Space: Where discovery and danger are two sides of the same coin.

Meet Albert ‘Buzz’ Buchanan, a retired space marine now freelancing as a gun for hire, who finds himself accepting a deal too good to turn down, even if it’s too good to be true.

Meet Thomas Cutter, a star-ship engineer who’s a lot more than what he first seems. He seeks knowledge and adventure, and the offer to team-up with the sexy space marine is just what Cutter’s been waiting for.

As our two heroes set out, they encounter more than they bargained for: a discovery of a lifetime, but only if they can escape with their lives. Will the galaxy reward them for their bravery, or will they fall victim to the great unknown?

Join Buzz and Cutter in their very first episode as they journey across the galaxy, finding high adventure and untold dangers in the darkness of space … along with discovering a friendship that promises so much more.

Warnings: Sexual situations.

The Review

Retired space marine Buzz Buchanan contracts out for security work, hoping to snag a posting worth high credits. Just back from a job aboard the CAPS-T civilian transport from Neptune to Proxima Centauri, dealing with hijackers, he’s ready for some downtime, and is waiting to get into Bow Ties space-station/nightclub.

Thomas Cutter loves his life as a human – he considers himself a Vortycian. He comes from the organic Vortycians that are now long extinct. He is a top notch engineer and can fix practically anything. He’s made his way to Bow Ties, and scopes out the big man waiting in line. Together they find a more quiet setting together. Buzz eventually has to leave, but he’s happy that he made a comfortable connection with Cutter.

When Buzz gets home, he finds that Lul has contacted him. There’s a contract that will pay some nice credits. As they discuss the details, it turns out that the job needs two more engineer. Buzz doesn’t hesitate to suggest Cutter.

Once Cutter accepts the job, he and Buzz are off to the Hassrethall for a four week hyper-stasis. The crew is headed to the dark recesses of space to bring back the N’Neclor, a freighter lost for three years and the property of the ATC (Alconalc Trade Conglomerate).

With Buzz along for security and protection and Cutter as an expert engineer, the crew is now formed, with both humans and other species with the expertise for such a recovery. Captain Orcalir (a Pyrazi); lead engineer Alison Ng; Danafor Gyrse (a Nexian); Alojzy Jankiewicz (a Martian); Mashek (a Jylrelanrian); Pi-namac (Alconalc jack); Dr. Curkahten (an Harculcorian); and HAM (a humanoid automated machine) of Captain Orcalir’s.

Two teams will board the N’Neclor. What they discover turns the whole mission into a terrifying experience. Everyone’s life is in danger, and the bottom line is death. Is Buzz about to loose more than his life?

Sparks In The Dark surprised me. It’s far different from what I normally read. I went into this book thinking it was going to be funny, but I was wrong. The novel offers a serious, suspenseful, exciting, action-packed thriller in deep space, filled with moments of conflict, trust and indecision.

Buzz takes center stage, flirting with danger and excitement from the very first chapter. He’s also easy to relate to, as he doesn’t always understand all the technical jargon. Buzz and Cutter are both smart and try to maintain their professionalism as they work side by side. Buzz is pretty cool – he’s doesn’t act all hard and tough.

The relationship that starts to form between Buzz and Cutter is very well written, and there’s just the right amount of romantic moments. I like that Buzz was eager to recommend Cutter for the upcoming assignment. Cutter is special, as he’s an incarnation and more than human. The connection between them works perfectly.

I loved how Siewert went deep into the two main characters, Buzz and Cutter, within the first two chapters. He does the same throughout the story with the different species and their cultures, explaining them clearly, along with descriptions of space, planets, gadgets and much more that kept me intrigued.

The cover is awesome too.

This is the first book I’ve read by James Siewert, and I’m hooked. I highly recommend Sparks In The Dark for those who love high tech sci-fi, with all kinds of different species, even humans. I am ready for the next exciting adventure in space, with Buzz and Cutter. Maybe Siewert will have Buzz and Cutter fighting space pirates in book two? I can only hope.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

 

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