Monthly Mini Review
To See The Sun by Kelly Jensen, narrated by TJ Clark – B Gael Sonnen is a young man living in the undercity of his home planet, Zhemosen, never allowed to see the sun which is only for the wealthy and privileged who live above ground. He’s also beholden to a bad guy because reasons. When said bad guy requires Gael to murder someone, he is unable to go through with it. With the help of a friend, Gael flees to Alkirak as a kind of “mail order groom” on a “companion contract”. Alkirak is very far away from Zhemosen way out of reach of the commonwealth law; a kind of wild west frontier planet, still being terraformed. Abraham (Bram) Bauer is an older guy who is lonely and looking for more than just hook ups. He can get hook ups easily enough but he wants more.
His friend suggests a companion contract and when he sees Gael’s “holo video” he is smitten. Bram is a farmer and a miner and life is fairly hard where he is but as difficult as things are, for Gael it is a paradise compared to where he grew up (even though he doesn’t immediately see that is the case).
I don’t want to give too much way but I will say there is a strong found family vibe and I was here for it.
I liked the gradual slow burn of the romance and how Gael and Bram made a family together. The last section felt a bit out of left field and I wasn’t convinced the narrative had truly set up the scenario but it wasn’t the main part of the story and I guess things had to come to a head somehow.
For me the core of the story was the romance between Bram and Gael and that worked really well for me so I am calling this listen good.
I enjoyed the world building which was enough to give me a clear sense of life on Alkirak and the politics of the universe but wasn’t too dense or intrusive, drawing on some familiar tropes to import some of the sense of place. The detail about the atmosphere on Alkirak and the safety protocols needed to safely navigate it were well done and helped set the story apart as well.
The narration by TJ Clark was very good. He seems to be fairly new to the gig but he did very well and I was impressed. He’s a narrator to watch out for.
Coming Soon on Audio
Reviews of these books will be up soon at AudioGals.
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