Why did I get it: I loved the cover. In addition to that, I find the idea of an alien prison planet intriguing, and I love gay romance novels.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
My Summary: Aleron Pitre, an accomplished thief, ends up sentenced to life on a mining and prison planet called Tantoret, an inhospitable world where, if the other prisoners don’t kill you, the chojal poisoning will.
While still adjusting to the ways of the prisoners and the customs of the Athaki guards who are strong and dangerous alien overseers, Aleron ends up attracting mostly negative attention and trouble. When the head guard Jasak protects him from a punishment by claiming him as his mate, Aleron has to choose between finally belonging somewhere and to someone or escaping as quickly as possible.
My Review: I admit that I was a little concerned when I realized that Jamie Craig was two authors writing a book together, but my fears amounted to nothing. The writing was wonderful and I honestly couldn’t actually tell that two people had worked on it.
I think both authors did an excellent job of introducing the reader to the Athaki culture without taking away from other aspects of the book. I enjoyed the plot, the prison planet, and all the little conspiracies going on throughout Tanonret. I felt like these elements really added to the book so that it wasn’t just simply a gay romance story, but a story about people in a science fiction universe as well.
Aleron was a very likable character as was Jasak. I enjoyed reading about how they found one another and how they developed a real relationship out of a bad set of circumstances. The complexities of both characters were also handled very well. The evolution of their bond felt natural and never at all forced. Despite knowing they were going to end up together for at least a little while if nothing else, I was really rooting for them to stay together.
Both Jasak and Aleron remained equally important as far as narration was concerned as they sought to become one another’s partner. I found it refreshing that Aleron was really the one making sure things worked out in the end and that he took a lot of initiative despite being more at a disadvantage since he was a prisoner. And for all his control, Jasak was a fascinating combination of capable, stoic leader and vulnerable, repentant loner.
In conclusion, what a great book! I am so glad I read this. I want more from Jamie Craig as soon as possible.
For those interested, the e-book of Outcast Mine will be officially released on February 14th, 2011. I’ll be buying a copy of it then myself.