Book One of the Oarthecan Star Saga
Size: 0.00 x 9.00 in
An unexpected romance. A space-heist gone wrong. A galactic catastrophe in the making.
At the furthest reaches of the known galaxy, cyber-thief Rowland Hale’s biggest score turns into a fight for his life. Beaten but not broken, ex-navy captain Toar Grithrawrscion can save that life, but only by risking his own.
With a toothy foe hell-bent on domination, can these two unlikely heroes come together and not only save the galaxy, but each other? Their destiny is in their hands, but only if they keep their hands to themselves.
A high-adventure space epic with a touch of charming romance, Allure of Oartheca tells the story of two men from different worlds who must face battles both from without and from deep within – an Allure that whispers promises of rapture and destruction, that dares not be risked, and cannot be refused.
If our heroes give up, they fail. If they give in, they fail too – and the fate of the universe rests in the balance.
Publisher: Independently Published
K.C. Finn on Readers' Favorite Book Reviews wrote:
Everything was going to plan until the Pryok’tel attacked. In moments, Rowland Hale lost both his crew and the biggest prize in his criminal career. He would have lost his life too if it weren’t for Toar Grithrawrscion. Once a decorated navy captain of high esteem, Toar now lives in disgrace as the captain of an Oarthecan mining station. Saving Rowland had been a risk, one that continues to grow the longer he’s around. But a greater threat looms on the horizon. In the hands of the Pryok’tel, Rowland’s treasure will become a powerful weapon that threatens all life across the galaxy. Together, Rowland and Toar must try to stop the Pryok’tel before it’s too late.
I was pleasantly surprised by this space opera romance. Siewert builds an intriguing and dynamic world that stands out from a lot of others in this sub-genre. Though both Toar and Rowland live at the fringes and are guided by their personal beliefs and experiences, they are also clearly influenced by the greater societies that they are/were part of. Rowland acts as one would expect a human to act while Toar reflects the culture established for his own race: the Oarth. Though we are only given brief snapshots of other galactic races that exist in this world, each has a definitive set of beliefs and lifestyles that are influenced by the planet from which they originate and affect how they relate to others. It is clear that there is still so much of this world to explore and I look forward to future books in this saga!
Though this book features a relationship between a human and a physically ‘bear-like’ species, the pairing is still made to feel natural. I also appreciate seeing a homogeneous relationship (male/male) where sexual orientation is not the main focus. There are some explicit scenes and the nature of sexual relationships is explored at length through Toar’s character. However, I did not find any of these to be particularly vulgar. Though there is a lot of action, Toar and Rowland’s relationship is the central focus of this story. As a result, those looking for a more traditional space opera might find the pacing a little slow.
Overall, this is an excellent sci-fi romance to the right audience. It is important to assess your personal comfort level before reading. However, once you start, this book is hard to put down!
Allure of Oartheca falls into the science fiction, space opera, and LGBTQIA+ sub-genres, and was penned by author James Siewert as part of the Oarthecan Star Saga of novels. The book is recommended for mature adult reading owing to the presence of graphic violence, explicit language, and scenes of a sexual nature. In this intrepid and highly ambitious work of episodic adventures, we follow the exploits of two fated individuals with darkness in their pasts, brought together by chance and pushed to the limits of their bodies and souls. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, cybercriminal Rowland Hale and the once-successful, now-diminished Toar Grithrawrscion will find a lot more than they bargained for as the galaxy throws its worst at them. But together, they might just make it through their pain and find what they’re seeking in life.
Author James Siewert tells a truly epic adventure in this meticulously crafted and gorgeously penned space opera, delivering emotional hardship, thrilling high-octane action, danger around every corner, and steamy romance in its more mature scenes. For anyone seeking an accurately represented presence of LGBTQIA+ in their science fiction, you need to look no further than the authentic and non-gimmicky presence of Siewert’s characters, who are beautifully drawn, realistically damaged by their difficult lives, and very admirable for what the plot puts them through and how they rise to each challenge. I also enjoyed the worldbuilding of the piece, which I felt gave plenty of intricate details on how the setup works and leaves loads of room to explore more facets of this excellent space saga in the future, which I would certainly love to do. So for any readers seeking an explosive work of science fiction with exciting characters and a truly relatable romance, I would definitely recommend Allure of Oartheca.