Title: Gravitational Attraction
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 266 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: A mysterious distress call draws the crew of courier ship Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting troop vessel–empty except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and a lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced.
Isaac knows firsthand what it’s like to be different and an outcast, and this cements their bond. Once a promising pilot, Isaac was left with a damaged body when his brain didn’t meld with the high-tech implant needed to fly fighter ships. Turk’s brain is no better. The result of a military experiment gone wrong, his natural abilities have been augmented to a dangerous degree.
When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.
Review: Gravitational Attraction follows Isaac and Turk, one a human, the other a member of the Drak’tar race, a Corzin warrior. The meet when Isaac, member of the ship Hermes, discovers a lone life form on a ship which had been attacked. As this life form, Turk, is nursed to health, a bond forms between the two men. When Turk is once again healthy, he is returned to his commission, only to be transferred into the hands of a man who had ill-intentions to use Turk’s unusual powers to further his own career. Through a series of unfortunate events, Turk escapes but not without injury to his new love, Isaac. What ensues is an inter-galactic, highly political game of chess.
From the start, it was clear Ms. Martinez has a powerful mastery of language. She built a fully-developed world—a glossary several pages long to explain various terms and even the sounds the Dark’tar race make when speaking is included in the frontmatter. The narrative and descriptions are deep and powerful. There isn’t a wasted word, each phrase painting an emotion, feeling, or image. I often found myself stopping just to marvel at how simply Ms. Martinez evoked a reaction from me just by a creative turn of phrase. It is not often that I enjoy a book for both its storyline and the sheer pleasure of the language used to deliver it. Finally, the relationship between Turk and Isaac is well-developed. I cared about their connection from the beginning and, as the story progressed, my connection to them grew.
This story moved at a leisurely pace, in terms of the action. Early on, there is a great deal of action coming to a head (within the first third of the book), resolving rather quickly. Then, time is spent developing the Drak’tar world and the family/cultural structure of the society. About two-thirds into the story, the original action story line re-emerges, creating additional conflict. This created a slightly disjointed reading experience, as if two stories were being told.
In many ways, there were two stories. One was the conflict between worlds and the other was the evolution of the central relationship. Had the conflict created when the original conflict was resolved threaded into the central part of the story, this sense of disconnectedness may have been alleviated. Regardless, there was no point where I felt the story dragged, and I ended up speeding through, anxious to find out how this talented author would bring things to a head and conclusion.
I definitely plan on reading more of Angel Martinez.
You can buy Gravitational Attraction here: