1) I took a long time trying to figure out how to rate this. It’s an ambitious story with characters that are not strictly LGBTQIA. Rather, they are aliens—a combination of mechanical and organic, with an insectile appearance—that have a sense of gender that is also completely alien. That’s a difficult thing to pull off, and the author pulls it off very well. Although the sex scenes were too, well, alien for me to get into, they were well done and in keeping with the character of the story. What really impressed me was how the author managed to draw me in so completely to an emotional and social system that was also very, very alien. I felt for these characters and wanted them to succeed. The social and emotional systems were complex, well drawn, and fascinating. And the writing, which was beautiful, wrapped it all up into a neat package. I found this story engrossing, engaging, and exceedingly well constructed. Well done, Ms. Winter.
2) This was an utterly engrossing read. Isobelle Winter has created a unique civilisation of insectile rather than humanoid characters, complete with customs, castes and superb world building. The book is well paced and the plot carefully crafted. I look forward to reading more by this author. The only thing I didn't like was the use of ne, nem and nir in place of he, him and his.
Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter
Transgender - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 11, 2017)
Amazon: Dangerous Times Isobelle Winter
Over seven hundred star systems have been colonized by the Augment Empire, a cybernetic species that requires organic tissues to process food into usable fuel. When the cruel King Taen attempts to appropriate the lands of Lord Mavren, ne instead makes an enemy of the once-loyal lord, and turns all the power of the Empire against itself in a brutal civil war. Young and ambitious Nact moves swiftly up the ranks of Mavren's rebel army to the coveted post of General. To cement nir position, and prove once and for all the lower castes are just as capable as the highest nobility, ne has only one task left to accomplish: capture Lord General Aiomonni, the brilliant, lethal head of King Taen's military... and Mavren's defected lover. When the disastrous aftermath of a battle flings Nact and Aiomonni beyond the charted galaxy to land on a hostile planet, their only hope of survival lies in cooperation. But being enemies makes finding common ground impossible, and no matter how compelling Nact finds the beautiful, intelligent Aiomonni, it's hard to trust someone known not only for nir prowess in war, but for nir treachery...