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Friday, March 13, 2009

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi
Length: Short (97 pgs)
Type: M/M/F, Ménage
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewer: Dandelion

San Francisco: 2184 CE

Sometimes, when you reach the end of the road, you find a twist you didn’t expect. A hill rises, a trail breaks away and to your surprise, the end has become the beginning.

Lieutenant Milo Greene’s career is all that keeps him on his feet and functioning. He’s lost everyone he ever loved, and now, only the job holds him together. When he looks to the future, he sees no reprieve.

And then one day he looks up and sees his destiny standing in the doorway.

Darah Lash is the most powerful Thalian present on Earth. Yet, to his people, he is a second-class citizen. He came to Earth with the small, desperate hope that he would find a woman who would accept him, mate him, and eventually bear his children. What he doesn’t expect to find is love.

Grace Chen is a wrecked shell of a woman. Once admired and feared, she is now on the brink of death, fighting for every day, every hour. In a vision, she is told to wait for the miracle, but it hasn’t come yet. And if that miracle comes, will the cost be too high?

Three paths end, one road begins.

Destination: Black Planet.

I’ve read other stories by this author, and I’m always drawn into the worlds that Ms. McBride creates. “Black Planet: Tiger Eyes” was no exception. A future San Francisco, war torn and ruined, is a detailed setting that comes to life here, along with the rich characters of Milo, a human detective; Darah, an alien guardian, and Grace, a magnificently beautiful but damaged woman who’s fighting for survival.

Though the way these three come together is fairly predictable, it’s still a nice story to watch unfold. All have lots of baggage, but in each other’s arms they find not only super-hot loving, but also soul mates for all time. The conflict really takes a back seat in the story, and that was one of my chief complaints. Grace is a wanted woman, stalked by the evil Nakashima. And someone is kidnapping the women of Darah’s world. But none of those conflicts is ever really fleshed out. Instead, there is too much back story, right from the start, and too much narrative in which the author “tells” the story rather than “shows” it.

Ms. McBride is a talented author, and I’ll read more stories by her. But this one fell short of my usual expectations with its slower pace. Still, the detailed settings are well described, along with the multi-cultural, original characters who find their happy ending. In that respect, any reader of “Black Planet: Tiger Eyes” will be pleased.

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