A few centuries in the future, humans are at war with an alien race called the Algonquans. The government passes strict laws about who can marry and who can breed, and of course conscripts poor young men to fight their war. Dale is one such young man. One moment, he's a lowly technician on the flight deck of a Terran spaceship, and the next thing he knows he is in the hold of an Algonquan ship where has been taken prisoner.
There have been all sorts of rumors about what the Algonquans look like and what they do to their prisoners. Some go so far as to say they get eaten, so Dale is justifiably terrified at first. But he isn't tortured or mistreated, although he is immobilized, and so he soon resigns himself to his fate. On arriving at the Algonquan home world, Dale is acquired by one of the aliens and take to his house, where he meets Mark, another human who has been the master's “pet” for two years.
Dale discovers that his fate is to become Mark's companion and fellow pet, as well as a sort of brood hen for their master's eggs. Although ostensibly not gay, Dale soon adapts to, and comes to crave, the attentions of his Master and Mark. Life as a pampered pet can be rather idyllic, but the Algonquans are still at war, and there are enough bumps in the road that Dale and Mark are eventually joined by Cooper and then Nate. Together the four humans and their alien owner form a family of sorts.
I purchased “Acquainted with the Night” assuming it would be a bit of erotic fluff, something to provide a bit of mindless entertainment for the holidays. In that regard, the book doesn't disappoint. Once the situation is set up in the first few chapters, the sexual escapades are almost non-stop. However, the book also manages to deliver quite a strong story as well.
The premise of the story might stretch credulity a bit more than your typical science fiction plot, but if you just go with it, you'll soon find yourself caught up in the very believable characters. You might also find yourself contemplating the nature of families — the ones we make or otherwise find ourselves in rather than the ones we're born into — or maybe you will be drawn to think about the complex relationship many people have with their pets.
The book is also somewhat unique in its scope. The story extends well past the point where most would leave off with a happily ever after ending. We get to see the full extent of the life the men have together, and follow them for a few more ups and downs. The final chapter is bittersweet to say the least, and perhaps the most thought provoking, but it's very honest and true to the story.
“Acquainted with the Night” is available from Amazon.