Review - Farborn by Lesli Richardson
My rating: starstarstarstarstar_half
Human Davies is an ether-drive navigator, one of the most elite jobs among the space-faring worlds. He can decide who he works for and ether-drive ships can't leave port without him. Davies is an orphan, with the proverbial girl-in-every-port, although in his case, he prefers men, or the equivalent of whatever species sparks his interest. He rarely hooks up with the same people for long, and he thinks he prefers it that way. Olarte is a Pfarn working on the space station in orbit around their planet. They do not come from a rich family, so their prospects are a bit limited. Olarte has already passed their maturity, and coming from a family where both parents were present, they're not very interested in sex just for pleasure. They want to meet someone special that will be their mate for life. When Davies and Olarte meet, it means both of them have to re-examine their views.
“Farborn” is not really a sequel to Jailmates, as it takes place at around the same time, but focuses on a different set of characters. About the only repeat personality is the geneticist who helps make the alterations Davies needs to perform with Olarte. So, you can in theory read this book without having read the first volume, but I think the first book provides more depth about the issues involved in human and pfarn mating, as well as a more endearing picture of the chief scientist, Dr. H'looder.
While the story arc of this book is broadly similar to “Jailmates”, featuring inter-species romance and a hint of m-preg, the actual plot is quite different. Unlike the pfarn protagonist of the last book, Mohrn, there's no urgency for Olarte to find a mate, as they have already passed their sexual maturity. Davies is also a far different human than Simon. For one, he's gay, and on top of that he has no financial incentive. He has to woo Olarte, which proves to be the main challenge of the story.
Davies is definitely a very interesting character. He's something of a “player”, but with a good heart. His turnaround to pursuing a monogamous relationship is a bit of a stretch, but it's something that clearly is as much a surprise to him as it is to everyone else.
Unlike the first book, we also get much of the story from Olarte's point of view as well as Davies', which gives us much more insight into the pfarn's way of thinking. It helps make them a much more relatable character.
“Farborn” is available from Amazon.
Posted in Book Reviews on August 20, 2019