Book Review: Letting Lier and Finding Pax (The Solar Sailors Saga Book 1) by Harper Moon

Lier was exiled many years ago for refusing to take the crown and has since been working in a bordello on another planet. One day a man who bears a striking resemblance to Lier's old lover, Pax, shows up, except this man is abusive, cruel, and on a mission to retrieve Lier for the Emporer. But when Lier finds out this man actually is Pax, he refuses to leave him again, even it means ruining his chance for escape.

Book Review: Letting Lier and Finding Pax (The Solar Sailors Saga Book 1) by Harper Moon | reading, books, book reviews, science fiction, lgbt, m/m
Title: Letting Lier and Finding Pax
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 200
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review.*

I did a weird thing with this book. I went into it knowing the series might never be completed (though I could be wrong) and there would probably be questions left hanging that I would never get answered. It seemed worth it though, and, in the end, I think it was. Yes, I’m left wondering what the future holds for the characters, but I feel satisfied because there was at least a resolution to the problem that this book was focused on. It was like a happy-for-now, open ending, and I’m alright with that.

Ok, so, why exactly was this book worth it, you ask? For one thing, it had a great story. Lier and Pax were lovers, but then Lier got exiled. Roughly 20 years later, Pax shows up at the bordello where Lier works, except his mind has been altered, so he doesn’t remember Lier and is an entirely different, cold, and cruel person named Raze. And the memories Raze sees of the two of them in Lier’s mind when he drinks Lier’s blood confuse and anger him, making him even more cruel. So for the rest of the story, Lier is stuck in this horrid situation of caring for Raze and trying to hold onto the hope that Pax is still in there… all while being terribly abused by him.

I felt terrible for Lier, so the book was somewhat emotional for that reason—not sobbing emotional, but kind of “noooooo 🙁 I really want to hug him and take away his pain” emotional. And as more of Pax and Lier’s story unfolded through flashbacks, juxtaposed with the descriptions of how awful things were for Lier in the present, it only made me feel for him more. Not only that, poor Lier was someone who absolutely hated being in a position of submission or weakness, yet that was basically what he was forced into for the past 20-some years in order to survive, and seeing the way he just gave in and took whatever abuse Raze gave him was heart-breaking. On the flip side though, seeing the way he reacted in situations when he was able to take back a position of power was interesting.

The characters themselves were also great. Lier was a little snobbish and sassy but still a good person. He was also a fighter, someone who didn’t give up, which is one of my favorite traits. Pax was really only seen through the filter of Lier’s mind, but I actually loved that because it showed how much Lier loved him, imperfections and all. Pax was kind of clumsy and blundered his way through most things, but he was endearing and genuine. I also found Gene to be a really intriguing character. I underestimated him much in the same way the other characters did, but not only was he intelligent, he was ridiculously good at reading and manipulating people.

There was also the whole backstory of the world and how it came to be at this point with the vampirism and all that. At first I was confused by the world because I’m not used to reading about different planets and species, but it ended up being intricate and creative.

Unfortunately, while this book had a great story, I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more had the POV been handled differently. The 3rd person present tense, as opposed to past tense, felt clunky, and I just kept noticing it. The story also did too much flittering around from one POV to another. Sometimes there would only be a paragraph or two before the POV switched again. And there were five different POVs. Plus there were flashbacks scattered throughout. It wasn’t that it was confusing, just that it made me feel like I was being tossed around a lot and prevented me from being able to get deep into the characters’ minds since I was constantly being ejected out of them just as I started burrowing in.

Overall though, despite the POV issues, this was a unique and somewhat dark but still hopeful love story with great characters that I enjoyed reading!


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  1. Lola

    Sounds difficult to start a series knowing it might not ever be finished, but it does sound like this book was worth it as it sounds like you really enjoyed it. I always struggle a bit with plot lines where someone’s mind has been altered, there’s just something about that feels so wrong and it makes me feel uncomfortable. It sounds sad how Lier tries to be nice to him hoping Pax is still in there, while at the same time being abused by him. And those flashbacks must be bitter sweet, seeing how their relationship was then versus now.

    To bad about the pov feeling a bit clunky, I normally don’t notice the pov and usually when i do notice it it’s not a good thing as then it often means it’s clunky or feels off somehow. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I just wanted to read it too much to resist. Mind-altering is definitely really morally wrong, so I understand why it makes you uncomfortable. But yeah I felt terrible for Lier.

      Exactly, if a POV is done well, I won’t notice it, regardless of what POV it is. So if I do notice, it’s usually not a good thing. Thanks!