Friday, June 13, 2014

Review By Niki: Unheard Destruction by Zach Sweets

Title: Unheard Destruction
Author: Zach Sweets
Rating: 4.5/5 smushy, teary-eyed, sci-fi fan-girl hearts (or Smooches… those work too!)


 Rusty and Hal step out of their house to a world destroyed. Before they can make sense of what has happened, they are abducted—by aliens.

Help arrives in the unexpected form of Assim, an alien who can speak directly to Rusty's mind, but getting them out of one mess is only the first step in resolving a much greater one—and it is a problem that only humans can solve, leaving Rusty and Hal no choice but to learn fast and fight hard if they ever want to see home again.


I’ll be honest and start by saying I begged Cam for this book. Not only do I love sci-fi and post-apocalyptic fare, but there was an m/m love story here as well? Oh yeah, I beat down her little cyber-door begging for this one. I was expecting to like the book. I was expecting decent editing (because, come on, it’s Less Than Three Press. On their worst days, the editing is still decent.) I was not expecting to fall head over heels in love with the characters within the first five pages. I was not expecting to find myself comparing the work to some of Issac Asimov’s work in a manner favorable to both. I was absolutely not expecting to be taken on a stunning, nearly soundless tour of an eerie post apocalypse Earth and then into space. I was not expecting to feel as though my own hearing were torn away, to have my anxiety level creep higher and higher as my heroes fought their way through a bewildering array of strange new tasks with the aid of questionable creatures who are neither clearly friend or foe.

The pieces that made this particular novel such an enjoyable read for me were the early establishment of the deeply rooted love the two main characters have for one another and the clear depiction of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the main characters deafness—they are attuned to the visual in a way that would be uncommon for a hearing person, but is par for the course in the deaf world, yet if something is not in their line of sight their chances of becoming aware before being exposed to whatever it is are slim. Those two things are woven into every fiber of this story in a way that lifts it to a very high pinnacle indeed.

There are flaws. There’s a lot of sex—hot sex, mind you—that sometimes pushes the story forward and sometimes doesn’t. I like good sex in a book, as long as it doesn’t slow the story down, or leave me puzzled as to why the characters would take time out to play “beast with two backs” right at that particular moment. When it crosses the line and pulls my attention from the story I tend to get a bit irked. However, I was not so bothered by Hal and Rusty’s tendency to screw whenever they got the chance—whether it moved the story forward or not—that it stopped me from finishing the story. I wanted to know exactly what happened to them. I desperately what to read the next book in the series. I still can’t stop comparing it to early Asimov. And I can’t help wondering, and thinking it extremely likely that one day Zach Sweets will be as well-known and revered for his contributions to the genre as Asimov is today.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves good sci-fi, as well as to anyone who wants a peek at how surviving in hostile environments is vastly different for a deaf person… and I especially recommend the book to anyone who loves a good love story. 

**Thank You to Zach Sweets for providing us with a copy of his book in return for an honest review**

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for an awesome review. It has brighten my morning :D


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