Title: Honey Hawk
Author: Hava Zuidema
Genre: Science Fiction
23rd century Earth exists in a fragile apartheid between humans and vantarians, the extraterrestrials who restored Earth after its apocalypse. Well-meaning but misinformed Alder Brites is aiming to finish their mandated service to the human military without incident when they meet the vantarian Sefynne Iyed, an alleged terrorist who raises questions Alder can’t answer. Sefynne, reserved but passionate, is striving to correct the power imbalance on Earth when he discovers Alder has the resources he needs. When the two realize they both seek an end to oppression, they form a reluctant partnership that evolves into much more. Together, they’ll do things they’d never considered to make a difference. But with lives on the line, will the change they make be worth the cost?
Reading this book, my mind went to so many parallels that seem to fit. The story is about the conflict between humanity and Vantarians. As the story went on, I could see how the humans were Cardassian and the Vans were Bajoran with the FORCE being the Federation. Later, I was struck by how much this reminds me of the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Further, I saw a link to the fateful tale of a Serb/Bosnian romance that ends with a sniper bullet.
The parallel with Israel and Palestine is paramount. Everything about Alder and Seri's relationship would be true if Alder was in the IDF and Seri was a cousin of a Hamas official.
The author does an amazing job of building characters to the point the reader really knows who each character is. The external and internal conflicts for Alder are incredible. The life the Vans are forced into is jarring.
The reader is taken to the edge and then must wait for part two. Doubtlessly, the most highly anticipated part two since Harry Potter. This book should be picked up by Netflix immediately. This would be a story people would binge-watch start to finish!
A book I would recommend to any fan of science fiction and any fan of challenging romances.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Hava Zuidema is a counseling grad student who writes queer sci-fi on the side. Their books are inspired by their travels, fantasies, and existential terror. When they're not writing, they prefer to spend their time painting, rock climbing, and exploring nature.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N