Burn for Home by Ash Elko

Burn for Home

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A debut three-part chronicle of a futuristic romantic coupling.

Andrew and Theresa met as teenagers—she, an aspiring mathematician; he, interested in engineering. The duo have just completed their three-month-long fitness exams, and once they embark on their first official date, they become inseparable. When Andrew gets transferred to Percy, a space station, Theresa fears that they’ll never be together again. However, Andrew’s love of puzzles helps him find the solution to keep their love alive. Elko writes this three-part story as more of an extended flashback than as a linear arc, and the first two parts are told from Theresa’s point of view. Part I features Theresa alone on a space mission counting down the hours until she sees Andrew again, when the ship’s computer, Sally, malfunctions and fails to detect an onboard fire. As Theresa tries to figure out how to get back to the station with less than enough oxygen, she reminisces about how she and Andrew first met. Luckily, levelheaded Andrew is there to talk her through the crisis, help solve the problem, and save her life. Part II jumps ahead with the couple’s daughter, Sally, staying with her grandparents as Theresa and Andrew reconnect on Earth for a romantic vacation, away from the stressors of work. A few days in, the couple get caught in a landslide while hiking and Andrew is badly injured; this time, his life is in Theresa’s hands. Elko’s straightforward prose style allows readers to get to know the characters in a rather succinct fashion and quickly learn about their connection and history. In addition to these illustrations of their emotional love, Andrew and Theresa are shown to have quite the physical spark, as well, and plenty of erotic scenes complement their romance. In this way, Elko effectively renders the amorous aspect of the story—keeping it realistic yet sexy, and avoiding cheesy description. Part III is from Andrew’s perspective, bringing the reader full circle by giving his take on past events before the story culminates in an intriguing, futuristic twist.

Creative sci-fi tales that paint a picture of two people very much in love.

Program: Kirkus Indie
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