Lena Gabrilowicz is hoping to start her freshman year at the University of Oregon alien-free, after accidentally falling for Ixdahan Daharek, an exile from the planet Snaldrialoor.
In trilogy opener Heart of Earth (2013), Ixdahan had been banished to Earth and forced into a human body, leading to his and Lena’s first adventure. After abandoning their romance to save the Earth in Heart of Mystery (2015), Ixdahan is now incorporeal, a setback to his reconnecting with Lena. While Lena meets a relative who suddenly appears from the year 2457, Ixdahan finds himself again at the center of a galactic threat as he is recruited to prevent a permanent rift in space-time. Zealot scientist Ardelt Zoktyla has created the Zoktyla root, a genetically modified superfood that contains every single nutrient—and she’s determined to hide its mysterious, not-so-pleasant side effect in order to sell it across the galaxy, even if it means the manipulation of time to boost crop yields and, worse, forcing the relocation of entire populations of planets. Even as Ixdahan comes up with a plan to expose the Zoktylese, readers are lulled into the angst of the ongoing human-alien romance that may be rekindled—if not thwarted by Ixdahan’s jealous alien admirer. The jarring shifts among multiple narrative perspectives and condensed intergalactic politics makes this sci-fi tale a bit heady at times, and readers may find themselves wanting to bypass what feels like filler to get to the humorous banter among characters.
Given the complexities of worldbuilding and back story, for established fans only. (Science fiction. 14-18)