My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jason Kim is a captain of a merchant starship which takes on board all kinds of passengers, including the mysterious and outgoing alien Perels. He’s a little less than happy to be taking three of them back to their home planet, especially as he’s still stinging over the end of a previous relationship. However, one of the Perels, Ferran, proves to be different from the others and seeks out Jason’s company. These two lonely souls find they have a lot in common, but Ferran’s obligations to duty and family back on Perelan make any lasting relationship impossible. Falling for Ferran despite his reservations, Jason must make the most of his time with Ferran… but will a few moments be enough to last for a lifetime?
Opening Worlds is a fantastic short story that is the prequel to (and included with) the full novel Changing Worlds, which takes place directly after.
Opening Worlds is a story filled with emotion. I felt warmth, love, desire, yearning, loss, sadness and joy all in the space of a few thousand words. Cari Z’s intricate details and deliberate pacing build not only a believable relationship between Jason and Ferran, but a mutual bond built on friendship and working on both a physical and intellectual level. Not only was I rooting for the couple to end up together, I felt that they belonged together and brought something valuable into each other’s lives. The ending was satisfying either as a prequel or stand-alone, though I can’t imagine not wanting to read more after this. Highly recommended.