My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This story is part of the free Love Has No Boundaries event and can be downloaded here.
Fourteen is a cybernetic soldier fighting wars for the Federation. When he’s tasked with killing a group of colonists, Fourteen hesitates to kill an innocent child. He breaks through the indoctrination forced on him by the Federation and flees with the child to a remote colony planet, where he meets Connell. Connell’s an outcast on a world where family is key. Can Fourteen and the child fill the gap in his life?
For the most part I loved this story. A great sci-fi tale of a man who rescues a child and how that small life changes his immeasurably. Fourteen was a soldier who never thought he’d have a family, and yet he and Connell manage to defy the odds and form one anyway. Fourteen takes a real name and fights to protect his family and his new life. I loved the way Fourteen struggled with spoken language and life outside his suit. He could have just been a typical alpha-type military male but he was vulnerable, gentle, and very much human.
My biggest complaint and why this isn’t a five star story for me is that the later years of the family’s lives seem rushed. What easily could have been a novel (or a shorter story that could have ended with a HEA much sooner) became a quick recap of their lives and deaths. There were some interesting thoughts on life after death that could have been expanded, but as it was the years flew by and we were only given snippets of major events.
Still, this is a very strong story and definitely worth your time. Don’t hesitate to add this one to your reading list.