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Darkover: First Contact
Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Paula Coots
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Jerome K. Jerome
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Dark Space - Lisa Henry All I want to know is: where did my effing Story go?!?

It starts with a story. Good story. Nice. Good writing.
Then we get the 'magically bonded' trope. Fine. There is some excellent Drarry and Sterek out there that use that trope. No problems with that trope. But then Story gets abandoned just so we can spend a whole lot of time in a room watching the magic bonding. It goes a little like this:

Brady: I am afraid of the black and I miss my family and in a few days we're all gonna die when Kai-Ren gets here and I'm not gay and get out of my head and stop touching me and I need to touch you or you're gonna die but we're all gonna die when Kai-Ren gets here and I wanna touch you but I don't wanna touch you and our dreams are all exact memories and I don't want them but they turn me on and touch me some more because we are all gonna die when Kai-Ren gets here anyway and I miss my family...
Then there is a little break where Brady gets out of the room, with or without Cam, and gets picked on by officers or other recruits or bad news, Cam flatlines, Brady comes running back, and there is crying.
So. Much. Crying. And fucking, of course.
Then go back to Brady's internal monologue and repeat a few more times.

And then Kai-Ren FINALLY arrives, and the story comes running back, waving and shouting: 'Here I am! I got lost! So Sorry! But I'm back now!" And then everything is alright for a bit.

Just in time to get a sloppy romance ending slapped on top. I am all for not tying everything up with a big bow, but this is like they kicked Story in the ass on the way out: Yeah, thanks for coming back, but we decided we don't need you after all. Instead, we're going to do a whole lot of quick handwaving and wahla: family reunion and apartment hunting back on Earth.

The fuck happened with the treaty? How do you get diagnosed as crazy but not get discharged? How..... how..... ?

Ugh! I want my Story back.

So how do you rate that? Awesome beginning, repetitive and emotionally manipulative middle, brief flare up of awesome and then a fudged ending. A three star minus, I guess.