Please note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions in my review in any way.
Synposis (From GoodReads):
My name is Maxton and I’m a trader.
I live on a soulless planet where gravity, oxygen, and everything else are sold to the highest bidder on the black market. People are sold on the black market, too. You have to work really hard not to become one of those people. Pay your taxes, keep your friends and family close, and more than anything else—don’t get caught by the Militia. But all the rules changed for me the day I found her.
My name is Sophelia and I’m a stowaway.
I’ve been a slave for almost as long as I can remember. Waiting for the one day, one second, for my proprietor to turn his head so I could run and never look back. Now I'm on the run. And on a planet where no one is on your side and people would turn you in for a good meal or a piece of a silver, being on the run on Landu is the last place you want to be. Until he found me.
I won't survive without him.
I can't breathe without her.
Review:I love Science Fiction books, so I was very happy to get approved to preview The Other Side Of Gravity, By Shelly Crane. This book had the added bonus (or burden) of being billed as a YA Romance as well. While there is a lot to enjoy about this book's setting, there are some missteps as well.
What I liked:
The book's universe:The novel is set in a future where man has left Earth and moved to another planet in order to survive. But the government in this settlement is a fascist regime. Everyone is born into a caste. There are the Elites, slaves, and everyone else. If you can't pay your taxes, you go to confinement (prison) and your family become slaves. Most people live in The Stacks (shipping containers stacked on top of each other - if you've read Ready, Player One, by Ernest Cline, this will sound familiar). They need to take oxygen pills to breath and gravity pills in order to not float away. I found the technology in the book to be innovative and fun.
The Chemistry between Maxton and Sophelia:Both of these characters are awkward around the opposite sex. However, there is an instant connection between these two. You can feel their excitement as they start to get to know each other. I thought the sexual tension between them was fun.
What I didn't like:
Maxton & Sophelia are Too Perfect:
I wish that these two people had been a bit more complex. Maxton is the perfect guy: he only is a black market dealer to save his family, he is a gentleman around Sophelia, and (of course) he is incredibly hunky and gorgeous. Sophelia is also a stereotype of the perfect girl: tough(but stunningly beautiful), someone who can fight (but has never had to throw a punch before?), a spitfire with dazzling (wait for it)...
What is with all the red-headed characters, lately? If the girl is feisty, she always seems to have red hair. I'm sorry, but I am getting tired of this kind of cliche. Being a slave, Sophelia does have very low self-esteem, but her oft-anguished, "Who could ever love me? I will always been seen as a slave!" gets tiring very quickly.
The lack of action:
For an action-based story, not much happens. Most of the story is spent with the characters walking to a place called Providence. They have a few encounters with the Militia, but they never seem so worried that they can't stop in the middle of the street to have wrenching conversations about if they can trust each other, how incredibly hot they are, or have an impromptu make-out session.
Nothing gets resolved:
While I understand the need for cliffhangers to build up demand for the next book, I hate it when absolutely no problems are solved. The characters moon over each other, evade the Militia, moon over each other, and evade the Militia some more. That's about it. I would like at least a few questions answered such as why the government wants to find her so badly, what is the significance of the doll, or why is she being called The Savior. The story has a cliffhanger that the reader can see coming a mile away. But there really is no story arc, here.
Overall, I would love the story more if more happened. I think the author has some great ideas, but needs to build up greater suspense in order to keep me interested.
Release Date: March 15th, 2016
Recommendation: A stereotypical romance set in space. If you want to read about those first few dazzling days of a new relationship, you may enjoy this.