Rating: 5 stars
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Length: Novel

Science Fiction…so much fluff, right?  I mean it’s pure escapism—no big revelations to be found inside a book that has some techno-babble science speak.  I mean, please!  Hidden messages?  Deep Meanings?  I don’t think so.

“A mark of a true leader is not the battles he has fought, rather, how he rallies those around him by the words he speaks.  Words are far more powerful weapons.”

Okay, sure, so maybe there’s a message here and there.  But all that science jargon and futuristic worlds where the only talk about photon torpedoes and energy shields—there’s nothing in those kinds of books that talks about me—who I am.

“To deny yourself of what you really are is to cheat yourself.”

Well, sure maybe once in a while but I really can’t relate to anything those characters are feeling.  I mean c’mon—they’re aliens!

“There is something I need to tell you, something that will hopefully stop you from running, will stop you from feeling lost, and from feeling as though you are not a part of something.  I know you feel like this, Liam.  I have heard you.  We have the same song.”

Wow.  That?  Well, that was beautiful.  Are you sure this is sci-fi?

Oh, I assure you dear reader, Negotiator of Worlds by Mark Alders is all sci-fi, complete with action, adventure, biting humor, strange futuristic worlds, and hot, hot, hot sex.   And so much more…

I must begin by fully admitting that science fiction never used to be one of my favorite genres.  Now, now, all of you guys and girls wearing Spock ears and Star Wars t-shirts settle down please.  Before you set your phasers to stun, ok, to kill, hear me out.

Sci-fi didn’t used to be a favorite genre, until this Aussie bloke and his steamy, tongue-in-cheek, clever little stories came along.  Then my tune began to change…oh my, did it change.

The story of Negotiator of Worlds is a deceptively simple one.  Young Liam has extraordinary powers, a loving mother, a slightly shady grandfather, and the biggest ego to ever grace the literary page.  He is, for want of a better term, an oversexed, teenage, well, brat!  We watch his story unfold with ever deepening layers of mystery being revealed as the author so very cleverly slips in futuristic details that make you giggle with delight.

I mean who doesn’t want to find a secret “agent” in a little bottle that can make them go invisible?  Better yet, where do I sign up for the ability to take over another person’s body, play around in their mind and experience with them mind-blowing orgasms and a real sense of belonging—even, of love?  And, hell yes, I want to be able to walk through walls and read people’s thoughts and fly in a space ship.  This was like the best cowboy adventure in space I had ever read.  And to top it all off—it never ever took itself so seriously that you felt as though you had to run right out and save the world or consider yourself politically incorrect.

As the main character, Liam, rockets through adolescence, we are carried along.  He avoids, as do most teenagers, any responsibility for himself or his actions.  If he and his mates Toby and Paul can get it off together and have some harmless fun, then who cares if some shadowy guy is following him and his grandfather keeps telling him he’s not human but actually an alien life form, engineered to be the savior of a race of dying people?

Liam is a master at running from everyone and for much of this novel you really find yourself disliking him.  I found myself wanting to shout, “grow up!” You are not some “god.”  You are a spoiled kid who needs to understand that there is more to life than partying and sex.  Did I mention the hot sex yet?  Phew, the steam that rolled off my kindle—Mr. Alders has a definite knack for making you squirm in a good way.

However, even though young Liam was frustratingly self-centered throughout most of this book, that could not diminish the impact of when he finally was confronted with the truth of who he really was, what his role in bringing about lasting peace between earth and its enemies would look like and the incredible beauty and peace of mind that he would experience when finally discovering his soul-mate Soong.

This book was one action-packed moment after another.  My heart was literally in my throat when Liam is finally captured and tortured by those who do not want to see the “other side” have the advantage of a Negotiator.  While they want the war to end, humans on earth want to dominate the outcome, and Liam is simply a means by which they can see exactly how far they must go to destroy the enemy.  Their plan is flawless.  Torture him until they discover how to destroy him.    I held my breath—and cheered aloud when he managed to escape!

I began this review by stating honestly that science fiction was not my favorite genre.  I think, dear reader, I must restate the obvious.  Science Fiction, when written by a talented writer who draws us into the story and let’s us see first hand glimpses of ourselves, our own fears, our own flaws and, yes, the best each of has to offer…well, this kind of science fiction is hands down some of the most entertaining reading I’ve come across in a long time.

I highly recommend Negotiator of Worlds by Mark Alders to you.  Don’t be surprised if it turns you into just a bit of a sci-fi!  Now, about those phasers…

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