When their transport ship is attacked, Harmonized trio Ashua, Silna, and Nulani are lucky to survive. But they find themselves separated and in dire straits on an alien planet. As Psyrens, they can influence and control the thoughts and actions of others, but they aren’t whole while isolated from one another. Silna and Nulani must survive a wilderness that seems intent on destroying them, while Ashua is injured and captured by a sinister enemy. To find one another, they’ll use their unique Harmonized bond, but along the way they find a Psyren in distress. A Psyren who might be their missing mate.
Well, the one thing you can say about Warp Gate Concerto is that it’s original. Or rather, its main characters are. The Psyrens, as their name implies, are singers, who use their mouths to alter the actions of others around them. And they have a lot of mouths. A lot of them. Every time they suffer an injury, a mouth appears in its place. Lose an arm, gain a mouth. Lose your eyes, get a mouth. The mouths are everywhere. The imagery is somewhat unsettling, but I appreciated the uniqueness of an alien species that actually felt alien. The greatest taboo for most Psyrens is the idea of being consumed by their mouths, essentially consumed by their own power. It’s a rather terrifying thought and the author does a good job of showing the balance that our main characters must maintain between their power and their own possible destruction.
The plot to Warp Gate Concerto waffles back and forth between flat and action driven. There are moments where it starts to meander and feels a bit sloggy, but there’s quite a bit of decent action to balance it out. The biggest issue with the book is lack of development in the characters. All four of the MCs are blah overall and it was hard for me to establish any connection to them. They seemed cookie-cutter and without the necessary depth to make them memorable, which was disappointing. It felt like so much time was put into the world building that some of the basics like characterization were left by the wayside.
Warp Gate Concerto gets credit for originality. Its aliens are truly alien and different enough to be interesting. Sadly, they lack complexity as actual characters and don’t really stand out for anything other than their alienness. I think sci-fi fans will be intrigued by this one, but it doesn’t really evolve beyond being a novelty.