Read Caterpillar by Ashlyn Forge Online


Generations ago, Levelers and Summoners depended on a symbiotic bond that was decimated by the Earth man's arrival. On a planet beneath two harsh suns, the Leveler King is left in the wilderness, stranded. His rescue comes by way of Aton, a simple farming Summoner who wants nothing more than to live in peace. Calamity forced Lyndel and Aton together, but necessity might beGenerations ago, Levelers and Summoners depended on a symbiotic bond that was decimated by the Earth man's arrival. On a planet beneath two harsh suns, the Leveler King is left in the wilderness, stranded. His rescue comes by way of Aton, a simple farming Summoner who wants nothing more than to live in peace. Calamity forced Lyndel and Aton together, but necessity might be the only way they endure each other's company....

Title : Caterpillar
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22711859
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 44 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Caterpillar Reviews

  • Julio Genao
    2019-05-16 16:15

    a flawed but unexpectedly moving short that broke promises to my dick even as it delivered a gift to my heart.i am intrigued.

  • AnnaM
    2019-05-17 13:58

    I read this SFR on a whim and had no idea what to expect. I immediately found myself hooked by the sf, the world and the alien characters. It's unusual to find an SFR in which the main characters are barely humanoid. Told completely from the perspective of the aliens I loved the slow building of the world and the societal and personal repercussions of human colonization. The Romance was believable (and I don't tend to read m/m) and realistically built. There was sex but not a lot of it and it was necessary to the plot. The SF was my favorite part. I loved the worldbuilding. I thought the story was very creative and definitely stood out from most SFRs I've read, and I've read a lot, due to the perspectives of the characters. I do recommend this for those who love SFR who aren't bothered by a little m/m sex.

  • S.C. Wynne
    2019-04-30 16:16

    I really rarely read Sci-fi, so I am certainly not an expert in the genre. But this was a very imaginative story. It's not long, I think only around forty pages or so, but the author packed a lot into those pages. Her world building was immense, and the story kept my interest all the way through. If you enjoy science fiction, I think this may be a story you would like. :)

  • Ashlyn Forge
    2019-05-19 13:55

    This is my first attempt at a short story. It's also my first attempt at an alien world. It's a story within a story. If anyone purchases the amazon version, they will see the title page says "a play written by Galen featured in the book Fortress". The idea behind this idea is that because Galen lives underground and has never seen the sun, he wrote a play about what he thought an alien world might look like. The story took on a life of its own. Starting at only 5k and blossoming into 11k. It's the first piece of work where I can truly say I am satisfied with it in 'every' aspect. So for that, it is special to me. The two main characters are based on Galen and his lover only in size, as Galen is rather small (he has a sweeter personality).When I write, I tend to write in layers, and therefore, the stories have different layers themselves. This is sometimes good in that a reader who figures them all out is pretty pleased, but other readers who wanted a simple read aren't as comfortable with it. For anyone who felt lost with Caterpillar, I'd recommend From Johann To Tannenbaum, as it's heavy on the romance yet peppered in with Sci-Fi.I'm hoping to do one or two follow-ups with Lyndel and Aton but ultimately, Caterpillar will hold a special place in my heart. It's my first short and I'm rather pleased with reader response to it.As I am an indie author, I depend on reviews, votes, any sort of word of mouth I can get to let other readers know what to expect. Even if you didn't dig it, please let me know. I want to learn and improve.I love romance and I love sci-fi, maybe to some it's still not a legit marriage, but I do hope you can enjoy my bastards, too.

  • Morticia Knight
    2019-05-18 11:03

    4.5 StarsAshlyn, I love your bastards. As a fellow lover of sci-fi and romance - I understand the urge to spawn.I'm not going to go into a plot summary - I think a couple other reviewers did a fine job of that. What I do want to mention is the high level of writing and creativity. Many times I see one or the other in a story - but not necessarily at the same time. There is nothing about this story that rings of anything or anyone else. It is a purely unique vision.I greatly enjoyed Lyndel and Aton's courtship. I was really drawn into their cute but feisty struggles to find their way to one another, despite the fact that they were the ultimate odd couple. The only reason I'm not giving this a full 5 stars, holding back the eensy bit of starrage, was that I needed more. I don't mean that it should be a long, epic length novel (although, I probably wouldn't complain about that), I just needed some more Lyndel and Aton snuggle-time. I really wanted that first time to be seen all the way through - forgive the poorly worded pun. I guess I needed to feel the bond they had created, that closeness, so that when we got to the rest of the story - it would sock me in the chest that much harder.All I will say about the ending is that it was perfect. I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves creative sci-fi romance with a touch of the whimsical.

  • Arshad
    2019-04-22 10:06

    This short novella is predominantly a study in contradictions. The setup is relatively unique, focusing on two aliens, a Leveler and a Summoner, whose races once shared a long-time symbiotic relationship, but which has been entirely destroyed by generations of cultural contamination from an invading human society. First, we are introduced to the war-like Leveler king, with his disdain for the invading Earthmen, as well as their co-opted Summoner lackeys. Then we have the Summoner, a simple goat-herder, who is presented as a member of a less aggressive race, subservient to the domineering humans. And then there’s the twist: both races are capable of a cyclical metamorphosis through three stages of anatomical development, each body-form being weaker and less emotionally aggressive than the last, but capable and driven towards breeding only in the third stage. The setup is simple: (view spoiler)[the Leveler is in his third stage of maturation, traveling in secret to a sacred site to begin his breeding activities, which are considered to be of major strategic importance given the Levelers’ depleted numbers in the wake of their unsuccessful opposition to the human invasion. The Summoner is in his second stage of maturation, as yet incapable of breeding but still sexually functional, and physically stronger than the Leveler’s third-stage form. The Leveler is injured when his transport is destroyed, and the Summoner finds him and attempts to minister to his wounds, despite the Leveler’s arrogance and demanding nature. In order to reach an accommodation, they must overcome the barriers of the Leveler’s emotional dominance and hostility, contrasted with the Summoner’s physical dominance, sexually and culturally maimed by his association with humans. (hide spoiler)]All in all, I found the progression of their relationship to be somewhat staccato, advancing by fits and starts, with a sudden leap forward in time before the final resolution. The time jump is filled in by narrative summary, which I found unsatisfying. In my opinion, the story would have been better served by having this period of time documented in the narrative, rather than just alluded to in passing, even if it extended the length of the story to a long novella or short novel. As it was, the final chapter seemed forced and premature, but the intriguing world-building raises my rating from three stars to four.

  • Dean Frech
    2019-05-13 10:19

    I don’t normally just pick up sci-fi. It’s just not my thing. But when Ms. Forge sent me the link to the free read in exchange for a review, I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve started In Liam’s Wake and have enjoyed the story so far.Starting with the second chapter, the story really takes off. I was enthralled with the characters, their world, and their struggles. Ms. Forge does a wonderful job to tellng the story from both main characters’ points of view. They examine, interact, and make decisions their world full of political and natural forces not unlike our own. The allegorical possiblities are endless with this story. I can’t even begin to imagine and label the exact factions the author might be alluding.For writers: Being a writer also, I always like to mention how reading something helped me with my own writing. What I liked about her story was the weaving of the two POV’s, yet moving the story forward with each POV change.Great read, worth the price and morning/afternoon/evening of reading!

  • Carly
    2019-05-22 13:51

    Lyndel is King of the Levelers, and despite the changes forced upon his society by the arrival of men from Earth, he retains his arrogant attitude and sense of superiority. Lost and on his own, Lyndel is still a King, but even Kings can be taken by surprise once in awhile.Aton is a Summoner, more peaceful my nature, and comfortable in his self-imposed isolation. When he stumbles upon the King, Aton is taken by surprise by his body's unexpected response to the smaller being.While Levelers and Summoners once depended upon each other for protection, those days have long since passed, and to be seen together now would put Aton's life in danger. A well written and vastly entertaining short story, Caterpillar engaged my imagination and touched my heart. A book that is sure to please lovers of M/M romance and science-fiction alike, this story is set in a unique world that only Ashlyn Forge could write. A complete story from start to finish, I would recommend Caterpillar to anyone who is looking to lose themselves in an engaging and well developed tale!

  • Tinnean
    2019-05-01 13:06

    There are a couple of things about this short that really got to me. The first is the amazing world-building. I had no problem visualizing the planet, didn't have to stop and say, Wait, what? How could that happen? Then there are the inhabitants of that spare planet, Levelers and Summoners, not their own names for themselves, but given to them by Earthers. The second is that Ashlyn Forge didn't dump all this information on us in one fell swoop. (I've seen this done by both Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey.) We gradually get to see the planet and the beings who inhabit it, and learn the aftermath of the fateful meeting of a Leveler and a Summoner. It's like being treated as an adult rather than a child who needs to be spoon fed.I found this story to be exceptionally fast-paced. It was a pleasure to read, and an excellent way to pass a couple of hours. Oh, and one other thing. The sex, while not graphic, was hot!

  • Leaundra
    2019-05-13 12:18

    I have to say this was a lot of book in such a short book. So honestly you got a lot of story, which that doesn't always happen with such a short book. sci-fi isn't normally my genre but I do like to read it once in awhile because I can find some interesting stories. This one was a good one, I almost felt like I was there with them, for some reason I got a 1800's mixed with the future even if that wasn't the intent not a bad thing that's where my mind went, lol The two of them didn't always get along but had to try because they depended on each other. This book was different for me but not in a bad way.

  • Gillian Kevern
    2019-04-21 11:20

    An interesting short story that drops the reader straight into an alien world. This could be confusing, but the main characters, Lyndel and Atom, are so strong, that they carry the story. Lyndel in particular caught my imagination. Other reviewers have covered the richly imaginative setting, and how interesting the premise and world established in this story is, and I can only agree. I want to see more of this world, more of the characters and the implications of their relationship for the world they inhabit.

  • Cathy Brockman
    2019-05-05 15:16

    This is a very beautiful thought provoking story. It is set on a planet where the dwellers go through three stages. They can only mate in one of them and a King was going to the mating caves when an assassination attempt left him vulnerable. A summoner found him and nursed him to health and helped him to the caves even though the Leveler King was very harsh and hard to get along with..This is a beautiful tale of two cultures and classes being forced together even if for only a short time. If you like new worlds, science fiction and an allover beautiful story this is for you.

  • Linus Schrewe
    2019-05-11 11:54

    Due to the prominence of Ashlyn Forge in the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook, I decided to buy and read "Caterpillar"Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations.Forge says she writes in "Layers", unfortunately, these aren't really interesting. It feels like she took the finished story, and then cut it up.The writing isn't great either; Superfluous and boring metaphors, abundant adverbs and haphazard sentence structures make for an annoying read.

  • ChelseaKunsman
    2019-05-01 08:52

    Sci-fi isn't my usual thing to read, unlike romance, but a friend recommended this to me. I tried it out a little skeptical at first, but after the first couple of chapters, it had no problem snagging my attention and I didn't let up until I finished it.The world and characters were intriguing and I had no trouble understanding the world and how things were. What disappointed me most though was that it ended. I look forward to reading more of your work, related to this story or not.

  • Brandilyn
    2019-05-03 10:55

    Imaginative stories and rich, complex worlds. Both are things you can expect from an Ashlyn Forge story. Even in a short 40ish pages, Forge can suck you in and make you continue to turn the pages.Read more:

  • Tracy
    2019-05-15 13:19

    This is a really good short read. Anybody that is a fan on sci-fi needs to give this a try.

  • Brad Werner
    2019-04-21 11:51

    Caterpillar, a short sci-fi story by Ashlyn Forge, was my introduction to this author. What do you look for when you discover an author whose work you had not yet read? A primary factor for me is creativity.Ashlyn Forge’s stories had come highly recommended, and I had been looking forward to a chance to read her works. Before reading Caterpillar, I had come to know that Forge was both ambitious and bold. As my reading time is limited, I thought it appropriate to start with one of the author’s short stories to see how her creativity balanced her boldness and ambition. I was thrilled to discover that one of her short stories—Caterpillar—was available for free. I dove into the story. I was well rewarded.Caterpillar is a tale of transformation, set in a world of archetypes of creation and destruction, which the author calls summoners and levelers. The story is principally focused on a character alternately named Lyrus, Lysel, and Lyndel based on various stages in his cycles of metamorphosis. We meet him in his Lyndel stage. One aspect of this story I appreciated was that Forge didn’t layer on an exoskeleton of back story that might have made it hard for the reader to penetrate. Instead, we are plunged into the intimate interactions Lyndel has with others. Such interplay is utilized effectively as a device to draw the reader into the story, as well as to build the world, and quite the world it is. For a story focused on the king of the levelers of destruction, Caterpillar is all about world building.Earthers are despised interceders within Lyndel’s world, a world that had previously been in symbiotic balance before the alien Earthers’ arrival. Separated by immense chasms of class structure, species, and rank which isolate him from his own kind and from the summoners and earthers, the initially stubborn and conceited Lyndel is transformed in numerous ways as the story transpires. Eventually he blossoms into a new being with a mission to sow the seeds of reparation in building a new world order. The nature of the stages of transformation of both summoners and levelers is intriguing. That these stages are described as teases to the imagination rather than in a bulk transfer exposition is refreshing. Both strengths and weaknesses of these characters and their stages in a world of twin suns are well developed, yet leave room for one to wonder. Invoking such inventive elements as Lyndel’s love interest seeking protective cover of a sloth and the dangers of combustible caterpillars, the web woven by Caterpillar is a compelling enough introduction to the world of Lyndel’s levelers and summoners that one is left with a hunger for another dose of the elixir of this nectar.Luckily, more of this elixir is available. While Ashlyn Forge has been so generous as to offer a free version of Caterpillar to whet your appetite, there are three books emerging from this cocoon into a series about this world. These are and will be available for modest prices at outlets such as Amazon. Forge calls this new series Chrysalis and Kings. These include:Caterpillar (extended version), available now.Chrysalis (coming soon).King (coming soon after that).

  • Tim
    2019-05-14 09:04

    I really struggle with the 1 to 5 rating system, especially with a work like this. I can't give it a 4 and I want o give it more than a three, but I am going to round down because of the following reasons. First, unlike (it appears) a lot of the other reviewers, I do read a lot of SF and have for far too many years and I have also spent the time to study writing and genres - and this isn't SF. Just like the movie Alien is not SF, but rather horror, Caterpillar is fantasy, romantic fantasy to be precise. I wouldn't normally even bring this up but it says SF right on the cover!The second thing is the MM component. What was the decision behind this? To make the story MF would make it easier for the general public to accept and if the reply not to is because you don't want to appeal to a wider market, that is your right. But then, who are you writing for? A good storyteller tailors their work to their audience, and a great storyteller can do so and make the audience large at the same time. More to the point, if there is a reason to go MM, then commit to it. If you want to play off human MM, don't be shy, the 'hetero-only' audience won't like it in any form, and the MM-inclined readership will want it to be 'more'. On the other hand, if you really wanted to dig deep into the workings of humanity (what it means to be human) and push this story back closer to being SF, then you only let the sex be symbolism and you give us a more believable alien (but relate-able) experience. Not easy by any measure but it would be a great story. Honestly, as I read this I thought, the male characters aren't ringing true because they are supposed to be human-like but they aren't 'thinking' like males, and the reason is because it is a woman writing what she thinks goes on in the head of a man, as opposed to what does. It's not a matter of a woman not being able to write MM or anything else (yes, I read your blog, too) it's instead a matter of not getting into the character's head (enough) and instead projecting the author's thoughts/feelings. If you are going to write a main character who is not what you are (author), you have to work harder to capture the right feel. This hurt the rating more than the genre part.Still, in general, the writing is OK. I think the author will get better by doing more. However, a little less time spent writing and pushing works out into the world and a little more study of craft would probably pay off tremendously. Writing first has to be a craft before it can become an art. The author has talent but technique has to be honed to make it shine.

  • Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
    2019-05-05 15:51

    Cover: A beautiful cover. Though I didn’t quite understand the binary codes in the background and a more realistic butterfly might have looked even better, but as covers for free stories go, this one rates highly and works well with the story <3Title: Simple title, but the different stages of the Caterpillar and the visual of the cover work perfectly with the book. :)Story: It is amazing what a complex and multi-layered new world Ashlyn Forge created in only about 40 pages.At first I wasn’t sure what to make of the story. The characters are strange and didn’t seem particularly sympathetic in the beginning of the story. The setting is a foreign planet where two species used to live in harmony, before human invaders disrupted it and brought a wedge between them.I don’t want to take away too much of the plot, but more and more info about the two species is revealed as readers continue in the story and pieces fall in to place. It still feels strange, like being an alien in a new land, where all the rules we know are thrown to the wind – but it makes sense and draws readers in.As we get to know the two main protagonist better, it is clear that there is more to them than the first impression, though they are not without flaws. Quite human in that way, even with their strange alien nature and appearance, which really helps to understand and identify with them. To a point, where the sex scenes between the aliens are hot, albeit still strange ;)The world building that serves as setting is phenomenal; the world seems authentic and complete. Not something that was quickly thrown together, but a complex world that makes sense even though it is very foreign to us and readers can’t help but be swept up by it.There are a lot of political and cultural undertones that will likely cause every reading to reveal new layers and meanings, but even at face value this story is a wonderful and surprisingly romantic and hopeful tale about love against all odds. ;)Highly recommended!!! (4.75)

  • T.M. Smith
    2019-05-14 13:54

    Caterpillar; the larva of a butterfly or moth, having a segmented wormlike body with three pairs of true legs and several pairs of leglike appendages. Caterpillars may be hairy, have warning coloration, or be colored to resemble their surroundings. Why do I include the definition with my review, because it is at the heart of the story. On a planet with two suns, three races are at war with each other. Leveler's rule, Summoners are more common place and Earther's take and destroy. When Leveler's convey is ambushed by a Caterpillar, Aton a Summoner offers him shelter. The two share more than just a place to rest for the night and a bond is created between them that the Earther's have sought to destroy. What intrigued me about this story was the underlying reference to the caterpillar. The Leveler's and the Summoner's complete three cycles to reach maturity and with each cycle their appearance changes, they become something else, something more. Even their coloring changes, it's very much like growing, blossoming and becoming a butterfly. Leveler can force a change at will, but always in order of the three cycles. But that is just a hint of the story. The world is imaginative and inspiring while the characters are three dimensional and flawed. Leveler presents himself as pompous and arrogant, but there is a need for him to love and be loved. Summoner came across to me as a second class citizen, going so far as to have his tail cut off to lessen his need to mate.I was pleasantly surprised with the direction this story took with how it ended versus how it started, and I'm anxious to read more for Leveler and Aton. If you are a Sci-Fi fan you are going to love this little short. It's very descriptive and vivid and highly imaginative.

  • Hearts On Fire Reviews
    2019-04-30 11:15

    Reviewer: LexiGenre: M/M Sci Fi4 HeartsSee Review Here: Hearts On Fire ReviewsFacebook link: Levelers and Summoners lived together in harmony until the Earthers came… or did they?Lyndel the Leveler King is on his way to the caves for mating. It is a dangerous trip, one that eventually killed Lyndel's father. Both Levelers and Summoners complete three cycles where their appearance and stature changes, their temperament changes, even their names change. Levelers can force the change where Summoners cannot but either way, fewer and fewer Levelers and Summoners are being born and the Earthers are slowly taking over.Lyndel is a highly flawed character. He knows of Summoners but he doesn't know Summoners. His accidental side trip with Aton reveals to him how much he doesn't know and makes him understand how reprehensible his own behavior is. With the underlying theme of caterpillar that relates to the physical transformation of these two races, it also extends to the transformation of belief and character. None of it would have been possible without Aton.Because I didn't want to the story to come to an end, I harrumphed when it did. Time jumps a several years and some telling came into play. I would've loved, loved, loved to see the characters evolve into what they became then instead of getting the quick synopsis. I'm hoping that another story will come starting where this ended because I need to know what happens.This is a colorful, imaginative world and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the story. I definitely wanted more and would read a novel length story set in this world.

  • Courtney
    2019-05-17 17:14

    I'm not always a big fan of short stories. I feel like there isn't always good development, enough detail, or character growth to really pull me into the genre. I know there are great short story novelists out there, but for the most part I tend to stay away. That being said, I have read some work by Forge before and was intrigued by the concept of the story, so I decided to give Caterpillar a shot, which I am genuinely glad that I did. Caterpillar is a wonderfully crafted tale that I enjoyed reading from start to finish. The pacing and development was spot on and the characters acted and reacted in a believable fashion according to the plot. I did develop one particular wish and one particular concern as the story came to an end. I wish that the story had delved more into the mechanics of the alien world; I want to understand the way their cycles worked and how their lives normally went about. The only concern that I really had was wondering whether or not there would be more animosity between the leveler and the summoner. It just seems as if there would be a bit more tension given the history between the two races, but that leaves in question whether or not the story would be able to progress in the same fashion. Regardless, Caterpillar is an enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone interested in science fiction. Ashlyn Forge is a fantastic novelist that readers should take a look into, for I am certain most would not regret it.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-25 16:16

    Oh, this novelette is just brilliant (but definitely 18+ in a couple of places). Often when reading sci-fi (off Earth) stories, it takes me a while to find my feet, that is to say, to know where I am and understand who is who in the hierarchy of a new world. In the first chapter of Caterpillar however, the main character is introduced, the world they reside in and a brief section of history is incorporated, as is biological information about their species. The choice of words used, and both the dialogue and descriptive writing is crisp, so there are no 'info dumps', no passages of 'waffle' or 'rambling', every word in this book is crucial, and helps to drive the story forward.I have a preference for character driven stories - placing subjects in a scenario and seeing how they get on with solving their problems. Forge's characters are well defined, rounded characters. Learning about their planet, lives and predicaments as they were revealed, as opposed to hand feeding the reader with information, strengthens this story, and I couldn't help but feel for the characters as they evolved and changed as a result of their interaction.Overall, this was a very enjoyable story. It's the first time I've read any of this author's writing, and I will certainly be looking out for more in the future.

  • M.A. Kropp
    2019-05-02 16:20

    Caterpillar is a short science fiction story set on a desolate planet with two suns. It was invaded by Earth and the native society was torn apart in the aftermath. All of the natives go through several stages of development, and can only mate and reproduce in one of them. The remaining king of the Levelers is traveling to the caves where this mating takes place. His caravan is attacked, and he is the only survivor. He is rescued by a reclusive member of the Summoners. The days they spend together cause both to re-think many of their former notions about themselves, their world, and society, and the invading Eathers.The most intriguing thing about this story is the characters. The focus is completely on Lyndel, the Leveler, and Aton, the Summoner. They are well-drawn and complex. The character growth is subtle and unfolds slowly, something not easy to do in a short work. Neither is completely likable, nor completely unlikable. This is a good short read. It will make you think about a lot of things, including how we see others and ourselves. I do feel that I have to give a warning about male-male adult content, for those that may want to avoid it, but the story is far more than the brief instance included. It is worth a read.

  • Tracy
    2019-05-10 13:19

    I am not a huge fan of short reads but as I have enjoyed other books by this author I thought I would download, I am extremely happy that I did.I was immediately intreaged by the world this book was set in. We are introduced to the leveler King who is travelling to the mating caves. He is found by a poor summoner who against the Earthers rules and his own fears he takes care of the king despite the fact he comes across as a selfish, arrogant, ungrateful man. Considering this is a short read we learn a lot about each man's personality and the way their lives have evolved as well as the changes that have taken place.I easily found myself pulled into this story, loved the character development and the chemistry between the Two men. The storyline was gripping and kept my attention throughout.Ashlyn Forge, has a wonderful imagination and like all her books I know I am going to be taken on a wonderful journey, Caterpillar was no exception.My only complaint with this book, is for me I was left wanting more. The ending is good, allowing the reader to imagine what will happen next in a positive way, I just always want it confirmed and would love this to be turned into a full novel.Highly recommended especially if you enjoy short reads!

  • Dawn Chapman
    2019-04-24 10:10

    I came across Caterpillar by Asylyn Forge a while back, and it was a book I purchased. I’ve just not been able to read it till this week. I must admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect, so with an open mind, I dived in. From the very first page I was drawn into the complicated alien world created by the author and thrown into a train journey with a purpose. The need to procreate.The difference between Summoners and Levelers is evident from their physical and political traits. But, and I say this because they are an alien race, that we can’t humanize them totally. They think and feel as they should. As a fully imagined alien species, and with my open mind I was able to take in Lyndel and Aton’s emotional motivation and reactions to their circumstances.Lyndel and Aton’s relationship develops under extreme circumstances, they hold nothing but contempt for each other at first, then comes a warming friendship. This develops into a very real and remarkable relationship that surpasses both their expectations and ours. This world is so vivid, and these characters so alive in my mind, I reached the end in such a very short time, leaving me wanting more. I do hope there is more. Thoroughly enjoyed the read, for those with an open mind, I’d highly recommend.

  • Bronwyn Heeley
    2019-05-21 13:08

    I got this because the author recommended it to me, because, you know, it was freeI'm not a fan of science fiction mostly because I'm a romance reader and so in debt world building isn't really something I enjoy. I want the emotions, and this is what I got. Clearly, as a sci-fi, this hit more of the romance buttons than anything else, to the point that there is only a few short descriptions of what they look like and the culture they are from. this isn't to say that it lack something in the sci-fi world, it didn't, to me it was clearly a different world from the one we sat, it was just descripted in a way that revolved a lot more around the characters and for a quick passed read. I enjoyed it to the very end, even if Lyndel's attitude made me roll my eyes, and the quick emotion change had a hot and cold feel to it. All that sat well with what was happening in the story, even if sometimes it seemed the change was happening that fast just to move us onto the next stage without down time. Saying that, it made the end that much sweeter because of it, as well as a need to know more. I can't wait for the rest of this trilogy to come out.

  • CB
    2019-05-14 15:15

    This is the first time I have read this author and I am definitely interested in reading more however, I will wait until she writes another stand-alone book, something longer than a short story.This sci-fi book was very detailed on background information, especially for a short story, honestly I was quite lost in the detail most of the time but stuck it out only because it was a short story and I do like the writing style. Plus, as the story unfolded the confusion mostly cleared up but it still seems like too much work on background detail and not enough on character or character interactions for a short story.I think the author could probably really do a fascinating sci-fi story with really intricate detail in a longer book where the characters have a chance to shine through too, I'm just not ready to commit to reading a series yet and that is all I see written by her right now. I'll keep her on my "to be watched" list.

  • B.A. Brock
    2019-05-12 14:56

    The world building was centered around the two species, Levelers and Summoners. Like caterpillars, the two species exist in different stages with boons and disadvantages to each.It seemed like the two species are at odds now because of the Earthers, but should be a part of each other's cycles, like a synergistic relationship. Unfortunately things are not well between the two cultures, and our protagonist is in a vulnerable stage when he meets a Summoner. Their joining may mean hope for the future of their races.There was a surprising amount of character growth for such a short story, and I enjoyed the protagonist's "fussiness" and the language Forge used to portray that. I'd definitely recommend this book to people who like to read about and/or experiment with other species in sci/fi settings. You won't be disappointed. Forge excels at creating other cultures and peoples. Check it out.

  • Tabitha Deasún
    2019-05-08 10:13

    There are not enough words for me to explain how lovely this book is to read. I was hooked from the first sentence. The worldbuilding in a short story has never been as good as it is in this book; world and races created beautifully to allow you to properly envision them in your mind. I yearn to see more of this place, these people. Ashlyn Forge has a true skill with her characters' voices and development, both focal and non-focal, and you will find yourself torn at moments between love and hate with some of them in books by her. That is no different in this book. The main characters are perfect, and the way they interact just struck me so strongly. You definitely want to pick up this book whether you're a fan of m/m sci-fi with some maturity and romance or not; just do it for the sci-fi alone. It's a read that is most definitely worth your time.