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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Rebecca Cohen – Under Glass

Under Glass - Rebecca Cohen

Reviewer: Vivian

Genre: M/M Sci Fi


Destined love, soulmate or trapped? Depends on your perspective.


Wanted to love this more than I did. I admit it, I'm a scifi junkie. So I can be both generous and hard-nosed when it comes to them. It's really not as oxymoronic as it sounds. But, there's one thing I want from a scifi story and that is to be entertained. I'm looking for escapism here or I wouldn't be seeking out aliens and other worlds.

This book, entertaining. The premise of a race of planet creators and a soul bond--Win. You got me, let's go. And to be fair, the story itself is good. There's a couple places where I disagreed with characters' choices and gave a squinty eye, but that wasn't my main disconnect. My beef: the world-building.


Numerous similes and analogies to contemporary Earth breaks the scifi illusion. These are planet creators, near deities, and while I conceptually understand the "humanized" superior being, it kind of detracts from the otherworldliness. They were too primitive. Then, I was tripped up at the beginning by the science, just don't try to explain where the mass goes when they transform. It was quasi-resolved later in the story. Came across as deus ex machina, but they're god-like creators so I suppose they're entitled to it.

Okay, so maybe I'm a bit uptight in the setting. My personal preference in science fiction is action, so this was a bit slow in spots. This is a character/relationship development story rather than an action driven one. And I had a few quibbles with characters' actions and plot.


Ollie's insistence on a deep relationship with Rica without a stronger basis doesn't make sense. I guess we're suppose to believe that it is his inherent nature as a sun that makes him try to seek the pair bond, but it just doesn't come across.


Even when they commit, there's a seesawing back and forth, and Ollie's careless tongue cuts deep. Not even going to speculate why a society that has bonded pairs doesn't think mandatory pair counseling is a good idea in addition to individual therapy.


Finally, there are some lovely nods towards sun/moon mythologies and creation tales, which I really enjoyed.


Overall, a hurt/comfort tale of how to repair a torn soul bond.


Favorite quote:

I believe you love me, Ollie, but that’s not the same as me being what you most desire.

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/review-rebecca-cohen-under-glass