Author: Jamie Craig
Title: Outcast Mine
There is nothing Aleron Pitre can't steal, nobody he can't con and no situation he can't slip out of—until he's sent to the prison planet Tantoret, where every sentence is death. If the prisoners don't kill each other, they'll die slowly from mining the poisonous drug chojal. Yet Aleron still hopes that he can escape.
Only thirty Athaki guards keep the chaos of Tantoret in check, a race of aliens stronger and faster than their human charges. Most intimidating of all is the head guard, Jasak, who has his own reasons for being sent to Tantoret.
Amidst the darkness and desperation, Aleron and Jasak share an unexpected attraction. An attraction neither can resist when Jasak claims Aleron as his mate to protect him. Then they discover that both guards and inmates are planning a coup, while a traitor from an enemy nation threatens the whole planet. Suddenly escape from Tantoret isn't just Aleron's dream—it's a matter of survival for them both.
What I Thought
The positive points:
The plot was strong, the pacing quick without being confusing, and the descriptions of Tantoret, the prison planet, were memorable. The story permeated each page; despite long conversations between the two heroes, each episode served to further not only their relationship, but the plot. The romance augments an already interesting tale. Jamie Craig is a skillful writer, and the setting was sufficiently detailed to follow the intricacies of the interplanetary politics that had bearing upon the central romance.
The negative points:
There were very few indeed. The point-of-view shifts focused too often on minor characters other than the heroes. This detracted from the otherwise tight focus of the novel. It did not, however, by any means ruin the experience.
Get it here.