Author: T.J. Land
Publisher: NineStar Press
Pages/Word Count: 63 Pages
At a Glance: A fun sequel to the first in the series, with more revealed about the characters.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: The captain’s luck is finally changing. After four years of being lost in space, his starship, The Prayer, has found an inhabitable planet to land on. The whole crew—and his lovers Thomas, Rick, and Zachery in particular—are happy to set foot on terra firma again, not least because the planet comes with plenty of trees to hide behind for those…intimate occasions. But the fertile landscape hides a secret. When the captain finds himself abducted by an alien life form, he’s got limited time to get back to his crew before they succumb to infighting. Only the alien is so very attractive…
Review: Okay, so I really had other things I needed to do, and other books to finish reviewing before sitting down to read this one, but I couldn’t help myself. The minute it hit my inbox, I forgot all other responsibilities, plonked myself down and read it start to finish in one sitting. Having read the first book in the series, I was eager to see what would happen to the men and women of The Prayer, and the description of this book was just so enticing. I regret nothing.
Thanks to Antoine’s arguments, the crew of The Prayer is going to be on land again. Finding a suitable planet to explore—since they have no hope of reaching home again—the crew willingly follows their fearless leader to the planet surface for some exploration and maybe a little R&R. Of course, given who these men are, it’s not long before first Rick and Thomas wander off for some fun, and then Rick and Zachary. But while they’re off playing, the captain goes missing. They begin a desperate search, unaware that the planet is home to intelligent life, and given the man he is, the captain isn’t about to pass up an opportunity for some, how should I put it? “First contact” of a different sort.
Like the first book, this one had me laughing, only more so. The characters develop more, and the men who were drawn together because of their shared love for the captain—Rick, Thomas, Zachary, and even Echo—start to get to know each other a little better without the captain around. Because hey, if they’re all going to be sleeping with him, they might as well get to know each other, too. Plus, there’s young Rick who craves a relationship, and Thomas who is afraid to hurt him because he’s too young, and brash Zachary who might not be such a bad boyfriend in the long run. Plus, throw in Antoine’s hysterics and I was saving some of my favorite quotes to look at later when I needed to laugh.
As before, T.J. Land does a fantastic job of giving each man such wonderfully different personalities. Now she’s added an alien to the mix who, while he looks mostly human—except for the green skin, being too tall, and some abnormal features—even sounds human most of the time. Except for some miscalculations in what he should say, when, and his giant ego (no, that’s not a euphemism for anything else). The captain has a particularly delightful quip for that, saying, <i>“I can’t wait to introduce you to Antoine […] The energy created by your colliding egos might well tear a hole in the fabric of space-time and allow my crew to return home.”</i>
I would love to share Antoine’s response, but I’ll let readers discover that for themselves. It’s hysterical knowing Antoine’s personality, and he really is growing on me as a character. His interactions with Echo were so warm and wonderful, considering how different they are from the rest of the crew.
Do you need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one? Yes, because while there is a tiny bit of backstory, it’s enough to remind previous readers of the last events, but not enough to fully immerse a new reader. Besides, the books are short enough that you could easily fit both of them into one evening. Why miss out?
I eagerly await the next book in the series, which is excerpted in the back of this one. And I will say this: this book definitely cemented T.J. Land in my auto-buy pile of authors, and that’s a small, select group.
You can buy The Captain’s Encounter here: