Book Reviews

Altered Tides (The Galactic Captains 5) by Harry F. Rey at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Aliens / Other Planets / Outer Space / Gods/Godesses / Royalty/Nobility / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by ParisDude on 15-March-2021

Book Blurb

A malfunctioning STAR drive strands Captain Ales in a new galaxy. Trapped on a dry, dusty red moon where the rains fall only once every forty years, the restless population barely survives on a teardrop ration of water. Now, the rains are years overdue, and the ruling clerics view Ales as a savior—or a devil. Just as Ales and the She-King’s brother discover a secret the clerics have been hiding for far too long, this world is invaded and torn apart from a most unlikely source.


The blue moon is a world covered in water—water that flows over to the red moon as rain every forty years, thereby drying up the domain of King Sarlord. He’s finally had enough and gathers an army to sail into the sky on the waterspout, land on the red moon, and defeat the god who steals his ocean. His son, Prince Malar, will do anything to avoid staying behind, but even he gets much more than he bargained for when the world as he knows it is swept away on altered tides.



Warning: depictions of death, graphic wartime violence, grief, past trauma, genocide


Book Review

Harry F. Rey has just released a new book, and once again, Harry F. Rey delivers a real page-turner. This is the fifth book in the ‘Galactic Captains’ series. It can be read as a stand-alone novel—you’ll understand 90 percent of the plot with no problems. There are 10 percent, however, where the characters refer to the previous four installments. So, the bad news is: you should read book one to four before opening this one. But the good news is: you should read book one to four, anyway. I did, without reviewing them, just for my rather selfish and very unguilty pleasure. Be assured—as all the other books by this author that I’ve read so far, they are highly addictive and entertaining.


Starting with this new installment, the title of the series becomes a tad misleading. At least one galactic captain has just become an intergalactic one. In fact, Captain Ales, whom the four previous books also (co-)starrred, has escaped the uproar that has broken out in the Outer Verge of his galaxy by hijacking the prototype of a STAR-drive-enhanced spaceship. He crash-lands on a dry and barren red desert moon that, strangely enough, seems to be on the verge of colliding with another moon, completely blue because entirely recovered with oceans. Both moons are so close together that their stratospheres intermingle. What he doesn’t know in the beginning is that these two orbs have a forty-year cycle. They drift apart, causing draughts and water shortages on the desert moon and the flooding of all dry lands on the water moon. Yet every forty years they move closer and circle around each other for forty days, their shared stratosphere causing the water to flow from the water moon down to the desert moon in monsoon-like rains.


Both moons are inhabited, and the moon dwellers on both worlds have become accustomed to that natural cycle and learned to live with it. Yet for reasons unknown, this time the liberating water overflow is two years late, and things start to look dire on both moons. On the desert moon, people are down to one teardrop of water per day and blame their new She-King for the prolonged draught. What Ales soon finds out, however, is that the priest caste is hoarding water in secret underground caves. Helped by the She-King’s brother, he tries to challenge the corrupt system and starts to fall for the tender and cute young man… That’s when everything is turned upside down as an invading force from the water moon lands in the capital city, destroying the water tanks and slaughtering people. Amongst them, unwilling and helpless, the blue moon king’s gay son Malar, whose lover has just been killed before his very eyes. To muddle everything up some more, Ales’s mother arrives on another stolen STAR-driven spaceship in order to rescue her son and bring him back home to his own galaxy…


There are plots and subplots left, right, and center, as always in Harry F. Rey’s books, but as always, they are swiftly and intelligently woven together into one neat, fast-paced ball of well-told, well-written yarn. The whole series, if I may indulge in this side remark, is a feast for lovers of grandiose space operas with a gay (and sometimes very kinky) twist. The author knows how to write, and how to create three-dimensional, likeable characters with interesting stories to tell. Not that much is told; the readers are rather invited to see what the author shows them through countless backstories, flashbacks, intrigues, schemes, loves, and lives. This fifth book of the series is one of the slower and calmer ones, which doesn’t mean, however, that I was bored for a second. There were two whole new worlds to discover, two (well, technically three) new peoples with their habits and customs. The worldbuilding was really just amazing.


All right, even someone as ignorant of things pertaining to physics as I would wonder about the probability of two moons getting so close together that their stratospheres touch and mingle without their mutual attraction making them smash into each other. It takes a skilful writer to pull stuff like that through without appearing ridiculous, and Harry F. Rey is one of them. After a short initial puzzlement I simply shrugged because I had better things to do—that is, to follow the storyline as it unfolded. Brilliantly written, with no feeble spots I could discern, this book had me enthralled from the first to the last page. I really recommend it—as I really recommend you read books one to four first, if only for their own pleasure.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 72600 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-March-2021
Price $5.99 ebook
Buy Link