Book Reviews

An Island in the Stars by Susan Laine at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Other Planets / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 12-June-2017

Book Blurb

Sam, a geeky college freshman, has bigger problems than lusting after Marcus, sexy jock, college junior, and his big brother’s best friend. Chasing after a beanie caught in the winter wind turns into a tumble down the rabbit hole for them both—science fiction style.


Sam and Marcus find themselves trapped on a tropical island in the middle of a strange ocean on an alien moon. The sole structure is a ruined temple devoted to the art of love. Flustered, confused, and unable to return home, they need to figure out a means of escape from a hostile jungle teeming with dangerous life-forms.


In this tale where opposites attract and secret crushes are revealed, two very dissimilar young men discover they actually have a lot in common after all, but it will take their differences as much as their points of connection to survive on an island in the stars.


Book Review

Two teenagers in their first year of college secretly crushing on each other, one a geek and one a jock, stranded on a tropical island… sound familiar? Well, maybe not familiar, but the beginning of this story contains a few well-known elements. Except – in this novel not everything is as it seems and the everyday environment of a cold winter day quickly switches to that of an abandoned, deserted island on an exomoon once the young men fall into a hole. Literally! What happens next turned out to be an exciting adventure, an exploration of an imaginative alien world, and a “getting to know each other in unusual circumstances” that I found entertaining as well as touching.
Sam is a geek, a year early in college at seventeen, and has been crushing on Marcus, his older brother’s best friend, for eight years. As clever and well-read as he is, he also fears jocks and being beaten up, so he makes sure he is never around the object of his affection on his own. Oh, and he is also convinced that Marcus is straight.

Marcus may be a jock, but he is more than good at athletics. He likes to read, is intelligent, and has developed a crush on the boy he used to like to play with when he was younger. In fact, he is interested enough in Sam to be following and almost stalking him – until they fall into a hole while trying to retrieve Sam’s woolen cap and end up on an island on an alien moon. No more stalking is required – they need to learn how to work together and combine their talents if they want to figure out how to get back to Earth.

Their journey is interesting in every way. The explorations of the moon and its flora and fauna, their slow realization of how they may be able to get back, and the adventure of testing their survival skills was well written and often quite amusing. There is also the discovery of their mutual feelings, Sam’s shyness notwithstanding. There is a lot of bumbling, misunderstanding, and general awkwardness at the beginning, but as they master their situation, they become more comfortable and open and I loved watching them begin to come into their own. With an ending that fits the rest of the book – a mixture of the fantastical and adventurous – this novel certainly makes for fun reading.

If you enjoy fantastical adventures, if two young men finding their feet with their feelings and each other is your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, full of surprises, has an amazing alien world as its setting, and a sweet romance to boot, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 210 pages/72649 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-June-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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