Underneath my “bodice ripper” loving exterior beats the heart of a die hard sci-fi geek, one of my favorite literary combinations is that of the science-fiction romance. Copperback by Tarah R. Hamilton is one of those all too rare combinations. Although I watched science-fiction television shows like The Incredible Hulk as a child the series that impacted me most was V. I didn’t watch the recent remake as I am often skeptical that the magic of the original can be recaptured through another’s interpretation but who could forget the visitors who immersed themselves into all aspects of life on Earth with nefarious intentions in mind? Unlike the extraterrestrials of the 1983 miniseries, the aliens in Copperback are not carnivorous reptilian humanoids. The humanoid appearing Vesper and Sayner aliens, arrive almost simultaneously the Vesper touching down first to the great misfortune of the Sayner.
The plot initially seems similar to many science-fiction novels with visitors mysteriously appearing their intentions a mystery, be they benevolent or otherwise. Yet there is more to Ms. Hamilton’s work than it may seem, she deftly touches on the traditional themes of isolation and bigotry common in works of science fiction and goes beyond those well trodden grounds into the realm of family loyalty and grief.
When do you learn to let go of your fears and misconceptions and trust what your heart is telling you? That real love can come in any form, even if he’s not human.
Two warring alien races are stranded on Earth due to the sudden destruction of their home planets. The Vesper, willing to help the human race to resolve most global crises, is accepted into society while the Sayner, refusing to cooperate at every turn, is enslaved.
Ten years later, Emily O’Neil yearns to find a way out of her small town life, continuing an existence of solitude since the passing of her mother years before. Her opportunity comes in an unusual way—a Sayner slave named Job who is on the brink of death and forced into her care. As their forbidden friendship develops, Emily finds that sometimes, fate has a way of making us see what we long for most—love.
In the decade following their arrival the two warring alien races have diverged wildly in term of social acceptance. Globally, the Vesper are revered for their elimination of disease and dependence on fossil fuels whereas the Sayner are exterminated in some countries and in others like the U.S. they are indentured slaves, a commodity to be bought and sold.
Emily’s ne’er-do-well brother calls late one evening in a panic explaining that he has run over his employers slave. He brings the critically injured alien to his sister, bound by familial loyalty Emily puts aside her fears and with the aid of her aunt, a nurse, they attempt to save the alien’s life.
Copperback is an exemplary start to a series with a number of loose ends begging to be tied up. I can only hope that Ms. Hamilton is hard at work as we speak.
AUTHOR: Tarah R. Hamilton
RATING: 4 Stars
Note – Thank you to the author for providing a copy of their book in exchange for a fair and honest review.