Monday, March 21, 2016

Star Host by @ftlukens Gay Guy Straight Girl #BookReview #MMRomance #YA #SciFi

The Star Host
By F. T. Lukens

Lisa's Rating - 3 Stars
OJ's Rating - 4 Stars

Available for purchase at:

About Our Gay Guy/Straight Girl (GGSG) Reviews~I’ll show you mine if you show me yours~

This isn’t a buddy read. Our co-reviews are done on a blind basis. We both choose the book we want to read, but from there on out we don’t discuss any of our thoughts before the review is live.  We think it’s more fun this way and we won’t influence each other.
Three Questions
We’ll form 3 questions for each other during our read to be answered in the comments below the review. Please feel free to join in our discussion, we’re always happy to know what you think.

Lisa Arbitrary

When I read the blurb for this I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It sounded full of action, solid world-building and romance. I wasn't disappointed. It's what I hoped for with the added bonus of more to come. I admit I didn't know it was YA, but I had no trouble enjoying this read.


When Lisa approached me about doing a GayGuy/StraightGirl review on The Star Host my first reaction was “I don’t do YA.” I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just that my tastes have changed over the years, and then… I read the blurb. Hooked I was, read it I must! This checked off almost every box I would have gravitated to read as young gayling, and it turned out to be a blast!



Ren - You can take a boy from his planet, but you can't take the star from the boy...or something like that. Ren is homegrown, unsophisticated and naive with a heart of stardust, it seems. Watching his eyes open to the larger world is intriguing. Watching him learn to harden that heart is somber. Watching him learn love is charming.

Asher - Handsome, sophisticated, military trained, Asher knows things. Things he can't share. Things he must share. 


Ren - Ren was older than Liam by two years. They shared a mother, but not a father. Ren’s father was a member of a Phoenix Corps regiment that had passed through their village eighteen years ago. Ren never knew him. And while Liam took after their mother—short, stocky and fair—Ren was his father’s child, tall and gangly with dark hair and dark eyes. *Liam is Ren's younger brother

Asher - He heard a shuffle of feet from the shadows of the other cell, and then a man stepped into the light. He leaned on the iron grid that separated the cells with his arms bent above his head and his fingers dangling. The sparse light cast a halo on his greasy blond hair. His clothes were finer than anything Ren owned, but they were worn and dirty from the cell. He was young, probably a little older than Ren but not by many years, and his body was lean, stretched out along the slats. 



Ren is a backwoods boy about to have his world expand beyond even his dreams. Beginning with a frantic opening scene involving chase and capture this story starts with pulse-pounding excitement. Torn from family and friends, Ren is thrust into a dungeon cell where he awaits his fate at the hands of a powerful general who can control Ren's will.

Ren's only source of information is from a cheeky, arrogant "drifter" in the next cell. Together they must find a way to trust each other enough to get word to the Phoenix Corps that the siege here is about to expand to the star system.

Castles and star ships, fiefs and force fields, the world building here is a strange and intriguing mix. The tender and youthful romance is PG rated, but grows in believable increments. This action/adventure should appeal to a wide range of readers. Watch for glimpses of Firefly, Star Trek, and other familiar SciFi influences.


What a great story line this turned out to be, so much so that reading it was a pleasure and a sweet return to the books I loved in my younger years. I yearned for those fantastic, far away science fiction stories, with the handsome, brave hero and his sidekick and their journeys through space, fighting through an awesome adventure, and this story has all those magical elements in it, and more. Now the hero’s sidekick is also his romantic interest! wooHOO! Just what a young gayling like myself would have loved.



Though this is a bit of an easy reader, maybe as a nod towards a younger audience, I found the content entertaining and engaging. The exciting and energetic beginning levels out and I felt a bit of a let down in the midsection. Though the adventure continues throughout it read a bit slower once Ren and Asher are traveling through space. Maybe that was intended as Ren complains about being bored and the author made me feel that a bit too. Still, there is a nice build toward a showdown in the final chapters. And the subtle but lovely romantic relationship is warm and gentle and just perfect for these two young men.


Yeah, the writing! Excellent. It flows so well, in a logical, if at times expected, story arc and I can forgive the ‘expected’ part as this is really good stuff. No hiccups, no weird sentence structures and undecipherable story twists, just good, straightforward science fiction.

The romantic quotient was just right, perhaps a tad on the mild side, and develops at the steady progression of two young men coming of age romantically,the pull of their attraction increasing through each new, fantastic adventure and escapade. There are no explosive sex scenes here, they’re not meant to be in this book and the writer carries it off in a sweet, smooth style.

The characters, all of them, are well developed. The MCs are so well done you feel connected to them. SCs are thoroughly carried out so you never feel a questioning about any of them. Brava!

I am definitely planning on reading Broken Moon Book 2.


For OJ

1) Did you, like me, see SciFi references that made you think of other popular SciFi titles?

2) Was the romance too timid for their age?

3) Which secondary character would you like to see developed more?

For Lisa

1) So, what exactly called to you about this book as a Straight Girl and/or otherwise?

2) What did you think of the romantic quotient of this book? Would you have done anything differently romantically?

3) How would you classify this book, reading-wise? A guilty pleasure, or good escapism, or…?

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, his dream slips further out of his grasp. Now a slave of a despotic Baron, Ren must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

Ren finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
About the Author

F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.
A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.
Connect with F.T. at on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at and on Goodreads at

258 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2016 by Duet, a Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Original Title The Star Host
ISBN 1941530729 (ISBN13: 9781941530726)
Edition Language English

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We would like to thank Duet - Interlude Press for providing us with a review copy in exchange for our honest reviews.

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