Allure of Oartheca

Book One of the Oarthecan Star Saga

Fiction - LGBTQ
365 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

James and his husband live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, and are both avid aficionados of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Not finding enough stories about guys like them, James took matters into his own hands and wrote the stories they always wanted to read. Join him as he starts out on a new adventure in life, sharing stories with big ideas, big characters and big hearts - everyone's got a story in them, you just need to tell it!

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Allure of Oartheca falls into the science fiction, space opera, and LGBTQIA+ sub-genres, and was penned by author James Siewert as part of the Oarthecan Star Saga of novels. The book is recommended for mature adult reading owing to the presence of graphic violence, explicit language, and scenes of a sexual nature. In this intrepid and highly ambitious work of episodic adventures, we follow the exploits of two fated individuals with darkness in their pasts, brought together by chance and pushed to the limits of their bodies and souls. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, cybercriminal Rowland Hale and the once-successful, now-diminished Toar Grithrawrscion will find a lot more than they bargained for as the galaxy throws its worst at them. But together, they might just make it through their pain and find what they’re seeking in life.

Author James Siewert tells a truly epic adventure in this meticulously crafted and gorgeously penned space opera, delivering emotional hardship, thrilling high-octane action, danger around every corner, and steamy romance in its more mature scenes. For anyone seeking an accurately represented presence of LGBTQIA+ in their science fiction, you need to look no further than the authentic and non-gimmicky presence of Siewert’s characters, who are beautifully drawn, realistically damaged by their difficult lives, and very admirable for what the plot puts them through and how they rise to each challenge. I also enjoyed the worldbuilding of the piece, which I felt gave plenty of intricate details on how the setup works and leaves loads of room to explore more facets of this excellent space saga in the future, which I would certainly love to do. So for any readers seeking an explosive work of science fiction with exciting characters and a truly relatable romance, I would definitely recommend Allure of Oartheca.

Susan Sewell

Losing his ship and crew to a vicious alien race while attempting a heist of a military space vessel, an intergalactic thief fights the odds to save his crew in the scintillating science-fiction novel, Allure of Oartheca (Book One of the Oarthecan Star Saga) by James Siewert. Rowland Hale is a Terran, a human born on Earth, and in the past was a captain in the Coalition of Allied Planetary Systems Navy or CAPS-N. After leaving CAPS, Rowland starts a lucrative life of interstellar crime. During his high-jacking of a derelict automated security transport vessel, the Pryok'tel, a race known for its superiority fixation, attacks Rowland's ship. Badly hurt and barely managing to stay hidden from the Pryok'tel boarding his ship, Rowland watches them carry away his crew. Luckily for Rowland, the captain of a nearby Oarthecan mining vessel notices the wreckage and rescues him. Even though it is not lawful for Oarthecans to come into physical contact with humans, the Oarthecan accepts the risk to his career and helps the injured Rowland. Rowland is determined to rescue his crew, but the Pryok'tel destroyed his ship, and the only one available is that belonging to his rescuer. Should Rowland steal it from his rescuer? Or can he persuade the Oarthecan captain to assist him on his mission, even though it would be suicide for the Oarthecan's career?

In the style of Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and Star Trek, Allure of Oartheca (Book One of the Oarthecan Star Saga) by James Siewert is an extraordinary science-fiction novel. It is a captivating and compelling tale in which the principal basis of the plot is a male-gendered society focusing on male/male relationships. The story explores the concept of a society that has no female counterparts and features the fundamental nature of a family-based society. From the very beginning, the story embraces the main character's sensuality. Containing explicit sexual and intimate language with graphic descriptions throughout the book, it is an exciting saga that will thrill mature readers. Filled with dramatic, action-packed scenes, adventure, and romance, it is a novel that promises to enchant and entertain readers who enjoy erotica containing same-sex relationships.

Jamie Michele

Allure of Oartheca by James Siewert is an adventure space opera epic and the first book in the Oarthecan Star Saga series. The story revolves around two central characters: Captain Rowland Hale, a human male who barely survives an absolutely brutal ambush that destroys his entire life and livelihood in a shocking encounter, and Captain Toar Grithrawrscion, the Oarthecan who saves him in a move that contradicts every ethos of the code and training his own livelihood commands. Despite the sacrifice and the repercussions Toar must now navigate, there is the added element of “Allure”—a potentially debilitating pheromone-esque aura that Rowland naturally emits. Rowland also possesses the moral ambiguity and laser focus required to salvage what may be left of those he loves at any cost, and Toar has little choice but to trust the human who cannot be trusted when a common enemy is on the brink of annihilating everything.

“I’m fighting Oarth evolution at every turn, and I fear I’m my own worst enemy.”

The breadth and scope of James Siewert's ambitious start to a new series had the potential to either careen Allure of Oartheca spectacularly into the science fiction slush-pile abyss, or shatter the mold with two male protagonists who are deeply developed, one of whom is of a species that required full development of culture, customs, and expectations. This immersion is heightened by alternating first-person narratives that allow us to continually experience the composite within Siewert's macrocosm with clear eyes. Toar has a strength of body and self-assurance that suits someone who hails from a line where women simply do not exist. As a human male, Rowland obviously has had women in his life as any other human male would. Romantically, Toar and Rowland are incompatible for about a thousand different reasons, and yet, amidst betrayal, war, sabotage, honor, pain, and those horrible Pryok’tel, a story with all of the right parts to push Siewert's saga light years ahead of other writers in the sci-fi universe.

Clarissa Pattern

This is a rollicking ride from beginning to end, an exciting addition to genre fiction and the queer cannon.
It is the first novel in a science fiction series, so there’s a lot of world building, but the characters are so compelling that it is all easy to read and absorb. There are two narrators, Rowland, a human cyber thief, (Rowland and his team of space thieves gave me happy shades of Mal and his team on Serenity), and Toar, a non-human in form and culture, yet with very relatable desires. Rowland and Toar have distinctive voices and it is a pleasure to spend time in the thoughts of both of them to see how they respond to the same events.
I don’t want to give away any of the plot details as it is a real page-turner and there’s a genuine excitement in anticipating what will happen next, but I will reveal there are encounters with intriguing and unique life forms, edge of the seat fights, all dusted over with a sparkly sprinkling of lust and romance.
In the tradition of all great speculative fiction, behind the charm of the characters and the pace of the plot, there are subtle questions asked about the nature of humanity, war, and our relationship with technology. I cannot wait to see how this series and it themes are going to develop and hope that it won’t be too long until the next book!