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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Sparks in the Dark is the first episode of the Buzz and Cutter Series by James Siewert. Albert 'Buzz' Buchanan, a mercenary, has a lucrative offer for a freelancing job that requires him to travel to the edge of the universe. Accompanying him on this mission is his newfound love interest Thomas Cutter, a sentient Vortycian AI who is also a starship engineer. Buzz, Cutter, and the crew of the spaceship Hassrethall are to recover the starship N'Neclor, with which contact had been lost three years before. The Hassrethall soon locates the N'Neclor, but upon boarding the ship, Buzz and the rest of the crew discover a mysterious entity that might be responsible for the death of all those aboard. Buzz and Cutter must now find a way to neutralize the entity or risk being stranded in the vastness of interstellar space.
For readers who love sci-fi space sagas such as The Expanse or Battlestar Galactica, Sparks in the Dark is a gem of a book. James Siewert builds a believable world set hundreds of years into the future where humanity has colonized planets all across the cosmos. The book is all the more special because it is one of the very few sci-fi stories where the main characters belong to the LGBTQ community. It feels like a breath of fresh air. Buzz and Cutter's chemistry is palpable, and every scene involving the two of them together is full of romantic tension and intrigue. If you're a sci-fi lover, don't miss out.