Modified And Sacred – Jana Denardo
Lieutenant Addison Hunt is proud to serve the Confederation even if he still feels like he’s on the outside looking in. Addison was illegally genetically modified as a child, leaving him burdened with a sense of shame. Emotionally isolated from his fellow crewmen and recovering from injuries from his last job, Addison is happy to have light duty transporting an esteemed diplomat to a peace conference.
Deveral is one of the Sacred Kin, possessing a psychic ability that his people consider a spark of the divine. Like all the Sacred Kin, he’s led a sheltered life as a temple priest, but his heightened empathic ability makes him the perfect diplomat. Nervous to leave his home, he’s curious about his new companion, Lieutenant Hunt.
Not everyone wants the diplomatic mission to succeed, and a rebel faction poses a real threat to Addison and Deveral. Finding themselves cast adrift on a “lost” colony, they’ll have to fight to stay alive.
Modified And Sacred is an enjoyable sci-fi romance that touches upon religion and science. It has a lot of stuff going on from human trafficking, illegal modifications to lost colonies and sacred beings. My favorite was the Fyrians, a specie who can change the colors of their skin and hair depending on their emotion.
Deveral was a Sacred Kin, assigned to go on a diplomatic mission to negotiate with a breakaway faction. He lived a pampered life and has never been outside his planet so his survivals skills were almost nil. Dev is easy going and never shies away from getting what he wants.
Addison is a Confederate soldier nursing an injury so he was assigned a boring mission to escort the Fyrian ambassador. Turns out the mission was far more exciting than he bargained for. Their shuttle was shot down and they crash landed in an unknown colony. A big part of the novella is about him and Dev navigating the land and trying to evade pursuers. Unlike Dev, Addy was more uptight. He has secrets to keep and a job to do so he was very hesitant to complicate his relationship with the Sacred Kin who was all but ready to jump his bones no matter the danger they were in.
I like that the plot moves fast but because this is a novella, some developments were rushed. I’m all for quick reads but I think this could benefit from adding a couple more chapters to flesh out Dev and Addy’s relationship, the issue with mods, their escape from the lost colony and the ending. The backstories were interesting though they gloss over some points
The worldbuilding could also use additional details. We get a small peak at a small corner of their universe and what I saw was intriguing enough for me to read a sequel if there’s any. There were many interesting aspects I am curious about such as their governments, other alien species, technology and so on. I want to see more of the Turing crew and the Fyrians. I hope Xavi gets his own book too. Clearly, there are more stories waiting to be told about this colorful universe.
Thank you to IndiGo for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it