I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Aliens have come to Earth. The Ba'ren have come to Earth looking for peaceful diplomacy, trade and to help with medical research. Part of the diplomacy efforts include two human student ambassadors paired with two Ba'ren ambassadors at the University of Nebraska where ongoing osteosarcoma treatment is taking place that the Ba'ren believe they have a cure for. Emma Smith has been chosen to be one of the student ambassadors to the Ba'ren; as a freshman, Emma hopes to advance her career in biomedical engineering and get to know the Ba'ren. Sepporinen is one of the Ba'ren ambassadors chosen. Unlike Emma, he has no desire to meet another species. Sepporinen would much rather explore the mining opportunities of the asteroids that orbit our Solar System. Emma and Sepporinen are paired together for classes and diplomacy for better or worse, and things quickly get worse as some humans push back against the Ba'ren's involvement on Earth. Things take another strange turn as Emma and Sepporinen find themselves inexplicably drawn towards one another.
Star City is an interesting Young Adult Science Fiction story that follows a story line that we know well, boy meets girl, boy hates girl and then boy and girl and girl fall in love. One aspect that makes this story unique are the reasons why they fall in love. Emma and Sepporinen are both unlikely candidates for the student diplomat positions, the reasoning is not clear until the end, but creates another layer of suspense throughout the story. Another aspect of the story that created tension throughout was the very realistic way that the human population responded to the Ba'ren. There were many parallels between the perception of the Ba'ren coming to Earth and any change that we try to implement on Earth. When the Ba'ren attempted to help humans, there were factions of people that became violent and racist, people that protested, people who responded with fear as well as governments from other countries that attempted to interfere with the way the USA interacted with the Ba'ren. I was very interested in the Ba'ren, their planet and the many cultures and technology that they have. I hope that this is explored more in the second book. I did like the diversity in the book as well, although I felt that Emma's character could have been fleshed out a little more. The uncertainty between the two species reaches it's apex near the end and the truth of the relationship that each species wanted with the other comes out. Overall, Star City complements inter-species romance with plenty of action and adventure and I can't wait to read the next installment.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.