Originally reviewed for The Prism Book Alliance - full review o'er here
Extra note: I GAVE IT ALL THE STARS. YOU SHOULD READ THIS.
A Silver’s heart drifts through its body, bumping softly against walls and other organs. Sometimes it’s illuminated, and you can see it beneath the bruised skin, floating along like a lantern underwater.
I’m going to start this review by saying simply: you should read this book. As in the right the heck now. Go.
While technically queer SF rather than m/m romance, The Silvers is sci-fi in the speculative, rather than sciency sense. It’s a story about otherworlds that is actually about inner worlds, and an exploration of some very human ideas: love and freedom, and the compromises we make for them. While the “introduction of an alien to teach us about ourselves, ah d’you see” is a common enough sfnal premise, The Silvers does it exceptionally well.
It’s partially the writing, which possesses a stark and devastating poetry, partially the fundamental nature of the themes themselves and the book's commitment to them, but also the unusual intimacy of its focus. For a story about the meeting of two alien cultures, it’s really only about one alien and one human, and they ways they change, ruin and save each other. It’s not in the conventional sense a romance, but it is a story about love (among other things). It’s also unflinchingly harsh and unflinchingly hopeful at the same time – my heart didn’t quite know what to do with itself while I was reading, though by the end I was simply celebrating that this book exists.