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Review by Riley

About Calling the Change

He rescued her despite impossible odds—Garek has rescued Taya and the rest of his village from the sky raiders, but their return home doesn’t bring easier times. The sky raiders aren’t simply going to go away—they still need the shadow ore they came for, and they want the ships Garek stole from them back. But they aren’t the only threat…

First she was in danger from the aliens who abducted her, now she’s in danger from her own people—Taya’s been rescued, but she isn’t home a week before she’s taken again, this time by men who walked the walls with Garek. They’ve taken her as a consolation prize of sorts, having failed to get hold of Garek himself. They think Taya’s value to the people they’re working for is her relationship to Garek, but they are wrong…

Garek and Taya never gave up on each other before, even when the distance between them was impossibly far, and they aren’t giving up on each other now. As Garek searches for her, and Taya engineers her escape, they discover the motivations behind the new attacks on them are darker than the endless reaches of space they’ve just escaped from.

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Review of Calling the Change

I loved this continuation of the story that began in Sky Raiders. The plot expands exponentially in the second book in the series. What began as a rescue mission in book one evolves into a complex story of regional politics and plotting while at the same time the aliens maintain a constant threat.

The planet Barit is a low tech world divided into regions ruled by lieges. As one liege plots with others against the region of Juli, Aidan, Juli’s heir apparent, must maintain control of his little part of the world. Aidan is an interesting character. He is devious, as evidenced by his role as a an undercover Garamundo guard in book 1. He is smart enough to pick strong allies, even though they are few. But his father, normally so drunk he can hardly stand, has left Juli with no clear leader and that puts Aidan in a very precarious situation. I like this character – he needs his own story.

Two of Aidan’s strongest allies are Garek and Taya. Calling the Change is really their story. The title refers to a supernatural ability to call elements to give them power. Garek calls air. His talent is greater than any other air caller. Taya is the only one capable of calling the ore. And the ore is the only weapon that can bring down the enemy aliens. Together, Garek and Taya are the best defense against the aliens. The whole defense against the aliens gets placed on a back burner – quite a bit – because of Barit’s political strife. As I was reading, I kept thinking, the aliens are still out there. When are you people going to figure out that your problems are nothing compared to what the aliens might bring down on you.

While the aliens do come back into the story, I can’t help but think there is going to be some big showdown in a future installment. After all, these aliens are high tech, but can barely survive themselves on Barit or on the moon where they are mining the ore. But the ore is detrimental to their technology. What do they need it for?  Questions…..

If you have not read Sky Raiders, it’s not necessary, but I recommend you start there in order to get a proper introduction to the characters. Then follow up with Calling the Change to absorb the culture, society and politics of the world of Barit.

In the Sky Raider series, Michelle Diener has created an original, fascinating world in the lands of Barit and the skies above it. I am highly anticipating the next installment! For scifi romance readers, both books are highly recommended.

The author provided a copy of her book so that I could bring you this honest review.

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