Review by KJ Van Houten
About The Seven-Foot Cupid by Edward Hoornaert
Ember Dayle prides herself on handling anything her newly colonized planet can throw at her. After an injury, she’s determined to prove herself again. She gets her chance when ordered to explore a mysterious cave on a wilderness mountain. Until that’s done, the last thing she needs is the distraction of a man.
Tyler, an explorer from her town’s fierce rival, is sent to explore the same cave. Like Ember, he’s been in an accident…but he was the only survivor. When he meets Ember, he’s drawn not only to her beauty and toughness, but by her ability to deal openly with her accident.
Booker is a naïve Apprentice Cupid for a secret group hoping to make the colonists healthier, and smarter by helping people with strong genes fall in love. His first assignment: Ember and Tyler. His strategy: lock them in an abandoned cabin together. With nothing else to pass the time, maybe they’ll find love.
He doesn’t realize he’s locked them in with the fiercest, most intelligent native beast ever discovered. Can love help them survive?
Review of The Seven-Foot Cupid
One-word summary: Cute. Sweet. Refreshing. (Okay, that’s 3 one-word summaries.)
Multi-word summary: What do you get when you have a cupid-in-training and 2 discouraged souls? Add in that Cupid is not the cute little angelic immortal we all know and love, but a genetically-perfect human agent of a secret agency with the goal of matchmaking for the purpose of encouraging human population growth on a recently-colonized planet.
Then you have two encroachment agents from competing settlements – that is, ranger-like agents whose job it is to investigate flora and fauna to save such lifeforms from human interference – or rather to ensure various locales are safe for human expansion.
Ember and Tyler are from settlements that are ongoing rivals in pretty much every category. Both humans are encroachment agents, each with a past that has left them uncertain of their abilities to perform their jobs well, each with something to prove.
Booker is a cupid-in-training tasked with getting Ember and Tyler to break the division among townships, realize that they are genetically compatible, and hopefully fall in love. Booker is young, fresh out of training, this is his first assignment, and, when nothing goes quite the way he expects it to, quickly learns that he just might be in over his head here. And that says a lot when he’s 7-foot tall, much larger and intimidating than everyone around him.
Bottomline: I enjoyed this one. It was light, makes a great break from reading action-heavy or drama-heavy like my last few reads. I feel bubbly inside after reading this one. Only a bit annoyed that there is 1) the concept of perfect genes (How is that defined, why would any gene be better than another?) – even if the story shows perfect genes doesn’t mean perfect is really perfect; 2) an implication that motherhood (and parenthood in general) is the ultimate goal (isn’t it enough to just fall in love without needing subsequent marriage and children?); and 3) Several typos throughout, could have used another round of editing or another pair of eyes on it. But really, those concerns are afterthoughts. The story is fun, promising a lot of potential to be explored in this new world along with a fun secret agency to perhaps be exposed. It is not as campy as the Alien Contact for Idiots series (which is fun and I highly recommend), but lighter than the Repelling the Invasion series (which I LOVE, it’s one of my favourites in the SFR genre). Definitely looking forward to more.
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