I haven't written a review for anything in many years now so forgive me if I am rusty. I will admit freely that this book was recommended to me by the author, an online acquaintance. They did not offer it to to me freely, just informing me that it existed, and I paid for it with my own money.
That being said (because I want to be honest and forthright so people are not under the allusion that this may have been a paid for review) I wholeheartedly enjoyed the book. The first chapter or two took a bit for me to get into the rhythm with but after that it was pretty smooth (and fun) sailing. The idea that an alien species mere visage may on some almost genetic level of memory make communication difficult, if not feasibly impossible, is one plot element I can't really remember seeing before.
I felt that throughout the story this plot device was wonderfully handled and I loved that while humans (for the most part) thought of these creatures as monsters (though over time they accepted this was irrational) the aliens themselves were very human even with their different biological/physiological needs. Their having three genders was well managed in a very believable fashion. And for those who may thing that aliens must have complete alien thoughts I tend to disagree. Specifics may vary, but the abstract basics I have always felt would be somewhat similar.
The human characters were wonderfully, well, human. They all had wonderful depths and flaws. Even the main protagonist, a functional autistic, was easy of sympathize with. By which I mean I didn't feel forced to have an emotional reaction to her plight and her growth. The other humans all had their own very human problems which were not in any way, I felt, overdone.
The story unspooled and grew in a very organic fashion, some parts a bit better than others of course. One in a while it seemed that situations were strung out a little longer than required but this was really a very minor issue over all. As this was apparently one of her first published efforts I would say they went well beyond a level some could expect of a first time author and easily proved they definitely have what it takes to write captivating and enjoyably stories.
So, now how do I rate this book? Instead of using some arbitrary number rating scheme I will instead rate using five yes/no questions.
Did I enjoy the book? YES
Would I read more from this Author? YES
Would I recommend this book to friends? YES
Was it money well spent? YES.
Do I want a Sequel? YES