The sci-fi aspect of the novel was quite interesting. I was a bit confused in the beginning because I really had no idea what was going on. I felt like I was being overwhelmed with information that just seemed not to be related to the story at all. I also think that's my fault (maybe?) because I heard this might be part of a series. It may or may not be and if it is then I feel obligated to mention you might want to find out and read the first in the series because it may help you understand some things but if it's not part of a series, well... I feel obligated to mention that you might be confused at first. Lol.
While the novel doesn't revolve around the romance between Trenekis and Niko, it does have a serious case of unrequited love with how Tren has been in love with his best friend Keenam for years. Keenam is now married but they used to be lovers when they were teenagers. Tren is the typical gay guy in a completely straight society. He's going to be forced to marry a girl he doesn't love or lust after. Of course, he doesn't want that at all. He just wants to be free to do what he wants and that's mainly study astronomy. Niko is a geologist coming to Tren's planet to see if it's a viable planet to live on and if there are any elements that would be useful to Niko's home planet. Like I said, though, the story doesn't revolve around Niko and Tren's romance. It's more of a sub-theme. The story is mostly about Tren and him finding out about who he really is, who his family is and feeding his soul with the adventures he craves.
I did find the story fascinating but not until I finally got into it. It took a while for that to happen because I was getting extremely frustrated with a lot of things. For one, there's a lot of head hopping going on. I was reading something from Tren's brother's POV because he was spying on Niko's team but then I started noticing when he was referring to the doctors it'd be by name when he's never actually been introduced to them or heard their name being called. It happened a lot. Usually I don't notice things like that but I was already frustrated with this book so my mind couldn't help but nitpick everything. :-/
Then there was the sex. Now, I don't mind sex at all (okay, I get annoyed when there's an overabundance of it but still) but this sex wasn't even between the MCs Tren and Niko (who don't actually have sex until the very end). It was between Keenam and Tren. I hate it when my MCs have sex with other people whether it's before the relationship, during or after. Now, I can tolerate it when it's relative to the story but the sex between Keenam and Tren didn't further the story at all. It just seemed pointless to me. More like a page filler. Now, if their couplings would have been glossed over then, yeah, I wouldn't have minded but it was actually detailed so it annoyed me and kind of pissed me off. Like, really, you get more sex from Tren and Keenam than you do from Niko and Tren *sigh*
Also, there were flashbacks. I'm not a big fan of flashbacks in general but these flashbacks were mostly of Tren and Keenam having sex. Which made it even worse.
Speaking of flashbacks, there was this one around, ummmm 30% I think? That, to me, seemed way out of place. It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around the fact it had nothing to do with the chapters I just read and everything to do with what happened decades before. It went back and explained what happened on that terrible day when the volcano erupted. That chapter (9, I think) should have been the prologue. I no doubt would have understood a whole lot more in the beginning if that would have been the prologue because I would have understood why it was such a big deal certain things were considered important or catastrophic or whatever.
Overall, this book aggravated me. It's hard for me to tell whether I liked it or not because I appreciated and found the sci-fi of it fascinating but everything else just did not work for me at all. With that said, I would like to know more about Tren and Niko. Just them, though, I don't want any past relationship sex. I want an adventure, a discovery of the romance Tren and Niko are trying to build. That story would appeal immensely to me.