Pre-release Review: Mindscape by Tal Valante

MindscapeMindscape by Tal Valante

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The truth will set you free.

Mark Sayre joins the Interstellar Navy for the money—his only goal is to keep his little brother out of the colony mines that sent their father to an early grave. With concepts like duty and honor floating high over his head, he hardly expects to fall for the serious, idealistic Shane Cawley. Not to mention that Shane is his commanding officer . . . and his Resonance partner, a one-in-ten-thousand mental connection so profound that they can travel in each other’s mindscapes.

Shane Cawley is carrying on the family tradition by serving in the Interstellar Navy. He hardly expects to fall for the quirky, happy-go-lucky Mark Sayre. But as the Resonance between them grows, neither can deny what he feels for the other.

When war breaks out, Mark and Shane find their military training and their Resonance link tested to the edge of sanity. Shane is haunted by memories and flashbacks, and Mark becomes trapped in his own mindscape. But with help from an unlikely ally, they may be able to salvage their futures and the love they share.

So what did I think?

This story was quite different to the types of stories that I am used to reading. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi so was intrigued by the blurb for this book.

I quite liked the building of the world – little glimpses of the future of planet earth and the intergalactic struggles for resources. The concept of two minds meeting in resonance was also fascinating. Finding the one person in ten thousand who was your soul mate to the extent of sharing thoughts and emotions was fascinating. Therefore the idea of ‘losing’ this person as they became trapped in their own mind interesting and I could understand Shane’s heartbreak.

This is the story of Shane visiting his resonance partner, Mark, in hospital. Mark is almost comatose, unable to speak, communicate or even acknowledge Shane. Shane tries everything in his power, over a long period of time, to break down Mark’s mental barriers to free him from his own mind. He is assisted by Alex, a nurse who adds a slight complexity to the story.

Through flashbacks, we learn of how Mark and Shane met and the war that resulted in Mark’s current situation. I did have a concern with regards to the flashbacks. The book moves back and forth between present day and the past with little warning which was slightly distracting. There was usually a double line space between the switch but I think the ease of reading may have benefited from a more definite change (such as a symbol between the paragraphs). However I was reading an ARC so maybe the formatting will be slightly different on the final book.

This was quite a unique story. I found it not so much a romance, rather a bit of a mystery story waiting to see if Shane could ‘rescue’ Mark. I would have liked to see more of Mark and Shane’s initial romance and falling in love, a deeper look at the characters, although the depth of the love was evident in Shane never giving up on his lover.

I think I will investigate some more work by this author and perhaps venture some more into the m/m romance sci-fi genre.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


This book is due for publication on 23rd December 2013. To pre-order from Riptide click here.

To find out more about Tal Valante and her books visit her website.