Book Reviews

Returning Heroes (The Galactic Captains 6) by Harry F. Rey at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Aliens / Other Planets / Outer Space / Gods/Godesses / Royalty/Nobility / Interspecies / Interracial / Multiple Partners / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by ParisDude on 10-May-2022

Book Blurb

Captain Ales has returned to the galaxy, forever changed as the powers have prepared for war. He’ll accept help from anyone if it leads to the mysterious Turo from whose cage Ales must free himself if he ever wants to return to the Red Moon.


Meanwhile Daeron has been offered the deal of a lifetime by the ruler of the Seven Suns. Marry Osvai, the Kyleri prince, and become heir to the richest star-state in the galaxy while raising an army to restore the prince to his rightful place as Emperor of the Million Suns.


But Viscamon’s grip on Jiwani has only tightened as the nobles imprisoned in the Royal Baths still refuse to bow to the immortal’s cataclysmic theology of destroying the Galactic Balance. It seems the only way for Imperial Guard Captain Antari to avoid a massacre is outright treachery.


While dynasties play galactic politics, the Outer Verge is being torn apart. From a prison cell, Mahnoor watches The Rip destroying Targuline, until the Kyleri rebels offer him the chance to save himself by flying into the heart of danger. He might even become Jansen’s most unlikely hero.


Heroes and villains run riot around the galaxy, unleashing destructive forces and sliding the great powers toward a war from which no one will be safe.



Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content, which may only be suitable for mature readers. Death of a prominent character and depictions of death, graphic violence, grief, genocide, infidelity/cheating.


Book Review

Several muses, I think, must have been standing behind Harry F. Rey’s back when the author was writing this series. Melpomene and Thalia for sure (they’re the ones behind tragedy and comedy), but Calliope (epic poetry) and Erato (love poetry) also had a hand in this endeavor. And I imagine their first question was, “How many characters and how many plot twists would you like to have, Harry?” To which the reply was, “Yes, please.” Wink, wink.


This is the sixth and so far the longest instalment in the “Galactic Captains” saga (as it happens also the penultimate), and it keeps the promises of its predecessors, and then some. If you aren’t familiar with the whole universe of Commander Ales, Captain Daeron, Prince Osvai, dangerous Turo and Viscamon, to name but a few characters, I’m afraid you will have to start with book one, ‘Siege Weapons’, then work your way up to this one. Even I, who have read the previous instalments, restarted the whole series before tackling this one—one tends to forget a few names and plot developments after a while. But trust me, I didn’t regret it, and you won’t either, because this is space opera at its best. As I said, the casting is rich and varied, the story twists and turns every which way, with new stuff whenever you finish a page.


In this book, Ales, my favorite hero-who-wants-to-be-an-antihero-but-isn’t, has come back to his galaxy, love-struck (yet again) and desperate to find Turo, the nefarious dark plotter who encaged Ales’s privates and is the only one who can liberate him. The young man’s reunion with his long-lost mother has been brief; she settles on Jansen to keep on working on the scientifc project that allows intergalactical travels while he rushes off to Jimari, where Turo has last been spotted. In the meantime, Daeron and Osvai are staying in the capital of the Seven Suns, living in the golden cage the ruler of that Democria, Ezreal, has carved out for them. Ezreal has high-strung plans for young Daeron, and those plans imply him marrying Osvai, the crown prince of the Empire of a Million Suns. But from the start, that marriage seems to be doomed, even though the two guys somehow love each other (a tumultuous story all by itself). The end result of their union would be to reunite the two most powerful entities of the galaxy. The future looks bittersweet, but bright. Yet, Harry F. Rey always keeps several unexpected trumps up the sleeve, and this book turned out to be no exception. Never trust your instincts when you read one of Rey’s books because something new will always pop up…


Great pace, as in the other books, coupled with a fluid writing style and endearing characters made for yet another captivating read. I really liked and still like Daeron, Ales, Osvai, Antari, Mahnoor, the “mainest” characters if I may use this barbarious term. They are endearing, heavily flawed as humans always are, with weaknesses galore, hesitating, acting and reacting often despite their better knowledge, throwing the story into a constant turmoil of which I can’t even begin to imagine the ending. The positive side effect is that I wasn’t bored for a second, and the fact that some passages have a softer, slower flow kept me engaged and interested all the time. There was one plot development toward the end of the book that I hadn’t seen coming at all (I’m even a bit cross with the author because how could you?), and now I’m positively trembling with anticipation for the next (and last) book.


Forget ‘The Expanse’ series—well, don’t actually forget it because it’s amazing. I started reading it and enjoyed it very much, but one has only that much time, and we’re talking about nine (!) novels and nine (!) short stories and novellas, after all. Keep ‘The Expanse’, all right. But if you’re into that series and just wished James Holden and his love interest Naomi Nagata were dashing gay men, if you want a light sprinkling of BDSM, loads, loads, loads of steam (in the figurative as well as the strict sense), intermingling love stories, plots and schemes and manipulations, this series (and this book) are a must-read.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 83100 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-January-2022
Price $6.49 ebook
Buy Link