cover image Gravity and Lies

Gravity and Lies

C.G. Volars. Outland Entertainment, $17.95 trade paper (410p) ISBN 978-1-954255-22-7

A teenage boy is kidnapped by aliens and taken on an intergalactic journey in Volars’s entertaining if unfocused sci-fi debut. Nineteen-year-old Earthling Izaac “Izo” Lopez possesses a unique ability among humans: he can fly. He knows this sets him apart, but never imagines just how much until he is kidnapped by aliens while on his way to work. His captors—Glongkyle, Tearn, and Yula—drag him across the galaxy to the Imperial capital, IA, hoping to profit off Izo’s power. There, the teen catches the attention of Mort, a powerful Senator, whose sponsorship for a racing contract means huge bucks for Izo’s kidnappers. But the gleaming capital isn’t all it seems, and to succeed—and potentially score a ticket home—Izo must learn to navigate the marginalized Avarian world’s sexual politics and prejudices. Volars’s worldbuilding is captivating, with colorful coexisting alien cultures reminiscent of Star Wars and giving rise to a diverse and quirky cast. Izo’s sarcasm and sass will have readers cheering him on, even if frequent shifts in narrators distract from the central plot and slow the pace. The result is fun but muddled. (Mar.)