Forbidden Planet by Rinelle Grey was a stretch for me, but I wanted to do some sub-genres reviews this month, not just Regencies and contemporaries. Those are the novels I choose when I don’t make a “mindful” pick. FP is a science fiction romance, with a setting on distant planets.
First, there are environmental issues of overpopulation on one planet, and the dying out of a society on another. One group of people is trying to control their fertility, while the other is trying to have babies desperately.
Second, we have our hero Tyris, who, on his home planet, is considered an outlaw because of an old minor arrest and forbidden from reproducing. When the official notice arrives, his wife dumps him. With nothing to lose, he goes exploring into space.
Third, on the planet where Tyris crashes, he meets Marlee, a young woman who has already failed to get pregnant with other men. She feels despondent over this, even though she is kind and helps him recover. Tyris tries to persuade the people on this planet to let him use their crashed ship’s parts to fix his, but some are reluctant. They seem resigned to their doom.
There is a “gift of the magi” type dilemma happening overall, where a substance named “anysogen” is the key to fueling ships and finding new food sources, which in turn will ease the overpopulation burden; however, exposure to anysogen is fatal at worst and leaves one infertile at best, such infertility extending to animals, livestock and otherwise. Marlee’s planet is (1) full of anysogen, and (2) mysteriously wiped off the starmaps. Hmm.
Be that as it may, FP is a romance novel, so the focus is mainly upon the development of the relationship between Tyris and Marlee, and how they overcome their fears and doubts in order to trust each other. It’s also the first book in a series, so despite the HEA, we are left with many unanswered questions.