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Operation Starseed: 12/18/09
Operation Starseed was JM Snyder's first novel and the third one I've read. It is set in space, both on a station and on a distant colony world. It's part romance and part social commentary and all space opera.
Neal James works as a radio operator taking in calls from passing ships and relaying their messages as needed. The one voice he doesn't expect to hear is his ex, Dylan Teague. To further complicate things Dylan and Neal end up assigned to the same mission to check out radio signals from a Starseed colony ship years after the program was closed and deemed a failure.
On the romance front you have lots of awkward make-up sex in tight and semi-hostile quarters. Some of the scenes are juvenile at times but I think deep space just one you go stupid sometimes. I found the constant referring to each other as "that boy" out of character for both men but that is a minor quibble for otherwise interesting and well rounded personalities.
The colony itself brings to play the social commentary aspect of the novel. The survivors have developed a very strict society as a means for continued survival. Something killed most of the original colonists the taboos are there to prevent that ever happening. Unfortunately when you get outsiders you get unintentional taboo breaking and consequences for everyone.
Despite a few pacing issues, I enjoyed the book. I like how Snyder mixes science fiction and romance.