Guest Review: Space Mac by Emma Jane

Cocky escort Mackenzie “Mac” Jones has just the right type of blood so that when he steals an odd silver brooch from a client, it transports him to a strange planet. Frightened and confused—and confronted by aliens—he flees and ends up bumping into a handsome humanoid male named Teevar.

But Teevar and his companions are also on the run, and Mac finds himself embroiled in the affairs of his new friends with no idea how to get back to Earth. Can Mac and Teevar survive long enough to work out their feelings for each other? And will Mac ever see home again?

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Space Fun

I had a lot of fun with this title. A rent-boy Earth guy steals something from a client that lands him in a processing center for humans in space. This was an understandably jarring experience, so the first chance Mac gets to escape what he thinks will be some horrific experimentation, he takes it.

Of course, this lands him in even further hot water as he runs into a crew of people, including his love interest, Teevar, who is also on the run. Apparently Teevar's people don't much care for the fact that he's gay or that he killed to protect himself, essentially, and he's being hunted across the galaxy doing ... slightly unsavory things with his crew in order to remain free. Sounds like fun, right?

Well, it was.

galaxy party -- space mac review pics

It was also harrowing in places, sad here and there, and sweet where it needed to be. There was a little slow burn UST and a couple of MCs who couldn't have been more opposite in many respects. Mac was jaded and a little too experienced and Teevar was about as shy, restrained and inexperienced as a guy can get.

However, factor in the whole we'll-kill-you-cuz-you-like-men aspect of his society (thankfully not a universe-wide issue) and it was pretty understandable and made for some interesting interactions between him and Mac.

insecure baby gay -- space mac review pics

Now, Mac was kind of an oblivious douche-bag here and there. He was so singlemindedly focused on getting back to Earth, he was a little callous about what was right in front of him. He was also a raging narcissist and kind of an ass about it, TBH. In reality, he was unlikable a lot of the time, but there was also a sense that a lot of it was a front.

So ... redemption was in the offing and that's catnip for me. I think Mac was in "flight" mode for a lot of the book and was chasing after what he thought he should have wanted without thinking too much about whether it was actually worth the effort to get back to. I mean, if I had a choice between going back to selling my ass or traveling the universe with a crew of *cough* slightly disreputable folks and a guy that really loved me (and vice versa). Well, I think I'd go for the space jam.

just sayin -- space mac review pics

The crew was cray-cray. Just ... yeah, cray-cray. There was some fast-paced action, a lot of running, and more running. The plot was a little OTT, but the romantic interest element balanced it out nicely even though Mac spent all his time trying to get back to Earth and Teevar spent the same time preparing to get left behind for dead.

I liked the little bit of world-building that was included. A lot of it was on kind of a micro level, as in, they went here, they went there, they went back over here. Those places were described well in isolation.

little bit -- space mac review pics

There's a lot of space-faring worlds out there that we hear about and some beings we see in passing. The worlds have their own individual societies which are not interfered with for the most part, but many of those same worlds are part of a larger collective with a kind of universal set of laws that are enforced as it pertains to lesser beings and other worlds.

It's hard to explain because we only got hints of the Big Picture and I would have liked a lot more of that. The way I looked at it was kind of like our world. Each country has their own laws that the rest of the world may or may not frown upon, but as long as you're not Hitler, you're pretty much left alone.

Then there's countries who belong to NATO, and they have an agreed upon set of rules that are followed by their member countries for the good of all. Supposedly.

crushed it -- space mac review pics

Were there problems? Sure. I said before it was a little OTT and short on Big Picture. It wholeheartedly embraced a few offensive gay stereotypes and ran with them which some might find objectionable. I felt like it was a deliberate vibe and it fit the voice of the story.

Since it was an ARC, I try not to harp too much on editing because that usually means it's not finished yet, but that has bitten me in the butt before. So ... there were some minor editing issues and the language had a definite British cant to it. There, butt covered.

Other than that, if you don't take this one too seriously, it's a lot of fun. I hope to see more of this world from the author, and honestly, more of these characters. There weren't any glaring loose ends as far as Mac making a decision—stay or go—but the ending was quite abrupt and there's a lot of room for more ... adventurous misadventures.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

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