But the story held another surprise, a nice surprise for me: the futuristic side of it almost disappeared to become more or less an ordinary romance and indeed the development of the love story between Riv and Ducks was more focused on Ducks trying to regain his mental good health than on the sci-fi details.
Riv is a volunteer running supplies for ReliefCorp, a way for him to atone what he sees as a sin towards humanity, not matter he committed it to defend a friend. During his mission he stumbles upon a traumatized man he will call Ducks; Ducks is scared not only in body but also in mind. I liked the authors decided to not pursue the relationship between Riv and Ducks immediately since indeed in that situation Ducks needed to have time to heal, in every meaning of the word.
With the shift in time of few months we find Ducks in a hospital facility and from this moment on, as I said, the story moves from sci-fi to pure romance. Ducks is not gay but he feels something for Riv, and like Riv gave him time to physically heal, so he will give him time to come to terms with his feelings for another man.
Maybe since Ducks was mostly in a not balanced mental situation, maybe due to this side of the story, the unexpected feelings he has for a man, the authors didn’t push too much on the physical side of the love story; sure there were some “connections”, kisses and cuddling, and of course the necessary discovery of Ducks that a man is different from a woman (no pun intended) in many ways other then the most obvious one. The balance of the title is not only the research of a mental balance for Ducks, but also a balance in his feelings and of course the search for balance between good and bad that led Riv in an almost suicidal mission against the best advice of all his friends.
Amazon Kindle: The Balance of Silence
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (September 14, 2010)
Cover Art by Kanaxa