Hidden Planet
by Dorrine Simmering
PageTurner Press and Media

"Earth and the Federation of Planets wanted this planet to move forward more rapidly in order to join the Federation."

Nineteen-year-old Darianna D'Orlay leaves family and friends to embark on a mission approved by the Federation of the Planets to save Numinus, a pristine, earthlike planet with human societies. The Federation fears that space pirates will invade the world because of its remote location. The tale begins as a space opera with fascinating encounters with exotic extraterrestrials as Darianna embarks on her journey. When she arrives, space flight's high-tech ambiance is transformed into arduous land travel with a servant couple and her android, Fletcher. The trio travel by covered wagon toward her destination in a world and culture that seems medieval compared to the scientifically advanced Earth, as the tale shifts from sci-fi into more of a historical romance. Early in the journey, the immigrant trio comes upon Christian Terrail—a young, handsome lord from the Western Kingdom of Talleyrand—who has been injured by a fall from a horse. As Darianna nurses him back to health, the pair fall in love as they journey onward.

The author includes detailed subplots in this mashup of genres. The young characters and the reading level seem suitable for a young adult audience until the short but spare sex scenes emerge, making this tale perhaps better suited for older readers. The interesting characterizations stand out from the story arc, which progresses well but is occasionally made less vital through "telling" and not enough "showing." The extensive cast of characters, while at times somewhat overwhelming, makes for some lively reading. Ultimately, the lovestruck couple introduces modernization to Tallyrand but is accused of witchcraft by the Church for their efforts. A bit of sci-fi is reintroduced as a pirate ship crash lands in Tallyrand. The tale is replete with the hookups, costuming, and social pageantry that period romance readers enjoy.

Return to USR Home