"On the outside, I'm a perfectly ordinary, unspoiled, twento-two-year-old woman from Kauai. My tan skin and long, mud-brown hair are indistinguishable from any of my neighbors'. Although, the red prison jumpsuit isn't in fashion."
Meet Elora Cussons, one of the main protagonists.
She's on board of the Aidos, a spaceship that was assigned to deliver her to the Minos Justice Station for her trial.
As she tells to the readers (she regularly breaks the fourth wall):
"There's been a great deal of discussion over what exactly I am - ranging from papers published in scientific journals to angry rants on internet forums - but the term "half-robotic abomination' would seem to apply. I prefer Metal-American."
As you've been able to derive, Elora is a cyborg.
On the trial people will define if she's human (with all the associated rights of self-disposal) or if she's a robot (with no rights whatsoever).
That she won't go down without a fight, is clear from the beginning.
Her sarcastic remarks jump off the pages and make her the life of the party.
"Hmm, what? I was busy calculating the meaning of the universe with my extremely advanced robotic brain, and I wasn't able to compute whatever stupid thing you were saying."
Although a sassy heroine can lift the story to a higher level, in this case there's sometimes a bit of an overkill.
In the end her almost constant negativity has the tendency to become rather annoying at times.
Which doesn't mean that there aren't any positive notes in her reactions.
Especially her intern dialogues with Bertie bring some lightness.
"It appeared in space above Earth a little more than a year ago. Everything else about it is a mystery."
The Great Compass is a strange object floating in space. The human crew of the Aidos has the task to gain more information about it. During one of their explorations Commander Albert "Bertie" Fuentes disappeared. When his husband, Lieutenant Gareth "Gary" Fuentes, went to look for him, he didn't came back either.
That's where Elora comes in. As she's a cyborg, apparently she's got a better chance of success. And she does indeed manage to get back Gary.
But at the same time she also gets the consciousness of Bertie inside her own brain.
"Even though it's my body, it's still Bertie's gentle laugh that comes out. He bites my lip and holds his hand out for Gary to take once more. "I love you," he says."
Although this aspect of two different souls in one body could be very confusing, the author did a very good job in giving Bertie and Elora a total different voice and personality.
What follows is a mix of action and romance. We get to know more about the relationship of Bertie and Gary. And at the same time we see how Elora tries to find an equilibrium in this strange situation between the three of them.
Revealing more about the plot would contain too much spoilers.
So if you're in for a sci-fi romance that's different from other reads, just try this entertaining story for yourself!
Kristin L. Stamper is a writer of YA and adult science fiction.
You can read more about her on following website: https://kristinlstamper.com/
Ternary is her first book, but she also wrote two novelettes The Bonded Pair and Carrier which are available for free if you subscribe to her newsletter. For more info go to: https://kristinlstamper.com/works/
NineStar Press is an LGBTQA+ ePublisher located in New Mexico (USA) that was founded in 2015.
It's owned and managed by LGBTQA+ people and offers mainly romance and erotica.
But they also have an enormous interest in showcasing amazing literary works about characters less represented in fiction: ace, aro, trans, nonbinary, genderfluid, bi, pan, etc.
Furthermore they like genre-bending fiction, fusion genre and stories that don’t quite fit into a particular category.
If you want to learn more about the books they publish, you can head over to https://ninestarpress.com/
*Thanks to NetGalley and NineStar Press for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.