Rating: 3.5 stars
Recommended for: Adults only, those who can handle sex scenes and some swearing
I was excited to win A Human Element in the Goodreads First Reads contest, and I set to work reading it at once. Ms. Galanti spins a wonderful tale of love, loss, and alien contact in her magnificent debut novel. I loved Laura’s strength and compassion, Ben’s need for love and acceptance. I felt true sympathy for Charlie/X-10, the monster created by human cruelty. The story was wonderfully written and beautifully told, and contained a great message about the abilities of humans to love, to forgive, and to be redeemed.
The plot was terrific—I love science fiction, and A Human Element did not disappoint me in that department! Meteors, spaceships, aliens, humans with strange powers. All the elements of a truly amazing sci-fi were there. When Laura was born, she was born the smallest of a pair of twins, here brother being monstrously huge and grotesque. Raised separately, she in a loving home, he in a decrepit laboratory, she had no idea that he existed. X-10, however, knows everything about his twin through his strange mind powers, and feels intense jealousy toward her for having a life he could never have. He systematically kills her entire family, and anyone who grows too close to her. When Laura meets and falls in love with Ben, she begins to fear for his life. Will Charlie destroy Ben and Laura, or will she, with her own strange powers, be able to save him? Truly a five-star book, if that were it.
Unfortunately, there were far too many sex scenes and explicit language for my tastes. I would have much preferred a few implied scenes—no descriptions necessary, thank you very much! I would have given this book five stars, but these scenes really kind of ruined the book for me.
I applaud Ms. Galanti’s excellent storytelling ability, but I really just could not stand those scenes.