This short novella clocks in at under 200 pages and it’s a pretty typical culture-clash/romance, only in a sci-fi setting. Think Dances With Wolves, only instead of Native Americans, it’s people with butterfly wings. A writer falls in love with one of the few surviving members of a race of people that’s been wiped out when humanity took over their planet. The middle section of the book is really interesting. The two are forced to flee, because cross-species relationships are illegal, and the middle third or so is dedicated to their flight through a mountainous wilderness in winter while being pursued by the military. I’ve never been a big fan of man vs nature stories, but Koontz really nails this and something about the sci-fi trappings of the story gives a neat spin on the survival story. The atmosphere is great and you can practically feel the bitter cold the characters are struggling through. This section is more adventure style than the other two sections which are kind of straight-forward romance, in a nearly Harlequin tone. Koontz doesn’t have much facility for romance, so the book is mostly corny. But that middle section is really superlative and riveting. On the whole, it ends up not adding up to much of anything, but it’s short and has a few pleasures, not that you can’t find the same kinds of pleasures elsewhere. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – about two-thirds cross-cultural romance, this early novella is pretty sappy, but a riveting chase/survival sequence in the middle is superlative. 2 ½ stars.