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Sub Zero (The ESTO Universe)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  205 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Major Aren Dalsgaard's newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what's the problem? Drass is where he died, more than a hundred and ...more
ebook, 173 pages
Published August 19th 2012 by Amber Quill Publishing
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My Fair Captain by J.L. LangleyDark Space by Lisa HenryThe Englor Affair by J.L. LangleyGravitational Attraction by Angel MartinezEvenfall by Santino Hassell
Best Gay Science Fiction Romance
62nd out of 324 books — 555 voters
Shattered Glass by Dani AlexanderArmed & Dangerous by Abigail RouxStars & Stripes by Abigail RouxChase in Shadow by Amy LaneWho We Are by T.J. Klune
Best M/M Romance Published in 2012
271st out of 617 books — 1,450 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 491)
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Jul 23, 2016 Kyle rated it liked it

It's good but nothing to get overly excited about.

Major Aren Dalsgaard died on the planet Drass over a hundred years ago and now they've brought him back to life to investigate three murders of local merchants. Once back on Drass, the Major quickly learns that things aren't as simple as they appear to be.

It was a quick read. The plot was fun and entertaining. The pacing was okay. As with most M/M romance novels any pacing is broken up by the sex which was nothing special either.

I guess depen

Jess Candela
Nov 18, 2012 Jess Candela rated it it was amazing
Review Summary: This is a heartwarming tale of adventure, of coming back alive and learning to love again, wonderful friendships, and, of course, rescuing the world in the process.

Review: Angel Martinez does SF/F very well, as I discovered with Gravitational Attraction. That was the sole reason I read this book. I didn’t find the blurb or the cover particularly appealing, but I figured it was worth a try since I’d loved that one so much. This is a worthy addition to that universe, and I’m so
Lilia Ford
Solid world-building and characterization, with a satisfying mystery. I really liked everything to do with the "cryo" resurrection, and I loved the side-kick Sergeant, Emma. I have a pretty severe personal problem with depictions of "noble" peoples who differ too sharply from corrupt, fallen humanity. The contrast here was disappointingly heavy-handed, with the human settlers portrayed as greedy, genocidal bigots, while the planet natives are so good they don't even understand the concept of

It’s a challenge writing a science-fiction adventure/mystery romance. It’s such a balancing act getting all the pieces right and working well together without burying the reader in all the dressing. I’m intrigued by this author -- Angel Martinez seems to get it right. I’m new to her stuff, have only read one other piece by her, Prisoner 374215. Written for GoodReads’ gay romance group 2013 writing event, ‘Love Has No Boundaries’, that excellent short story had such an impact, it made me want to
Jun 29, 2013 Sunny rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, science-fiction
...Impressive world building, great characterization, and an interesting plot. I liked that the gruff Major and the sweet Nyachung weren't cardboard cutouts but had depths to their personalities. My only wish would be for more of the romance :)
A sci-fi MM romantic-suspense involving a human (Aren) and a dangpo - a human that has been genetically-altered to live on planet Drass (Nyachung).

Aren died on Drass, but was recently revived having been cryogenically frozen for 100 years. Aren is a major in the interplanetary force, and is asked to return to Drass, to investigate some murders. He meets Nyachung, when the alien is accused of the murders.

My main concern was that Aren and Nyachung would be anatomically compatible for sex…turns o
Dec 06, 2012 Reggie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Reggie by: Jess
Shelves: sfy-fantasy
I Really enjoyed. Very nice science fiction story. No Sex, oops 1 scene, but the story moved along nicely without it. It had the feel of a Star Trek episode: where they go down to the planet for one reason, and then end up getting involved in something totally different. I had a very good time with this one.

I would recommend this to Sci-Fi fans who also like the old Star Trek Episodes (orig. or Next Gen).

Happy Reading, this is a good one!

Yeah mama! This book is awesome sci-fi with incredible world building done in an extremely short amount of time. Ms. Martinez really knows how to make you live in the worlds she creates. 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 'cause why the hell not.

Major Aren Dalsgaard is struggling to find his way back, going through the motions of duty while battling his own body’s weakness. You see he has been brought back to life after over a hundred years of death. Not having been allowed to die with his native lover A
Mar 15, 2014 dblue rated it it was amazing
Angel Martinez is awesome at world building, she nails the SF/F genre whether it is humorous or serious. I did not want to put the book down once I started reading it. It has social and ethical dilemmas, political intrigue, power struggles, miscommunication, deliberate misinformation to create discord and prejudice and inequality. It also has love, friendship, loyalty, equality and romance.

Her characters are well developed and my heart broke for Aren more than once in the story. Nya is a charact
Oct 08, 2012 Urbanista rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Major Aren "goes native," loses his " noble savage" lover and emerges from a cryogenic sleep to complete his rescue of a virtually helpless indigenous population, 100 years later. Aren gets two chances to be the compassionate imperialist, a Lawrence of Arabia for the exploited inhabitants of a mineral rich, frozen planet.

Empowered and informed of a conspiracy to wipe out the indigenes, Aren and his lover stage a non violent demonstration in the streets main city to protest the exploit
Jun 15, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Angel Martinez has a definite knack for writing science fiction (Prisoner 374215, Gravitational Attraction), as I was once again sucked into the world created.

Major Aren Dalsgaard was a beloved hero of the planet Drass, who died alongside his lover 103 years ago. So when he finds himself alive again, and about to return to Drass, he also finds that being brought back from death is not easy physically, mentally, and most of all, emotionally.

Called in to investigate the murder of several
Sep 04, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
This book opens a whole new world up in just the first few chapters, and I got so completely caught up in it that I had trouble putting it down to do my work, or to sleep.

Nyachung and Major Aren Dalsgaard are the perfect couple with Sergeant Emma Wickstorm to keep them both safe. Aren had lived one life, died with his life’s love, but his family and the military thought he deserved another chance so they put in is cryo suspense until they could find an antidote to the venom that killed him. Now,
Dec 09, 2012 Lady*M rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I liked this much, much more than Gravitational Attraction. I liked that book a lot, but transition from lust to love was maybe two seconds apart. The author's imagination and description of alien world saved that book, but this one just worked for me. Not perfect by any means and love still happened a bit to quickly, but I was in the mood for a good sci-fi and this was good. The characters - Aren, Nyachung and Emma - were great. Aren's grief and his return to life, Nya's insecurity in
Why I allow myself to continue to be amazed at this author's skill to write a unique sci-fi world and compelling plot and characters, I do not know. I found the ice planet, its people, the political intrigue, the major (back from the dead aka cryo) and his crusty sergeant to all make up a fantastic story. I wanted to stay with these characters and go on their further adventures. Need more ESTO Universe stories. :)
Aug 27, 2012 Mandapanda rated it liked it
Shelves: various-romance
3.5 stars. This author writes good m/m scifi. Imaginative worlds and the futuristic artifacts/theories are well informed. In this tale a man is woken from a 100 year cryo sleep to investigate a series of murders on the planet where his alien lover died. The book starts with Major Aren Dalsguaard still recovering from his 'resurrection'. He interviews a beautiful young Dangpo (an alien of human origin native to the planet Drass) who is being accused and mistreated by the local authorities. This l ...more
Nov 15, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
I am fond of Angel Martinez's writing, and this is one of her best in my view.
I love sci-fi, alternate universes, dystopian works of all kinds. This world is well made, and I liked the characters.
Vassily the Beautiful was the previous novel I fell in love with from this author, and I'm encouraged to see she's keeping up the standard.
I'll definitely buy the next one that comes along :)
Aug 03, 2013 Vicki rated it really liked it
I won a free copy of this and was excited to read it after learning it was set in the same world as the free "Prisoner 374215", which I loved. This did not disappoint, I may not have associated it with Prisoner 374215 without knowing it was the same world, but it was well written and really kept my interest. I do not consider myself a huge sci-fi, alternate world fan, but Angel Martinez certainly writes a good story, and I will continue to look for her books.
Dee Wy
May 13, 2014 Dee Wy rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Angel Martinez's science fiction stories and this was a thrill for me to read. I'm always rooting for an underdog, native peoples being taken advantage of but coming out on top is a favorite plot for me as well.

Sweet romance, wonderful sci-fi world and lovely HEA ending. Loved it - well done!
Feb 07, 2013 Rosebee rated it it was amazing
Another new favorite book!

I really like how this book came together in the end. It happened a bit too quickly for my taste. But I suppose that's the sign of a good book - one that I devour and then am suddenly surprised when it ends.

I will definitely be adding this to my "favorites to re-read" shelf. :)
Mar 23, 2013 Meggie rated it liked it
Here we can talk about a good created storyline. This book is really well written and enjoyable from the start till the end. Aren, the main protagonist, got his second chance in life itself and in love. At the end he chosen well, to live with a lover and new dreams.
An amazing, well written, romantic sci-fi novella. Solid tech, nice world building, well drawn characters, beautiful story. Highly recommended. (Have a tissue or two handy.)
Marsha Spence
Feb 07, 2014 Marsha Spence rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was very good. Interesting and a great new world to explore.

Reread: Loved it just as much as the first time!
Sep 20, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-male-male
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure why I don't read more by Angel Martinez since I've liked everything I've read so far.

Basically the book is about Major Aren Dalsgaard. He was accidentally killed over a hundred years ago and his body was kept frozen until a cure was found for his injury. Now is is "alive" again and was placed on assignment on the same planet he died. There he finds corruption everywhere. Now he must find a way to save the very same people who killed him.

My only complaint
Mar 30, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars Rounded Up
aren has been revived from his cryogenically frozen state in order to help investigate murders on the planet drass. when he was alive over 100 years ago, aren had helped bring understanding between the settlers and the people who had been engineered for living on the planet and then abandoned when the first attempt at extracting minerals from the planet failed. aren was killed on drass by his lover, who was one of the original peoples. in the time since aren has been alive, relations be
Apr 30, 2014 Наталья rated it liked it
Я не знаю, почему у этой книги такие восторженные отзывы.
Написано хорошо, но это Мартинез, не удивительно.
А вот сюжет меня не зацепил. При печальном стечении обстоятельств на руках смертельно раненного Арена мучительной смертью умирает любовь всей его жизни. И он рад, когда умирает вслед за ним. Но не дают ему покоя в смерти и воскрешают через сто лет с лишним, чтобы он провел специальное расследование убийств на планете, где он нашел свою любовь, свой народ, свой дом, свою смерть.
И Арен не долж
Sep 06, 2015 Tj rated it really liked it
Shelves: have, read-2014
The world building that the author did in the book was amazing. In short order without a huge info dump we are able to learn so much about the world we enter into. Aren is an interesting character. It is obvious that he was a rebel and believed in doing right. Even now in this unknown future he struggles to make sure that what he believes is right it done even if it goes against the current bigotry and racism. Aren isn’t current to the times but he does remember how hatred works and when things ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t1, sci-fi
Angel Martinez writes my kind of science fiction. I have loved every one of her SF books I have read and Sub Zero is no exception - excellent world and culture building;interesting, complex characters and a compelling plot.

This book is part of the ESTO Universe but is a stand-alone story.

The story is narrated through the POV of the three most significant characters. I enjoyed all three, but the surprise treat for me was Emma. She was down to earth and no nonsense but also kind and compassionate.
The Izark was here! Only mentioned but it was nice to hear about him again.

I absolutely loved Aren, his stuborness and everything. Nya was cute and caring. And there was also Emma, she was one of the best side kicks I had a pleasure to read about.

The world was interesting, everything tied up nicely.

Beautiful story.
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Angel Martinez currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Angel's alter ego writes the all-ages science fiction - Sandra Stixrude.
More about Angel Martinez...

Other Books in the Series

The ESTO Universe (5 books)
  • Gravitational Attraction
  • Vassily the Beautiful (The ESTO Universe, #1)
  • Prisoner 374215
  • A Matter of Faces (An ESTO Universe Story)

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