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Different Senses

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Javen Ythen is an angry man. A shooting on the job triggered his genetic empathy, and as a result, he lost his career as a cop, and his lover. Now he has to find something to do with his life, while coming to terms with losing the job and the man he loved, as well as a racial heritage unsuspected by anyone in his family.

He lives in a society divided by class and race. Born
ebook, 1st Edition, 491 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Ann Somerville
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Second reading, December 2013 - I have very little to add to my previous review. This remains one of the best fictional books about racism, even if it is in the genre of speculative fiction. It has everything: from hatred, delusions and ignorance of the privileged to prejudices born from the experiences of disadvantaged. But the characters, especially Javen, are what truly shines in this book.

Original review:

It was always a mystery to me why Ann Somerville isn't more popular author, considering
Sep 09, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
5 STARS a must read
Different Senses is yet another thought provoking book of Ann Somerville's. It's different approach and frankness to the main topic of the book makes it quite special too. Racism, and how racism and sexuality in some cases aren't that different.

Due to the way Ann tackles one of life's still active and touchy taboo's, that will sadly always be a current subject of great debate that causes pain and misery worldwide, she doesn't hold back either. Different Senses assaults your
Mar 29, 2011 Zuyuan rated it it was amazing
Great work, almost 500 pages and never bored me a sec. I like the way Javen and Shardul dance around each other, it's very real and cute. Best of best in this story is politic aspect which, to my surprise, even-though set in futuristic background it's mirror more of the real world we live in. Author really paid interest in the issue she wrote. Not something I expect from m/m romance but I'm very appreciate, made this more than typical.
Paul Jr.
A series of interconnected stories from Ann Somerville. Strong on plot and character with great tension between the two male leads and fascinating world building. As usual, Somerville works in social commentary that's a hallmark of good sci-fi. Incredibly entertaining, reminding me of the serials I used to watch on TV when I was a kid. Great fun with a bite to it as well.
Jan 17, 2014 Seregil rated it really liked it
Recommended to Seregil by: Luisana06
I can't really say anything bad about this book, it's just too well written :) It's pretty long and I was a bit upset when I realised it's a bit of a collection of stories, each one a case investigated by the main character - an ex cop that had to retire because he accidentaly developed a strong power of empathy (and it wasn't legal for him to be a policeman and an empath). The society was very interesting and the detective plot always kept me reading, so I was happy to find out that most of the ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Andrea Speed's Infected series
This book has all of my favourite things: mysteries, a white-knight main character, social commentary relevant to today's people, and a well-built science fiction world that sucked me right in.

Different Senses tells the story of Javen Ythen, the son of the regional governor, privileged, and a cop. He’s not spoiled and he’s not a jerk—he’s just a good guy doing his job and not really understanding or grasping the scope of the challenges faced by the indigenous population on his planet. The Nihan,
Main Characters: Javen Ythen & Shardul Hema Rishabh
Key Themes: UST, Interracial, Psychic Ability, Discrimination, Religion
Location: Planet Uterden

The Kelon are colonizers and the ruling race on Uterden. The Nihani are the disenfranchised indigenous people of the planet. Javen is a Kelon, and the son of the planet's Governor. Javen was a cop until he was injured, and subsequently fired for developing what was considered (by the Kelon) a degrading disability - because of it's association with
Aug 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
SlashReaders: This was a good book. "Different Senses", is really a series of interconnected shorter works. All of the stories revolve around Javen, his family, his friends and his co-workers as he set himself up as a private investigator. The fallout from Javen's shooting and his developing empathy, is really only the beginning of things and most definitely not the end. Each new story revolves around one of Javen's cases; however, throughout the whole work there are interconnected plot lines an ...more
Feb 26, 2010 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, ebook
Great scifi book filled to the brim with social commentary on race and class relations. Characters were well written & evolved since there is a span of 4 or 5 years.
Apr 03, 2011 Dumbledore11214 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth doesn't write
Oct 22, 2014 Beth doesn't write rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved, m-m, scifi, au-fantasy
A dazzling, brilliant and intriguing epic of honor, integrity, racism and love, familial, romantic and friend, that left me breathless and sorry to finish.

The story follows Javen Ythen who when injured as a police officer wakes up to find himself empathic. This means he has a taint of banis (a vulgar epitaph) blood in his ancestry. This taint immediately makes him less than his fellow Kelons and he loses his lover and his job all at once. What follows is EPIC!

The book is an amazing story of Jav
Jul 23, 2015 Ambre rated it it was ok
This is a soapbox book- fiction written to make a point about real world issues (oppression of indigenous peoples). While I agree with the author wholeheartedly on the issue, it limits the book pretty significantly, and the ethical relativism makes the fiction less compelling (the book makes a lot of effort to describe the behavior of oppressed people as a function of their psychology and experience, but just labels the behavior of the oppressors in terms of the ethics of the situation. As a res ...more
Aug 22, 2011 Gwendolyn rated it really liked it
When i bought this book i was looking for a psy-cop romance kind of thing. It took me forever to get around to reading it and when I did, oops. This book isn't what I expected it to be but it was very good. It's not a romance at all its more a sociological study with a gay main character and set in a fictitious world. It drug a little around page 300 or so it picked back up quickly.
Aug 19, 2013 Katharina rated it it was amazing

Let me first say that this book isn't without faults.
For example, it took me a while to get used to the writing, because it seemed somehow short (not the book itself obviously, but the... phrasings and sentences and thoughts, for lack of a better description) and a little too simple and unsophisticated. The funny thing is that after a while I almost appreciated all that, because it emphasized the type of person the narrator and protagonist Javen Ythen was - it seemed fitting that his thought
Hc Lynn
‘Prologue’: Not enough intro into the world

‘ ‘Javen and the Ex’: Didn’t get the connection between ex at all. Javen and ex don’t seem like they’d be a good fit at ANY time.

‘Javen and the Lost Girl’: Javen’s attitude towards work is weird. If not wanting to really be an investigator and earning a living, then why bother? This particular was a repaid favor but it still applies after this case.

‘Javen and the Seeker’s Gift’: Shardul, brash rubbing wrong… Finally by the end of this case we see
Dec 09, 2011 Qi rated it it was amazing
Heh, I had this rated four stars for a while before I realized that I was grading on a seriously steep curve.

I'm not sure that I can write a review which would do this book (set of short stories and novel) justice. This is a look at a segregated society from the perspective of one of its most privileged members and it's done in a realistic way. (view spoiler)
Mandy Beyers
This is a fantastic story. It is science-fiction only in that it is based on some other planet far in the future where people have colonized many different worlds and "evolved" and some people have empathic senses. Mainly it deals with racial differences and cultural/political divisions between the two groups on the planet - one is the indigenous people, who are downtrodden and poor, while the colonizers rule and are richer, although many do not understand the true history and how things have de ...more
3.5 stars towards 4

The reason why this gets 3 stars in the end is because it had a really, really slow start. I kept waiting to get sucked into the story and it took the 3rd of 4th ‘chapter’ to get me really invested in Javen. Until then, I just found the story pleasant and was more interested in looking for the moment the main characters would get together. (view spoiler)
Oh, how I loved it.

First of all, if you expect PWP or sex scenes every two pages, don't ever start this book. The romance is very slow and it's perfect that way. It would have ruined everything otherwise. It is really consistent with the characters, their world and I loved how Ann Somerville tried to preserve that. It made sense.

Different Senses is a collection of short stories but they are all connected in a way and they all help you understand and learn about the setting.

All Javen's cases hav
A.B. Gayle
Feb 07, 2014 A.B. Gayle rated it it was amazing
I'd read "Javen and the Pretty Boy" as a freebie, but it didn't appeal to me as much as when I read it again as part of this collection of short stories. Although each stands alone, you get a much better appreciation of the underlying themes and the arc of the characters' relationships when read sequentially.

Dispossessed aboriginals (in the true sense of the word) is a famliar topic to everyone brought up in Australia. As is the concept of new immigrants not seeing how they can be held responsib
Apr 04, 2011 Fehu rated it really liked it
First half of the book was brilliant and would earn it 5 stars BUT in the second half the racial comments of one of the MC did get on my nerves!
The book is well written, has an interesting plot and well developed characters. In the world the story is set live two races and one is treated with quite a lot of prejudice, especially because of their emphatic abilities. The story is divided in cases with which Javen, an ex-cop, deals after his incident, which left him with a surprising and unwanted g
Dec 20, 2015 Sanda888 rated it it was ok
The beginning of the story was interesting, but I dropped it as soon as the plot turned into one-sided "Banis are good, Kelon are bad".
In truth Banis people are just as much racists as Kelon people.
Shardul is hateful and rude towards Javen for no real reason, but author tends to justify his foul attitude because he is one of the oppressed nation (yeah riiigh). He treats Javen like dirt under his feet, and Javen apologizes and apologizes and apologizes on behalf of his ancestors (WHY??)
Penelope Frost
Feb 14, 2012 Penelope Frost rated it it was amazing
Yet another amazing read from Somerville. I loooved how the story itself is seperated in two main parts. The first part is seperated in smaller stories each a case for Javen to solve (in the first ones he's alone, but gains friends along the way as he solves his cases), and how all these small ones get interwoven along the way and lead up to the second part which is the inevitable clash between two populations. I agree that I would have liked the romance to develop before those last 25-30 pages, ...more
I do love a good slow romantic build up, but FOUR YEARS?? Okay, I loved the whole story, or rather collection of stories, but I do wish that (view spoiler). Since this is a review... not a rehash of the synopsis, I'll just state that the whole book was great. Wonderful ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Ilona rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up because of the fact that it was a science fiction story that sounded interesting. I kept reading it because it was also a collection of stories about the main Character that were all tied together through detective cases. It was well written and I loved the way the world building was done. It took it's time growing the relationship between the main character and his love interest whilst keeping the reader focused on the political and racial issues of the people around him. I ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Joël rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok I should have looked closer at what this book is about: for it's a detective.
Detectives are realy not my thing and even though the writing was good and the underlying story was great, I couldn't even like this one, while I generally like Somerville's books.

The only other thing I noticed was that some of the characteristics in Somerville's characters are becomming a bit too repetitive for me.
Jan 24, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
Amazing story. I think I cried on three separate areas. Maybe more.

A sci-fi m/m romance filled with discrimination and prejudice. Character development is grows from this setting. Long story, but it's broken into short-story-like chapters.
Len Evans Jr
Sep 01, 2014 Len Evans Jr rated it it was amazing
This author continues to astound me with not just incredible characters & mesmerizing plots but emotional rollercoaster rides producing tears of both sorrow and immense joy as well. Each time I think she has shown me her very best she manages to expand the scale and show me new heights of talent!
Wow. This was amazing.

The story (for me) was about Javen's journey and it was inspiring, emotional, enraging, fantastic. I couldn't put it down because I was so engaged in both the characters and the storylines.
Feb 26, 2014 Caro rated it it was ok
I liked this in bits. v def more a detective story. two leads didn't get together until v end and no real tension between them. got pretty boring in bits but I did finish!
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Ann Somerville grew up in one of Australia’s prettiest small cities. In 1989, she left Australia with a BA and a burning ambition to see more of the world and its people, and to discover this ‘culture’ thing people kept telling her about. In 2006, she returned home to Southeast Queensland with two more degrees (this time in science and IT), an English husband and a staggering case of homesickness, ...more
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