Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Surfacing (The Ariel Series Book #2) by A.L. Bates

surfacingTitle ~ Surfacing (The Ariel Series #2)

Author ~ A.L. Bates

Publisher ~ Wayward Ink Publishing

Published ~ 19th August 2016

Genre ~ Science Fiction, M/M Romance





A few weeks following the events that concluded DEEP, Book One: The Ariel Series, Captain Joel Riley is struggling to adjust to his new relationship with his medic, Sean, and when a face from Sean’s past sets out to destroy Joel and his ship, Joel faces an impossible decision: Sean or Ariel.

Sensing Joel’s dilemma, Sean makes the decision to leave. He does so knowing he must confront his past and the abuse he suffered. Subjected to the same trauma again, this time at the hands of his brother, he uses the strength Joel taught him to take his future into his own hands.

For Joel, life without Sean proves unbearable and he comes to the realization that he needs more than just his ship. He sets out to bring Sean back… whatever the cost.

Sally’s Review

Some of you may remember that I reviewed a book called Deep some months ago. Well, Surfacing is a welcome continuation of the adventures of the crew of the deep sea mining vessel Ariel and her crew.

As before, the story is told from the points of view of medic Sean and his lover, the captain of the ship, Joel Riley, and picks up a week or so after the other book ends, with the Ariel on her way to her home port after a successful if incredibly dangerous cruise. Things that happened are still fresh in their minds and the foremost worry is “Will what happened on the ship stay on the ship?” and “If these things become known how will they affect us socially and with the law?”

Can you see how careful I’m being not to give away spoilers? Surfacing really isn’t a standalone novel. If you don’t read Deep first you’ll be baffled.

Naturally, once they make landfall everything goes pear-shaped and it’s not just Sean and Joel in danger, but other members of the crew too. Rather than enduring the close confinement of the Ariel, the crew disperses across the universe to try to deal with problems that at first glance appear to be insurmountable. For Joel, not only is there the risk to his ship and crew, but also the loss of his lover and his uncertainty about how open he can be when, known as a casual chaser of women, he needs to admit that he’s deeply in love for the first time and it’s with another man. For Sean there’s a terrible choice to make between freedom and the welfare of all he holds dear.

This book answers a lot of the questions I was left with at the end of Deep, about the social structure and mores of the universe, that couldn’t be answered due to the setting of that work. I found the descriptions here quite satisfying and the characters as attractive as before. New settings and new characters deepened my enjoyment of the worlds described. There are plenty of moments of action, of grief and pathos, and of joy. And there’s plot – lots of it. Possibly some of the solutions Joel comes up with are a little pat, but then we are on his side – just as in films nobody ever seems to have problems finding somewhere to park. But it was very good fun and I enjoyed it.

Purchase Links




Start reading the series with book one! 



Deep_600x956Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?



Meet A.L. Bates

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook:


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