Title: Lime and Tangerine
Author: Kevin Caucher
Genre: Gay Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
The post-apocalyptic world has changed. Colors have changed.
The skies are now red, and the seas fandango pink.
There are those who’ve acquired skills as “squinters”. By narrowing their eyes, they can see people in different colors—colors by which they can define their mood.
Senlin was born a squinter. A child of the foster system, the lack of love has left him with casual views on sex.
When Sicong recruits him into SQX, a squinter organization, Senlin wants nothing more than to jump his bones, but Sicong’s detachment makes Senlin believe his feelings aren’t reciprocated.
Senlin and Sicong’s relationship begins to grow as they undertake missions together.
That is, until an enemy of SQX turns his attention upon them.
I smiled a bit and lay back down, but the pain kept me awake. I looked sideways at the nightstand and found my personal belongings there. I shifted my eyes toward him. He seemed to be lost in contemplation. I took the opportunity to mood-color him again. He was hot pink: a color for guilt. “You’re guilty.
Sicong was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t hear me the first time. When I repeated, he looked startled. “What?
“I said you’re guilty. Why?”
“Why don’t you get some rest and stop mood-coloring me?”
Why is he being defensive? “Painful. Can’t sleep,” I answered. “Come on, tell me what you did. Why are you guilty?”
“I was thinking if I hadn’t asked you to participate in this mission, you probably wouldn’t have ended up getting shot.”
“But I was the only one you could find—I’m pretty sure you said that. Besides, I’d have gotten shot either way if I ever went to Tingo.”
I saw him trying hard to keep his embarrassment out of his face, but he failed miserably with his ears; they were unusually red. “It wasn’t the truth. I could have asked others, because it was supposed to be an easy assignment. There are plenty who would have gone if I insisted. I’m a bistre, you know?”
“Yeah.” I stayed quiet after that. He said he could’ve not asked me, but he still did. What does that mean? I twitched my lips into a slight smile. I sure hope that means he likes me enough to want to spend time with me.
I am a sci-fi buff. I devour all kinds of different sorts. I enjoy it when an author attempts to create an alternate future or present, using a technological crisis as a cause for this. Such is the case with Tangerine and Lime. Industries started to wane because of a steel shortage causing industry to adapt. The environment suffered and changed. Human beings also had to adapt. Perhaps a genetic mutation was caused by the industrial changes. The explanation for this was a little vague . This normally would bother me a lot, as a reader, but it really doesn’t.
The story is written in first person point-of-view. Senlin isn’t very educated, therefore the explanation for the environmental changes and the various mutations is simplistic. Makes sense.
Although Senlin’s POV is rather non-complicated, the story still progresses very well. The character development is quite sophisticated, especially for such a short work.
The romance is also simple. This is not an erotic tale. Senlin and Sicong, the two main characters, develop a sexual relationship eventually, but it’s only implied, which makes the telling quite refreshing and requires the reader to use his/her imagination.
Although there are some mature subjects discussed, I would still recommend this to an older teen/young adult readership.
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About the author
Growing up in China, KEVIN CAUCHER never thought he’d grow up loving to write; never did he expect himself ending up in Australia either. He is now happily partnered in NSW Illawarra area and writing.
Kevin’s writing is mainly influenced by his growing up as a gay Chinese; he also sometimes pops out totally random stories that has nothing to do with his growing up.
Besides his passion for writing, Kevin has also opened a cafe in December 2015. “There, the cliché of authors writing in a cafe.”
KEVIN CAUCHER can be found at: