Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler

Book Review: Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler – #Gay #ScienceFiction

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Series:Taking Shield, I

Author:Anna Butler

Genre:Science Fiction, Space Opera, Military, Gay Fiction


A year ago, I shared a panel on world building with several authors, on of which was Anna Butler. I’d never met her in person and I hadn’t read anything from her. Her views and ideas impressed me, so when I came back from Berlin, I decided to start reading her books. As I review a lot for blog tours and other engagements, it’s hard to focus on books I just want to read for fun. So the first book in her gay science fiction series Taking Shield too a while to get to. Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler was my second book by her and it cemented a huge addiction with the series and Anna’s writing. If you want to know why, then read on 🙂

Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler Blurb

Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield serial, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down.

He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war.

What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler

Gyrfalcon Review

This military space opera has a strong plot and manages to focus so much on its characters, that you sometimes forget it’s not really a character driven story. There is action, heart-pounding adventure, and a world so detailed in its military, culture, history, and society, that you could easily see yourself as part of it. Gyrfalcon’s protagonist, Shield Captain Bennet, is one of the most complex characters I’ve read recently. He is intricately created through a web of relationships – with his Shield team, with his family, with his partner, Joss, with the new people he encounters.

Bennet is nuanced, deep, and very real. He’s a hero who you sometimes want to punch in the face. He’s a man struggling to save his relationship who also never shies away from using whatever works to manipulate his partner out of a fight. Most of all, Bennet tries to find his way in life, despite the expectations and reprimand from his partner and father.

The romantic plot of this book is not your run of the mill romance book story. Bennet and Flynn establish themselves as a couple for the ages. Yet this is not a romance, make no mistake. Your heart will be broken repeatedly. More so if you continue with the series. But it’s all so real, so relatable, that it’s worth the cruel pain Anna Butler will force you through.

Bennet’s relationship with his father is one that I loved reading. It’s a relationship that start to change the moment Bennet arrives on Gyrfalcon, with no care for when this all hits him. With a tricky mission ahead, with heartache and issues waiting for him at home, with Joss, Bennet has to go through multiple difficult conversations with his father. This struggle to deal with everything, along with the real danger of his mission, is probably what gives such depth to Flynn and Bennet’s relationship, despite the limited time they spend together. It’s one of those bonds, forged in fire, that you know will never break.

The Maess are beautifully created. So alien in everything that makes them, so different and incompatible, that’s almost impossible for humans to understand their motivations. They are a seemingly unstoppable force that the descendants of Earth barely manage to keep at bay. I also loved that they are the only antagonist in this story. Despite being severely flawed, the cast of characters of Gyrfalcon is never evil. Joss’ arrangement while Bennet is away might hurt and seem cruel, but it’s Joss’ way to deal with being away from Bennet. Bennet’s father is responsible for massive pain Bennet has suffered, but there is no doubt at all that he loves his son. Bennet and Flynn are technically having an affair, yet it seems pure and committed.

If you like science fiction, gay or otherwise, this book and those that follow are definitely a must read. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put it down.

About the Author

Author Anna ButlerAnna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

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Anna is currently working on two, quite different, series of books:

  • The Taking Shield series is a classic space opera with handsome young men wielding lasers and trying to save the last remnants of humanity. This is a profound love story, but it isn’t a romance. Four books and still no HEA for Bennet and Flynn!
  • The Lancaster’s Luck series (The Gilded Scarab is published, The Dog Who Swallows Millions is coming soon) is a classic m/m romance, but with the added twist of a steampunk world setting where aeroships fill the skies of Victorian London and our hero uses pistols powered by luminferous aether and phlogiston.

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One Response to “Book Review: Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler – #Gay #ScienceFiction”

  1. […] a four book space opera and one of my personal favorites of all time. Here’s a link to my review of book one, Gyrfalcon, and a video discussing the other books as part of a readathon […]

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