Cupid’s Arrow: Book 2 of the Shambhala Saga LGBTQ+ Science Fiction series
Cupid’s Arrow is Susan English’s second book in the riveting Shambala saga sci-fi series. As such, it carries on where Callisto 2.0, the first book, left us. There is a major twist though – unlike Callisto 2.0, Cupid’s Arrow is not written from the perspective of Callisto. Instead, it is written from the perspective of Pavani, her lover.
It follows the aftermath of the Shambala spaceship’s disappearance to an unknown location or galaxy after using warp drive technology. During this time, Pavani and other residents of Arcadia are left at a loss. She misses Callisto deeply yet is resigned to living with the consequences of her decision to stay.
Together with the other female scientist residents of Arcadia, she tries to forge ahead, concentrating on her projects, friendships, and unlikely romances. However, Callisto continues to be a permanent fixture in her mind, pushing Pavani to make a series of unexpected decisions along the way. Ultimately, through grief and unlikely friendships, Pavani finally decides to fight for her love.
If there is one thing that stands out about Cupid’s Arrow, it is that its science fiction parts sound quite believable. Beyond that, the empathy and compassion that the all-female staff of the Foundation accords each other is quite refreshing, giving you hope that a non-misogynist utopia truly is possible.
What’s more? The author has a beautiful way of discussing issues like sexuality, gender, death, and religion without making the text feel heavy or accusatory. She has characters from diverse backgrounds having the kind of discourse we could only hope to see in the real world. Moreover, her writing style is light and her dialogue feels natural.
The story is told in a journal format and, while I enjoyed the story, I felt that it was a little tiring to read, especially on days that seem uneventful. But on the flip side, this writing approach also makes it quite believable. Cupid’s Arrow is a beautiful mix of futuristic science fiction and emotionally-resonant romance. It is a joy to read and is easy to follow, even when it comes to the complex scientific parts.