Fatal Attraction meets Rosemary’s Baby
After five years of marriage, Marlenh has an affair with a man concealing a secret—one that could destroy her and her family.
In Astralvia, a nation in chaos, Marlenh is happily married to a wealthy man who adores her and treats her like a queen. But one fateful day, she cheats on him with Rickhard Krane, an attractive, successful politician she met on the Global Network.
Helplessly, Marlenh surrenders more and more to the intense romance. She soon notices Rick’s bizarre religious beliefs, but she ignores them. Desire and lust grip her so deeply that she considers abandoning her marriage, her family, and her entire life.
When she discovers what he’s really hiding, it’s too late. Now, trapped in a whirlwind of lies and deceit, Marlenh must confront the consequences of her actions and fight to break free from one of the most powerful and sleazy organizations in Astralvia.
Marlenh is a thriller brimming with sex, lies, mystery, and suspense. The saga begins thirty years before the events of Pulstar I – The Swan Barely Remembers, the first book in the Pulstar trilogy. Read Marlenh as a stand-alone novel while listening to its official soundtrack, composed for piano by the author.
Hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year!
I’ve got so many thoughts about this masterpiece I don’t even know where to begin. Giancarlo Roversi is a wizard, I swear. He’s a scientist of words. He’s a creator of worlds. His whole universe is magnificent and whole. The connections he makes, and I’m 100% certain I did not catch the whole lot of them, are incredible. Throughout all of the books in Pulstarverse, from which I’ve now read Pulstar, Nerve and now Marlenh, his creation is consistent and connects in the most glorious wholesome way. I am blown away by the genius of this book (and the other books that complement it fully). I believe all of them can be read as standalones. They are amazing standalones. But the moment you read them together, you’ll realise the full extent of Giancarlo’s genius. I have no idea how he does it, how he keeps track of the story lines and waves them together in such an intriguing way. So blown away by his talent. I truly am.
Marlenh’s story is heartbreaking. This is not a romance by any sense of the word. This is a woman’s story through struggles and bad decisions. A snowball that keeps on rolling and growing bigger and unstoppable. Consequences are unavoidable! And yes, there is sex, a lot of it, but I found it more carnal than anything romanticised, which was fitting for the context. In no place does it glorify Marlenh’s wrong behaviour.
The complexity of the characters is so realistic. Incredibly well done. You learn everything about them when you need to and exactly when you need to. I was kept on the edge when Marlenh sneaker around Caleb’s back, because she was on the edge. Little did I know how Caleb felt, until Giancarlo decided to reveal it (at a perfect time, in the perfect way.) I was kept in the dark like Thamy, later on when Jeral was still young, until Marlenh’s new situation was explained in the most extraordinary way. Oh Jeral… I feel so sad for little Jeral, although I know Marlenh loved her in a way. She adored her. She did everything she could in the way she knew how, but her world was already twisted by that time and little Jeral felt it, too. That song she wrote at the end… wow… just wow. And that mention of Aris… You’ll know if you read Pulstar, but I was astonished they’d been so close. So very close. Mind blown.
Another thing I really enjoyed seeing was the growing Conespa city. The mentions of the planetarium being built, the mentions of Follvertam and Microxing companies, the statues of the Guardians, the lookout spot, and at the very very end the integrated system. All of those details connect Marlenh to the other Pulstarverse books and that growth of Alstravia was incredible to follow. Just brilliant. And I’m telling again, there are likely a whole lot more connecting points between the books that I did not catch, but the parts I did simply blew my mind.
Giancarlo has his own very distinct writing style that might take a bit to get used to. It’s another thing I love about his books. He doesn’t write to fit into a box. He doesn’t write to please everyone. He writes to create complex stories full of intrigue. He writes to make you think in a complete different way. To ask questions, to wonder about the world. Hands down one of the best authors I’ve ever discovered and I am so incredibly humbled to be able to have read Marlenh (and the rest of Pulstarverse).