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Isabel L. Martens' new release Nightflyers is an epic tale.  Dr. Tess Lockhart was minding her own business, shopping with her grandfather at the mall, when a spaceship full of aliens showed up and she found herself as a zoo exhibit on a planet far, far away.  Using her training and with the advice of Arnie, a fellow prisoner, she soon finds herself treating her fellow exhibits as the zoo doctor and biding her time until she and Arnie can escape.  Things become complicated when a new species is brought in, courtesy of Arnie, and she finds herself hiding and treating a full grown, winged male and his newborn infant along with several other babies.  Tess nurtures him back to health, but believes, based on past experiences, that he is no more intelligent than any animal on earth.  As time passes she learns about her patient, Roan, and his son, Coee, and they both come to mean a great deal to her.  So much that she is willing to sacrifice her own life when their jailer catches them trying to escape.  While Tess recovers from her injuries;  she, Roan and Coee end up on Roan's world pulling together the scattered remains of Roan's people and trying to survive the winter in less than ideal conditions.  With clan tradition, and nature against them can this small family find a way to gain acceptance.

Nightflyers is the first book I've read by Isabel L. Martens,  but will definitely not be the last.  It’s acked with drama, pride and pathos the characters drive the story from start to finish.  I loved Tess, she stuck to her ideals and fought for her beliefs at every turn, trying to help as many creatures as she could.  She was courageous and determined.  Roan is a "typical male" set in his ways of believing that his culture must be right, but when confronted with different ways he sees the value of change.  This book is definitely worth reading.

Book Blurb for Nightflyers

Dr. Tess Lockhart doesn’t believe in extraterrestrials—until she becomes the latest attraction in an alien zoo. To ensure her safety, she undertakes the role of official zoo doctor as she and Arnie, a friend and fellow detainee, make plans for an escape. Their plans take a complicated turn when Arnie brings her an injured creature. Tess warily nurses the virile, winged humanoid back to health, knowing too well that aliens aren’t to be trusted.
Too bad she can’t convince her heart. As the months pass, Tess finds herself drawn to her charge, Roan. In this world, though, Tess is the alien…and their fragile love may not be able to survive their differences.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2009 4.00