Author Cherie Reich has a knack for creating alien species with just a few quick images gently inserted into an exciting tale. Defying Gravity takes a young Persean linguist, Linia, on a mission into space where she meets the Medusan Alezandros. But Medusa and Perseus fought a war long years ago and Linia's dreams of communication ensuring peace seem rapidly doomed.
The aftermath of hopeless battle sees both characters flung through a wormhole onto a post-apocalyptic earth. Trapped in separate prison cells, Linia and Alezandros plot a way to escape and find communication between individuals much less fraught than between species. But can a Medusan and a Persean fall in love?
The Greek background to the names is no coincidence and the author is clearly planning more Greek-inspired novellas in this series. But the stories are independent and Linia and Alezandros' tale has a nice Romeo and Juliet feel with just the right hints of mystery--what happened to earth? What's the connection between the aliens and mythology? And will there be peace?
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to find a free ecopy of this novella.