In Shadowlands by Alan Steven Kessler, Steve Goldblatt has had a rough childhood. His parents are abusive and his view of trusted friends is shaped by that treatment. Shadowlands is a dark journey into the soul of an abused child.
In Asterion by Kenneth Morvant, Taylor Scott and Christine Summers are scientists in a not-so-distant dystopian future that have created a hybrid beast of burden to work in the fields and grow crops. The government sees great potential in the beast as a weapon and the scientists find themselves hunted by their own creation.
In The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson, Dassa survives a horrible plague that kills everyone else on her planet. She knows that her life’s work is to one day repopulate her beautiful planet. To make that happen she needs the help of her enemy, Pik.