I was really about to give this book 5 full stars. But then I made myself consider a couple of points: -This book works for me in some ways I kind of wish it didn’t (it’s kind of discouraging to see yourself identify like never before with a protagonist who is grieving, broken, and clearly not conventionally sane…not that any of this is a surprise), and it sort of made me question whether I would still feel the same way about this book if I was in a healthier state of mind. – This book actually has a very simple/traditional structure (as in highs and lows and their timing) that hides behind very good writing, but once you see it…it makes it a bit too predictable. – The bloodthirstiness sometimes comes over the top. We start at a point of great loss, and then we go on from death to death. This book is full of sacrifices and it constantly exists on an edge of complete hopelessness and desperate hope. It’s not a very pleasant journey. Despite the way the book addresses the issue on the very last page…I have my doubts about whether the balance was actually achieved.
Regardless though, the writing is great, it has depth and style and I was caught from the very chapter. Depressing or not, this book is definitely a one for my Favorites shelf.
I’m still a little sad that this series has traded a big portion of humor for angst, but I did enjoy this book much more than the second one. I think we could do with fewer ‘almost deaths’ per novel. But the Hiru story was very good. It’s too bad that it looks like it’s going to be a while before we get any continuation with the story with Dina, if ever.
Unfortunately, this series didn’t manage to escape the ‘curse of the second novel’. It was so much drier, heavier, and compressed, I can’t even really say I enjoyed it. It made me rush to finish it not because I couldn’t look away, but I wanted it to be over quickly so I could see if the next one is any better. Most of the good content that was in this was practically suffocated from two sides by too extensive dry recapping of the events of the first book in the beginning, and a wave of angst in the end; the humor and flavor of the first novel didn’t really have any space to breathe here. Also, the twist with Sean was too obvious. I really hate it when I get this ‘well wouldn’t it suck if this happened’ feeling in the middle of the book and it just comes true. I’m giving this 4 stars because it’s not a bad book (even if I can’t help but feel like there should have been a better way to write it.) But it is also is a book that didn’t really leave me feeling good.
(This review is for both first books combined.) I’m in that place of mind where I grab a book that says ‘sci-fi romance’ on the cover myself, and then promptly get genuinely surprised why the characters won’t stop thinking about sex. This book has a multitude of interesting sci-fi premises, which tease the imagination and made me think that I would like this book more if any of them were actually addressed… but the characters have a lot of difficulty to find time to indulge in such things as providing more detailed worldbuilding, whether regarding the Earth history and why are they suddenly so friendly towards another race that they appear willing to fight their battles, or Askara, their ship, their war, multitude of briefly introduced side characters, any actual relationships between them, how their group operates, and so on… because they are too busy with all the angry sex. (At least the author stopped using the P word for the lady parts after the first time, it was a giant relief. Also made me glad that the hero wasn’t human and we avoided cringy language choices in that respect.) The main character is entirely too unconvincing in her setting. She is supposed to be a medical professional, and enough of a professional to be the one sent into the midst of things when humans supposedly make their very first contact with extraterrestrials. Which kind of calls for an expectation that she must be a highly skilled, reputed, and respected medical professional. Instead, she gawks, gets injured, is too embarrassed to properly talk about reproductive system, rushes head first into unprotected sex with aliens without thinking about any kind of consequences, and doesn’t really do anything medicine related for 80% of the story but ‘go on rounds’ with the alien medical professional which are never shown in detail, and are only mentioned as a background setting for characters to think about sex or actively try to not think about sex. I have a strong nagging I should be feeling like an idiot for trying to take these books too seriously. I was trying to read it as a sci-fi, when it probably was written mostly as a PWP (the ‘plot what plot’ variety).
I’ve been looking forward to his book a lot. I do love stories about outlaws in space, especially with a dose of quality romance, even if it was a bit too instantaneous for my personal preferences. I wouldn’t say this book is without issues – I feel like there could be a bit more of environment/world building; it felt like the book was too short and covered too little – like an introduction that opened a lot of questions and not much else; it asks you to swallow a lot of ‘…but what about this/but why?’; it leaves a lot of characters and interactions out for no reason; the oppressive tyrant image is a bit too tired. And so on.
Nevertheless, even though there’s plenty of angst, it’s exiting and well-written, and the characters all promise to be interesting. There are books, cats, and handsome rogues. What else needs to be said?
‘Wanting more’ is a good thing, but the fact that this was considered ‘enough’ for this book worries me a little. I hope we’ll get more sustenance in the next one, even though it will have to wait for a year.