Tag Archives: romance in space

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Book Review: Dark Planet Warriors, by Anna Carven

I picked up a copy of Anna Carven‘s Dark Planet Warriors as an Amazon freebie last year.

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Abbey

Some scary looking aliens have just boarded Fortuna Tau, our little asteroid mining station. Kordolians, by the looks of things. What the hell do they want with this floating rust bucket? What are they even doing here?

Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a Kordolian up close before. They’re huge and intimidating, with strange silver skin and pointed ears. They have freaky nano-armor, and they’re packing a serious arsenal. We stand no chance against them.

When I encounter their General, I find him insufferable. Arrogant. Domineering. He won’t tell me anything. I guess that’s what happens when your race is kicking ass across the Nine Galaxies. You get pigheaded.

So why do I keep running into him? Why does he keep looking at me like that? And what’s with this weird feeling I get when he’s around?

Tarak

Sucked into a wormhole during a fierce skirmish with an enemy ship. Spat out near a human mining station in a remote corner of the Nine Galaxies. Stuck with weak humans who operate with inferior metals and technology.

This mission couldn’t get any worse.

We need to fix our craft, kill the cursed Xargek, and get out of here before the wormhole collapses. I don’t really care about these humans. Their existence makes no sense to me.

So why has this strange human female captured my attention? She’s messy, awkward, and she babbles nonsense half the time. These humans are crazy. I don’t understand them at all, especially this female. Why do I keep coming back to her?

I need to leave this place before I go insane.

my review

This started out well, but I’m afraid it wasn’t able to maintain momentum. My overall impression is ‘bland.’ Nothing about this—the characters, the plot, the world, the romance, the writing—stands out as interesting in any fashion. It’s not horrible, true, but I was bored, and the author just didn’t bring what could have been an interesting story to fruition.

Honestly, I can’t even tell you what the series’ true overarching plot is. Sure, we’ve got a little Mars-Needs-Women going on in there, a little Evil Empire, and a little super soldier on the side. But what is the series really about? No idea, even having finished the 1st book.

Lastly, there’s just a little residual ick here. We have the main military general of a galactic colonizing force as the male romantic lead. Take this out of space and place it in a more familiar setting, and one begins to see some truly horrifying parallels of who is being propped up as a worthy romantic hero.

Mostly I was just bored though.

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Series Review (Dark Planet Warriors by Anna Carven)

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Book Review: Spared by the Monster, by Merry Ravenell

I picked up an Amazon freebie copy of Merry Ravenell‘s Spared by the Monster.

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Welcome to the Gestalt, where Humans are forbidden and mates are sacred.

Hauling scrap to feed his family and pay for his sick brother’s plague treatments, The Twilight Scion of a Lost House finds himself in possession of a Human that somehow managed to escape the Grays.

Humans, and Earth, are strictly Off-Limits, and being caught with Chess–no matter the circumstances or reasons–will be the final destruction of his House and family. But he also can’t shove her out an airlock or abandon her at a shipyard. She’s an innocent victim, and the Grays will be looking for her. Her fate in the hands of the Gestalt authorities will be just as bad.

She’s delicate, soft, and luscious. Clearly, he’s been alone for too long if he’s attracted to a Human. And this particular Human is already spoken for, with a mate of her own waiting for her back on Earth. But Chess shines as bright as a star, and resisting her pull is nearly impossible.

There’s only one way to buy the time to keep her safe until he can figure out how to get rid of her. He’ll have to spend his family’s meager savings on the trinket that will awaken his awareness of his true mate, and present her as that mate. She’s brave enough to go along with the plan, and kinder to him than he deserves.

His brothers will be furious, the Gestalt will mock him, and she’ll need to be gone before his true mate arrives.

The little Human’s secrets are astonishing, and her courage undeniable, and when the moment comes, the Twilight Scion isn’t sure he will be able to give her up… even if it’s impossible that she stay with him.

my review

This surprised me. I went in expecting nothing more than some smutty fluff. And it is fluffy smut. But it is also not as etched out and hollow as a lot of such stories are. Maybe because it’s significantly longer and thus has more time to develop.

I liked the characters a lot. The heroine is sassy (though her reaction—or lack of reaction—stretches the bounds of credulity), and the hero is just too honorable for his own good. I adored him. The side character brothers are cute, too. In fact, I would have jumped right into book two if it had been about the second brother, as I expected (it isn’t).

I did think the book was a little overly long, owing to some repetition and the misunderstanding trope dragging out a little longer than believable. But all in all, I enjoyed this a lot.

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@thegremlinlibrarian Replying to @madsong96 think any other hot dragon aliens are single? #BookTok #Bookish #TheGremlinLibrarian #BookWorm #BookGremlin #HappyFunTime #HappyFunTimeToy #MonsterHappyFunTime #MonsterFudger #MonsterRomance #SparedByTheMonster #MerryRavenell ♬ original sound – Vyc ???? (They/Them)

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Book Review: Fractured Stars, by Lindsay Buroker

I purchased a copy of Lindsay Buroker‘s Fractured Stars.
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McCall Richter finds criminals, con men, and deadbeats better than anyone else in the empire.

She’s proud of her success and that she owns her own spaceship, especially since she struggles to understand human motivations, can’t tell when people are lying to her, and is horrible at recognizing faces. Being autistic in the empire is frowned upon—and there’s a handy normalization surgery to correct it—but she’s managed to prove her worth and avoid irking the tyrannical regime.

Except for one thing.

Two years ago, she liberated the android, Scipio, from an imperial research facility where he was treated worse than a slave. He’s become her business partner and best friend, but if the empire finds out she has him, a “normalization” surgery will be the least of her worries.

When her ship is confiscated by a cyborg law enforcer needing to transport prisoners, McCall knows she and Scipio are in trouble. Worse, the enforcer’s pilot is a former bounty hunter and business competitor she beat to the prize many times in the past.

Soon, he’s snooping all over her ship and questioning her about her past.

And there’s something strange about him. He knows far more about what she’s thinking than any human should.

It’ll only be a matter of time before he discovers her secret. And then what?

my review

This was fine, I suppose. I’m really torn. I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Buroker a lot more than I liked this. On paper, I should have loved this. Late 30s/early 40s, autistic hero and heroine in space… heck yeah. Fashionista android…I’m on board. Rescue dog…yes! I should have loved this. Instead, it kind of fizzled for me. I didn’t hate it. I don’t think it was bad. But it didn’t light me up as I expected, either.

Part of the reason is that I bought and read this after reading the prequel short story Junkyard, where the heroine and her trusty android solve a mystery and save a pooch. I wanted more of the heroine/android (and dog) antics. Instead, the android and dog are basically not in the book. They make cameos, but that is all. So, the very thing I read the book for wasn’t there. Instead, we were given a pretty bland escape-the-prison-planet plot. Meh.

The writing and editing are perfectly readable. I just didn’t love it.

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