Tag Archives: romantic sci-fi

tiny and fierce

Review of Tiny and Fierce, by Margo Bond Collins & Eli Constant

I Picked up a copy of  Tiny and Fierce, by Margo Bond Collins and Eli Constant through Booksprout.

Description from Goodreads:

In a galaxy where humans are considered the least of all races, she’ll build a crew that adores her strength and style.

When Tommelise took over her family’s deep-space salvage company, she never expected to stumble through a wormhole into a whole other galaxy full of strange alien races ruled by a cruel empress.

She learns she’s not the first human to wind up there—but all the others were captured and sold as slaves. She’ll have to fight to stay alive.

She thought all she wanted was to find a way home. But then she fell in love—three times over—and learned that together, her men would fight three times as fiercely.

Now, to keep her loves alive, she’ll have to free an entire system.

Review:

Utterly and completely bonkers, but kinda sweet too. I appreciate that, of the three men in the harem, only one is truly humanoid. The others, walk up-right (most of the time) but have alien anatomies that make for interesting reading and one eye-opening sex scene (the only one in the book and it’s mild). The plot is pretty ludicrous and things happy pretty helter-skelter. (I mean Lise manages to trip and fall through TWO uncharted wormholes in occupied space, for example!) But it’s still enjoyable all the same.

I didn’t like that the women the crew rescued were continuously referred to as the “slave women,” “slave stock,” “slaves,” etc. Emphasizing their status as former slaves over that of autonomous women. There was only one group of women. “The women” would have sufficed and made them feel like actual individuals and less like commodities, serving the theme of the book better I think.

All in all, however, I thought it a pretty piece of fluff and don’t consider the time I spent reading it wasted.

peacemaker

Book Review of Peacemaker, by E.M. Hamill

I received a copy of E.M. Hamill‘s Peacemaker through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:

Third-gender operative Dalí Tamareia thought their life as an ambassador ended when they joined a galactic intelligence agency. When they’re yanked out of the field and tapped to negotiate the surrender of deadly bio-engineered warriors who crashed into hostile territory, Dalí is thrust headfirst back into the tumultuous world of galactic diplomacy.

Dalí has faced Shontavians before, but not like these. The stranded mercenaries are highly intelligent and have an agenda of their own. Dalí can’t afford to be distracted from the negotiations by their own demons or the presence of a charming diplomat with a mysterious past.

As a brewing civil war threatens to derail the entire mission, Dali must use all their skills to bring this dangerous situation to a peaceful end—but the Shontavians may not be the biggest monsters at the table. Someone is determined to see Dalí and their team dead before they discover the brutal truth hidden in the wreckage.

Review:

It took me a little while to get into this book. I think mostly because it’s been a while since I read the first one and I didn’t remember a lot. But by the time the plot really got rolling, I’d mostly caught up. I enjoyed quite a lot about it. Dali is a likable character. The universe is an interesting one, and the plot kept me engaged (even if very little of it was a surprise). The one thing I didn’t see coming, the twist at the end, didn’t feel believable, however. I can think of several ways it might play out and become more believable though. So, I look forward to the continuation to see what happens.

adrift

Review of Adrift (Staying Afloat #1), by Isabelle Adler

I received an Audible code for a copy of Adrift, by Isabelle Adler.

Description from Goodreads:

Some jobs are just too good to be true.

Captain Matt Spears learns this the hard way after a mysterious employer hires his ship to hunt down an ancient alien artifact but insists on providing his own pilot. Ryce Faine is handsome and smart, but Matt has rarely met anyone more obnoxious. With tensions running high, it isn’t until they are attacked by the hostile Alraki that Matt grudgingly begins to respect Ryce’s superior skills, respect that transforms into a tentative attraction.

Little did he know that their biggest challenge would be reaching their destination, an abandoned alien base located on a distant moon amid a dense asteroid field. But when Matt learns that Ryce isn’t completely who he says he is and the artifact is more than he bargained for, he is faced with a difficult choice. One that might change the balance of forces in the known galaxy.

Matt doesn’t take well to moral dilemmas; he prefers the easy way out. But that might not be possible anymore, when his past comes back to haunt him at the worst possible moment. When faced with a notorious pirate carrying a personal grudge, the fragile connection Matt has formed with Ryce might be the only thing that he can count on to save them both.

Review:

This wasn’t necessarily bad, but the author took the most often traveled road at every opportunity. I thought there was a lot of potential for an interesting story here. But Adler instead told one that every aspect of has already been told in the same ways too many times.

Further, aspects of it weren’t well developed. There was a lot of hinting about a family rift that was never directly addressed, for example, and then it was easily rectified when the plot called for it. Again, without the reader ever really seeing what made that happen beyond, “Well, maybe I made a mistake.” Basically we were told that the main character didn’t speak to his family and then told he had decided not speaking to his family was a mistake and now he’d speak to his sister. It was never delved into and, as a reader, it felt tacked on and hollow.

I felt the same way about the romance. Let me preface this by saying the vast majority of what I read has a romantic plot or sub-plot in it. I love my romance books. But here I really, really wish Adler had either left it out entirely or stretched it over two books. It felt very much like the two men went from distrustful allies to friends and no further. So, when there were suddenly kisses and love it didn’t feel developed and felt 100% forced and out of place. Had Adler allowed them room to become friends here and moved to lovers later, it might have worked. But she tried to get too much in too fast and it failed, in my opinion. I actually think it would have worked just as well if the two became platonic best friends. Certainly, Ryce’s description would have moved to Ace/Gray-Ace a lot easier than it did to lover and been a more interesting story for it.

Lastly, I didn’t love the narrator of the audio version, Richard Eckman. I listened to the whole thing at 90% speed and still thought it too fast sometimes. Plus, in the beginning, it just didn’t feel very natural. That improved as it went along though. I’d give the narrator a 3 out of 5 too.