Tag Archives: sci-fi romance

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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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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?


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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Other Reviews:

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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Other Reviews:

@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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Audio Book Review: Ruwen, by Kate Rudolph

I picked up a freebie copy of Ruwen, by Kate Rudolph.
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Running out of time…

Ruwen NaNaran knows he’s a goner. The curse of his alien species has put a countdown on his life, and he’ll be dead before the month is out. Unless he finds his denya, the only woman in the universe who can save him.

Down on her luck and lost in space…

Lis Jaynx just wants to go home. Kidnapped from Earth by unknown foes, she’s dropped on a inhospitable planet with little food and no hope. She’ll do anything to find a ship to take her back to Earth, but Polai is hostile to all alien life, and Lis finds herself on the run.

An unexpected chance…

From the moment he sees her, Ru knows Lis is his denya. But she’s already wounded and distrustful of all aliens, even those who claim they want to help.

Will the explosive chemistry between them be enough to topple Lis’s fears? Or will their bond break before it even forms — leaving Ru a dead alien walking — and Lis all alone in the black of space…

my review

I listened to an audio version of this book and came to two realizations, both of which I’ll address here. First, this is not a very good book. It’s shallow and underdeveloped. But it also isn’t erotica; smut isn’t the point. So, there should be a plot to keep readers interested. Failing that, at least well-drawn characters or an intriguing world. This book has none of that. The whole thing is just sketched out, predictable, and too linear to be interesting.

I’ll form the second point with a question. Why, if the primary readers of romance are women and the female character is central, would anyone choose a male narrator? I’ll grant that this is a dual POV, but it is still a book for and primarily about a woman (formed for and of female fantasies). I had a hard time even deciding how I felt about the book because I so very much disliked it being narrated by a man.

If you consider that I was reading (what I hoped would be a) sexy sci-fi romance, it begins to resemble engaging in a sexual fantasy of sorts. Having a male narrator felt, to me, very much like having an uninvited man intrude. The argument could be made that by virtue of purchasing the book, he had been invited. And I’ll accept that. But it was done unwittingly, and I will endeavor not to make the same mistake again.

On top of that, I don’t actually think the narrator did a very good job. Years ago, I read an autobiography of some second-rate Hollywood actor who talked about the things he did to pay the bills before making it. Apparently, narrating a romance novel was one of those things. He ruwen photospoke about the book and author in a very condescending and disparaging way, basically making fun of both (as men do).

I feel like I could sense a similar undercurrent in Michael’s narration. This only added to the feeling of male intrusion. Not only was he there where he wasn’t wanted, but he was also there with his judgment (as men so often are). Of course, I could be projecting. But it all had a real effect on my ability (or lack thereof) to enjoy the book.

Other Reviews:

Scary Mary the Hamster Lady: Book Review Ruwen

Audiobook Review: Ruwen (Mated to the Alien, #1). ⭐️⭐️⭐️