Tag Archives: 5 stars

Review: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon

Trading in DangerTrading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon
(Vatta’s War #1)
My rating:

I loved this book when I first read it, and I still do now. I can’t remember now if it was the first of Elizabeth Moon’s sci-fi books I read, but I’m pretty sure it was one that made me keen to read the rest of her work.

I really like Ky – she doesn’t let anything outwardly phase her, but she admits it’s a learned tactic rather than a personality trait. She has plenty of self-doubts and frustrations – not surprising considering the shock of being booted from her military academy in chapter one. But she’s very determined to prove herself, and she’s shown to be good in a crisis. I think she grows through the book, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes next.

The supporting cast has some interesting characters who seem to have plenty of potential to develop more. The plot kept me interested through the whole thing, and the ending tied up the immediate story nicely with the reveal of the Chekhov’s Gun device that was dropped in early on. There are a lot of story threads left dangling, so it’s very clearly the first of a series. It definitely makes me keen to read on. (I maaaay have opened up the next sequel already – it picks up directly from the ending of this book.)

It’s been a while since I’ve read this, so of course I can’t remember all the details of the story. So I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen with Ky and the crew, with the rest of the family (including eccentric Aunt Grace), and with MMAC and the ISC – the events of TiD are bound to have an effect on Ky’s relationships with those organisations. Oh, and of course, will there be appearances from characters who’ve only been mentioned? Ky deserves the chance to clobber Hal at the very least!

In short, if you like space opera sci-fi with strong, likeable (but not “perfect”) female leads, I can definitely recommend this. I’m pretty sure I’ll be re-reading again in the future.

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Review: An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair

An Accidental GoddessAn Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
My rating:

I thought I’d gone off the SFR genre lately, but when I finally went through and got all my old palm-reader books from Fictionwise converted so that I can read them on my current e-reader, I opened this one to check it all looked ok, and was hooked all over again. I’m pretty sure this was also the first book of the genre I’d read back in 2005 and, yep, I still really like it.

The romance does feel very sudden, or rather becomes serious very very fast, but I love the characters and all the little details about the station and culture, and the adventure part of the plot feels equally as important to me.
I found Gillie’s reasons for hiding her full identity were valid, and it made sense that she’d got a bit tangled up in her omissions as the plot went on – she hadn’t intended to stay on the station, but then things snowballed and it all got a bit awkward. She was rather stuck between a rock and a hard place with the choice between fibbing and undermining a major part of the Khalaran culture.

If there had been more in this universe, I’d want to see more of Simon, especially now he’s got himself a corporeal form. Note to self: look for fanfic. All in all, well worth the re-read!

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Review: Silver Shark

Silver Shark (Kinsmen #2)Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews (Kinsmen #2)
My rating:

Just like the previous book in this series, the characters and setting pulled me in straight away. It’s relatively short, so it didn’t waste time on getting everything established, but nothing felt rushed either. It was nice to briefly visit the hero and heroine of the previous book, which set this book as occurring about 11 or 12 years after their story.

Claire and Ven were great, and I loved their interactions. Claire’s fear of discovery was palpable throughout, but she never let that get in the way of doing what she thought was right, whether that was accompanying Ven into a potentially dangerous situation with no quick way of defending herself, or helping her own people from the building she’d grown up in back on Uley. I also liked the way that we got a literal peek into Ven’s thoughts a couple of times via Claire. She may not have understood his intentions, but it showed the reader that he was keen on her too. I enjoyed the conclusion to the story, as well, and liked Ven’s reaction when he eventually discovered all Claire’s secrets.

Once again, though, I could have very happily read a novel-length version of this!!

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Review: Working Stiff

Working Stiff (Revivalist #1)Working Stiff by Rachel Caine
My rating:

This might sound a bit odd considering the subject matter, but one of my favourite things about this book was the feeling of realism. Yes, I know. But after all, that’s what makes the best sci-fi: that it could just be plausible. More than anything else, though, it was the characters who sold it for me.

Bryn is an excellent heroine, competent and mentally tough, but not unbelievably so, and despite her army training she isn’t a kick-ass superwoman who can take down any physically stronger opponent. Yes, she’s had hand-to-hand training and knows how to use a gun, but she’s as human (hah) as the rest of us and her reactions aren’t faster than a speeding bullet. She’s a dab hand at logistics from the sounds of it, and can think on her feet, but she’s an ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It’s how she then deals with that that makes her awesome.

The villain is nicely creepy (and I never was quite sure if he or the other boogeyman was responsible for a couple of things that happened to Bryn – could have gone either way) and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book with all the competing elements.

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Review: The Human Thing

The Human ThingThe Human Thing by Kathleen H. Nelson
My rating:

This was a real pleasant surprise – I thought it looked quite good, but it definitely exceeded expectations. Although we only saw Jilly quite briefly before the accident, I felt that I got a good sense of who she was… and how she changed (and didn’t) afterwards. I loved the relationship between her and RK, which is almost entirely unspoken but clearly strong. Plus there are lots of interesting characters populating the rest of the cast.

The plot had plenty going on to keep me interested, too: who caused the shuttle accident, and why, what was causing Jilly’s headache and personality swings, and was it related to her memory loss? Then on Tolq, more strands are added, but there’s never too much happening at once. And although I thought several times that I could see where the ending was going, it wasn’t as predictable as that. I did enjoy the way it all tied together, though. A good, satisfactory ending without absolutely everything being tied up in a perfect bow. I just wish there was more to read – I’d love to see a sequel, or something else in this universe.

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Review: Out of the Dark

Out of the DarkOut of the Dark by David Weber
My rating:

View spoiler: Aliens and soldiers and vampires, oh my! Seriously, this is just genius. I love a genre mash-up, and this one was a ton of fun. Yes, a fair bit of it consisted of set pieces of Big Explosions, and the body-count was enormous, but that was kind of the point of the book. I also particularly liked the fundamental inability of the aliens to understand the human response to them. And the ending – oh, I had to stop reading and just laugh and laugh! Classic. This is one that I’ll read again.

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Review: Silent Blade

Silent Blade (Kinsmen #1)Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews (Kinsmen #1)
My rating:

I loved the vivid world-building of this story, and found the hero and heroine strong and interesting characters. The gradual reveal of their personal history was very well done. My only gripe is that I’d love for the book to have been longer!

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