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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!