Where I Got It: Review copy from the publisher via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: Adults who enjoy a space adventure with a strong female protagonist.
Narrator: Dawn Harvey
Publisher: Iambik Audio (2012)
Length: 11 hours 31 minutes
Series: Book 1 Splinter Universe trilogy
Rhea Hawke is a Galactic Guardian, and I love to say her name. Her name alone let’s you know that there is a bad ass super hero of a woman on site. I can picture her boots, her great coat, and her side arms. I want to be her when I grow up. Obviously, you can tell I developed some hero worship for her by the end of this book. Back to the story, where we start off with the massacre of a religious sect. Hawke has her ideas about who is ultimately behind it, but, alas, the more bureaucratically minded in the Galactic Guardians refuse to listen to her. Nina Munteanu has spread alien races thickly throughout this story, with just a peppering of humans. The Eosians are very similar to humans genetically, yet Rhea has a prejudice towards them since childhood, when she inadvertently killed a male Eosian in a gruesome way.
Let me come clean. There is a nefarious, evil race of aliens that have perpetrated more than one attempted genocide. They are the Vos. For those of you who know me, you know that is simply one S short of my name, and pronounced exactly the same. I confess – it was a bit of an ego rush to hear Rhea Hawke, my hero, threatening death to all Vos. Indeed, she called them all sorts of nasty names.
OK. I feel better getting that off my chest. So, Rhea manages to kick too much ass in a very public way in a very messy way. We call this pissing off a whole lot of people in a very short amount of time. So, her badge, her Guardian issued-weapons, her ever so cool Great Coat, and her little AI ship are all taken. She is left on her own to cool off a bit. So, of course she joins a gym, and develops a romantic interest. Hehe. Why not? But then the book picks up again and the adventure, intrigue, and cursing of the dastardly Vos.
I really got wrapped up in this novel. Yes, the characters only grew a little bit, and that growth was mainly on Rhea and her relationship to her mother, but I really connected with her. I loved all the fancy tech and the variety of alien races, with humans barely hanging on as a species. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for Book 2.
I have to mention the sex. No, there aren’t any diagrams. So, Rhea and her beau have some pretty steamy sex off and on throughout the book. Nothing really shocked me. What I did find curious is that Rhea really considers a certain position (anal) to be perverse. This theme carries through in the background until Rhea herself experiences that certain position. Oddly, that is all tied to some of Rhea’s personal history and she suddenly understands so much more about her own mom. Anyway, I am trying not to give away too much. Just a note – this book contains sex, in some detail. There was one scene I was so wrapped up in and later tried to explain to my man – and it sounds ridiculous without the back story. This shows that the author totally had me sucked in.
Dawn Harvey was the perfect narrator for this novel as it is all told from Rhea’s point of view. Dawn came across as strong and determined without over playing it. Plus, I like how she says my last name with a variety of epithets. The alien voices were challenging, and Dawn met those challenges with gusto.
What I Liked: Rhea Hawke, her tech, her ship, and her attitude; my last name was cursed thoroughly throughout the novel; lots and lots of aliens; humans are not the main focus of the book as a species; Rhea has a very complicated past, of which she knows so little of.
What I Disliked: There were a few loose ends dealing with Rhea’s ancestors that left me with question marks – minor complaint as I look forward to Book 2.