Where I Got It: Through the blog tour host Orangeberry (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: It’s very fast pace, so someone looking for lots of action.
Publisher: Plasma Spyglass Press (2012)
Length: 216 pages
Series: Book 1, I think, based on how this book ended.
In this far future space opera, humans have colonized not only the moon, but also Mars. In fact, a schism arose between the Martians and the Earthers decades before our tale begins. Captain Christina Serenity is one of the youngest Navy captains ever in the history of bureaucratic naval red tape. She kicks ass by the way. However, she recently was the recipient of an ass-kicking and requires body guards. Barely recovered from her injuries, and guarded by long-time Security Officer Michael Carlson and newbie Janice Kanter, she takes the E.S.S. Australia out on an unexpected mission.
Assassination attempts crop up left and right. Cpt. Serenity also has to deal with rogue ships attacking, even ramming, her ship. But then it gets even better, because aliens become an issue. Friendlies? Baddies? Perhaps they are just neutral. Serenity has to walk a tight line to safely navigate the awkwardness of First Contact. But her ship is badly damaged and many of her people killed before the mystery of who is behind the assassination attempts is unraveled. Then there is also the distraction of the blossoming romantic interest in one of her body guards, which is totally against regulations.
This story was very much action driven, being fast paced and lots of injuries and some dead bodies. While I liked all the action, sometimes we flitted from one scene to the next a little too quickly and my brain was a bit jarred off and on. The characters are very easy to connect with, even though they lack depth and growth. But let me point back to that ‘action driven’ part: if you just want a space opera that is easy to jump into without having to concentrate on character or setting details, then Richard Flores‘ book is for you. The espionage aspect coupled with the secret society bit was intriguing and kept me guessing about characters the entire time. The side romances added tension without taking away from the main reason I was reading the book: Action In Space. Not bedroom action, but space fights and first contact, etc. You get the point. There were lots of females in power without being all Hear Me Roar. It simply was a well integrated navy without the bullshit of gender inequality. Very refreshing.
Of course I need to talk about the one negative point. Unfortunately, this is a biggy for me. I love words and stories in which every word was thought about and carefully placed to be pleasing to plot and reader brain. This book was not well edited. Yes, someone used spell check, but forgot to use grammar check. I kept stumbling over wrong words – like wonder where the author clearly meant wander. Then and than drove me crazy. There were very few pages of this book that were clear of such mistakes. Most of the time, I quickly discerned what was intended, but sometimes I found myself stumbling over a sentence, taking far too much time to puzzle out the meaning. I have this belief that I should give the words as much attention as the author did. I ended up scanning the last half of this book, simply getting the plot gist.
What I Liked: The characters were easy to connect with; lots of women in positions of power; conflict in space; espionage and secret society; alien first contact.
What I Disliked: Poor editing; occasionally moved from one scene to another jarringly.
I received a copy of this book as part of the Orangeberry Book Tours. If you want more info on Richard Flores, check HERE. If you would like to check out the other bloggers participating in the book tour, click HERE.
Here is the book trailer: