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Romance and other things

SPOILER ALERT!

Last book here we go

Phase Shift - Kelly Jensen, Jenn Burke
Zander and Felix's relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander's ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he's interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.

Neither man could have expected the enormity of what's discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander's life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix's new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.

With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.

Book Five of Chaos Station

This book is approximately76,000 words
 
 
 
Review:
 
Dear Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke,
 
The blurb gives an excellent summary of the set up.  Actually the blurb gives you an extremely spoilery summary, but I guess because it is the last book in the series and it cannot be read as a stand – alone, it makes sense to reveal some more of the plot of this one than usual.
 
So, the good part – the book was a page turner, I was once again turning the pages, racing till the book ends.  We see Zed setting up the scenery to propose to Felix, and all other team members giving them space and then the proposal and the strawberries and all of that is interrupted by the phone call from Marnie and Ryan – they are being hacked and almost at the same time the ship is being hacked too and things start happening and they are running to catch the hacker and team members who are not inside are trying to get in. In other words, all hell breaks loose. What’s new right?
 
Alas, very soon as blurb states at the end of the data trail we find out that nightmare that Zed went through   (Project Dreamweaver) is still continuing on the remote planet, where doctor who had been trying to create “super soldiers” actually came. Dear doctor and her recruits coexist with the colonists who came to the planet and organize not very legal settlement and when Zed and Felix are in pursuit of the hacker and crash on the planet, well, they are in the fight of their lives, again.
 
The adventure was entertaining, the love between Zed and Felix was as powerful as ever and other team members as always rocked.
 
However, however, I thought that attempt at make Zed and Felix to be a little bit at odds (no, they do not break up, don’t worry) was a little cringe worthy to me.  I cannot stress this strongly enough.  I do not require the characters in the romance story to get married to be happy with the ending.  All I need to know is that they are together, and want to be together forever (of course forever is not guaranteed, I just need to know that they want it, willing to work on it for the rest of their lives, etc). They do not need to get married, heck they do not even need to *live together* all the time – if for example they have demanding jobs that require them to be apart for the prolonged periods of time.  So, believe me what I am going to say next is not due to myself having a preference for the story to end with a marriage.
 
But honestly when Felix was trying to object to Zed’s marriage proposal in the beginning, I truly thought that he was pulling the words out of his behind. I mean, in another story, where the characters were still trying to figure out where they stand, maybe. In the story where it is shown over and over again over the course of the series that the character does not want to get married for *any reason*, sure, why not – then I expect the guys to work out a compromise if they love each other and that’s it. Here? After everything they had been through? When their connection is pretty much telepathic now and they both know how much they love each other, Felix is seriously asking Zed why would he want that? Um, I am not buying, sorry. Even when in the middle Felix was revealing some more reasons for not wanting to do it still rang hollow to me. I mean the words were right, I just did not feel that enough time was spent on it in the previous books to convince me. Felt more like the writers decided that at least a tiny bit of internal conflict was needed even in book five and came up with this.
 
The funny thing is that a wonderful bit of internal conflict which was based on what was going on with all the action was shown closer to the end which I found way more convincing and organic than Felix’ supposed unwillingness to consider marriage in the beginning . I am guessing him deciding he wants to get married was supposed to be his character growth for this book? Honestly I thought he was at that stage already based on how he felt about Zed.
 
As I mentioned before I liked the adventure – made sense that what started Zed’s troubles had to be dealt with completely before they could move on. However you may remember that I kept waiting and waiting what did authors had in store for the mysterious Guardians, who helped Zed before and asked for some of his help too in the other books?  I was *extremely* disappointed in that part of the adventure as well (their involvement was significant in terms of influence, but really not that significant in terms of page space, so that’s why I did not lower grade that much). I mean the writers did not leave me hanging, everything was explained, but I was basically saying – “that’s it”? I am not saying that I guessed what was going to happen with the Guardians – not at all! However, it was all quite boringly in line with what I thought they were – “God like beings who could manipulate everything and everybody” for their goals, no matter how helpful those goals are to the rest of humanity.
 
Grade: B- for this book/ B for the series as a whole.