REVIEW WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AT DEAR AUTHOR WHERE I RECEIVED THE BOOK AS FREE REVIEWING COPY
Previous book: Turbulence
Allie always enjoyed casual sex with crewmates, but the war never let her get too close to anyone. Now the war is over, and shipmates lost. Somewhere Allie lost some part of herself, too. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t escape the gentle touch of Shank Lacroix, her favorite lover. He insists on standing by her and helping her find the missing pieces. The problem is that the old pieces don’t fit anymore. Allie wants more even as she fears her changing beliefs and sexual appetites.
Shank knows the signs of a person carrying too much guilt and anger. Allie is in danger of emotionally self-destructing. Shank knows he has to save his beautiful and dominating Allie and help her find herself again. In his youth, he went on a vision quest to find his path, but right now, spiritual quests don’t have much to offer him. However, he does hope a quest to find their missing crew might help them find themselves and their love before it’s too late. That is assuming that Command doesn’t catch them trying to desert their posts and execute them first.
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES.
Dear Lyn Gala,
Overall I really liked the first book in this series “Turbulence” , but I certainly wished for a more “stable” ending for Zeke and Jacqs, who were the main characters in that book . During the rescue mission they and their crew were trying to execute the guys stayed at the planet which was about to be controlled by aliens as a result of peace treaty, so their ship could rescue more kids of the miners from the planet. The guys became slaves of the bats (bat like looking aliens). They were not abused or anything and paid for their work well, but they were not allowed to leave the planet and I found it a touch depressing, I guess.
I knew that Allie and Shank will be the main couple in the sequel, but I will admit that I wanted to read this book mostly because you said that Zeke and Jacqs’ fate will change in this book. I did not hate Allie and Shank in the first book, not at all, but they did not seem particularly interesting and engaging characters to me. This changed in this book. I still wished for more Zeke and Jacqs (they reappear in the last fifteen-twenty percent of the story), but I ended up really liking Allie and Shank.
The war with bats is officially over, and the crew is about to receive their marching orders. Some of them can go home, but some of them are probably going to be ordered to go and maintain order in the refugees’ camps, which is a huge problem in this world. Basically there are plenty of hungry civilians in this camp – both adults and kids – and occasionally or not so occasionally they riot, because they are hungry. None of the crew of the “Candiru” is eager to start shooting civilians if they are given such orders.
The book is written in the third person POV, but we are mostly in Allie’s head (a couple of times as I was reading I was not sure if a brief POV switch had occurred or not, but that did not happen too often). It was fun being in Allie’s head. I suspected that Jacqs’ simple view of the world in the first book (I mean simple in the best possible way – he is a very pragmatic, very matter of fact character) kind of colored his perception of other characters, but I did not expect to like Allie as much as I did by the time I finished reading the story.
Allie is not in very good shape when we catch up with her at the beginning of this story. She is suffering in part because she promised Zeke and Jacqs that she would bring the ship to get them back and she does not see a way to fulfill the promise she made. She is also afraid of losing Shank to war or some other disaster, so she does not want to get too close to him (even though they already became very close earlier and slept together many times ). Luckily, Shank comes up with a plan to go after Zeke and Jacqs and even though his plan is not hundred percent rock solid (and that’s a huge understatement) Allie and three more crew members follow him.
Most of the book is about their efforts to execute the plan to rescue Zeke and Jacqs. There was plenty of fast- moving action while they were moving forward (and occasionally a little backwards) towards their goal. The guys had to deal with Shank’s past and his family a lot while doing that. I liked that we learned a lot more about Shank and about his past – we get to hear a brief mention of that in the first book (Shank being a pirate), but when we learned more about his family, the additional knowledge was something unexpected.
A lot of the book was devoted to how Shank and Allie were growing as a couple. I actually thought that they resolved their initial internal issues pretty fast. I felt it was similar to what happened in the first book. Although the story was different, the similarity was that Zeke and Jacqs did not spent tons of time angsting about their internal conflicts. Although, come to think of it, while Shank and Allie were never truly at odds, new issues came up for them to deal as their relationship developed and it was a work in progress. I liked it. I actually thought that the author was even more successful mixing up space opera and the relationship than in the first book. The issues were connected with their respective sexualities and figuring out what they want from each other. Again, just to remind the reader – there are many different definitions of sexuality in this world and the characters have to declare who they are sexually. Some are similar to our world, some have different words for the same definitions (like two or three words to me translated as bisexual and just had shiny description). The author even provides a glossary at the end.
I thought it was very interesting how although Allie was very comfortable with her sexuality and who she was from the beginning , she still learned that she might come love new things and how Shank was the one who probably had more hang-ups. I thought they worked well together, both in bed and during the rest of their adventures.
“She just wished her mouth would sometimes let her make an actual decision before blurting things out without warning. If she was supposed to be the brakes in this little family, they were all seriously screwed – all future children involved.”
I thought Shank and Allie were really well suited and had the potential to be in it for a very long haul. Their futures and other characters’ futures still do not hold fluffy bunnies, but fluffy bunnies would be terribly out of space in this world. I was quite content.
Grade – B.