Published February 1st 2014 by Createspace
This is so not a New Adult novel. If you go solely by the age of the protagonist (23) then maybe yes as New Adult focuses on characters in the 18-25 age group. But all other characteristics of New Adult meaning sort of an ‘older YA’ centering around topics such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices you will have problems finding in here.
Riddick meets Firefly
This book is the beginning of a science fiction romance series with the galaxy’s most wanted thief/mercenary as its main female character. I found this to be a very interesting premise and the book delivers quite nicely for a self-published new author. If you like me watched a lot of Science Fiction movies and series you will equally find them represented here: Star Trek TOS, Star Wars, Serenity & Firefly, Riddick and so on. I wouldn’t call it hardcore science fiction, but if you enjoyed the sci-fi western movie Serenity this book will not disappoint you! There are advanced space ninjas, tech gadgets, space ship fights, sexy aliens, tech empaths, an intergalactic secret service and mercenaries on desert planets to keep you entertained for a long while.
A refreshing female lead character
Adding to the distinguished science fiction setting is the refreshing character of Renna, a strong and quite unusual protagonist. Renna doesn’t whine about her fate, or has moral issues with what she does for a living. Instead she takes pride in being the best thief in the galaxy or even the whole universe not because she likes to steal but because she loves to solve a puzzle. It just happens that the most advanced puzzles means hacking into secure systems. Renna also has no problems with her own sexuality. She also doesn’t dislike other women on sight.
The woman stood up straighter and puffed out her chest. She did have a nice rack. Renna would have puffed them out, too.
All in all her character is pretty cool: she is a sexy mercenary slowly developing a conscience. She cares about the boy Myka, she saves the captain and the crew, she saves herself and in the end I believe she will save the universe. I found her at times maybe too perfect as the story often conjures up the feeling that she could have done it all single handed. There was seldom need for other characters to intervene or show up at all, which brings me to the next point.
The secondary characters in this book were just a byproduct
They had no real purpose other than to complement Renn’s character and to act as her space taxi. I was a little bit disappointed as there was much potential for all of them. Captain Finn as romantic counterpart to Renn seemed very weak in comparison to her. Maybe I am just tired right now, but their romance left me rather cold. Finn has no attributes other than being incredibly handsome with rippling and clenching muscles underneath his clinging uniform. Those muscles sure have a life of their own! After their misunderstanding is unraveled, which happens somewhere in the middle of story in a rather quick way, all the romance between them centers on Renn’s commitment issues.
I believe the book could have profited from some editing.
There are some expressions that were so often repeated, it was hard not to notice. Based on all the growling done in this book I expected every moment a werewolf to come around the corner. (This might also have something to do with me reading Iron Kissed, though) Also Renna’s constant talk about morals and her mannerism to try to justify her actions annoyed me. If she is the galaxy’s most renowned thief why bother?
As much as I did like the Firefly/Serenity make-up, character development, interaction and romance were rather disappointing. My disappointment grew the more the story progressed. During the first half of the book I would have given it a solid 4 stars. As it is I don’t think more than 3 would be justified.