Tag Archive | Telepathy

Pirate Bound by Carysa Locke

Pirate BoundSource: Copy from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Talented Pirates have suffered loss. Some years ago a deadly virus swept through the female Pirates, decimating them. Now the Pirates face extinction since they have few viable females to bear talented children. Then the Pirates come across two female Talented, Sanah and Nayla, exhausted and wary, who have escaped from a Talented organisation known as Veritas. Nayla is a biokineticist, able to heal on a cellular level, who’s Talent is required by their brother Niall – working for Veritas – for it’s killing abilities.

What a fantastic story. Each of the main characters, and a few of the secondary characters, are well developed with differing personalities, goals and desires. Dem’s qualities as a protective hero make him very endearing, and I enjoyed his internal battle with his Talents. That really made me chuckle. Cannon was an extremely insightful Pirate King who really keeps his finger on the pulse. It would be nice to one day read more about him, and also about Treon, Dem’s enigmatic brother.

Inventive and well-written, I hope to read many more books about the Telepathic Space Pirates. This definitely checks all my boxes in space opera, psychic talents and romance. This is excellent stuff right here, reminiscent of the best of Anne McCaffrey.

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The Sunfire by Mike Smith

The SunfireSource: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Commander Jonathan Radec is dead. However, the Commander has already died once before, and for some death is but a doorway…

“For whoever has lived unjustly and impiously goes to the dungeon of requital and penance which, you know, they call Tartarus.” – Plato

After making a shocking discovery that reveals the truth about a long-held misconception, the crew launch a desperate rescue mission to Tartarus. The only way to reach there, aboard The Sunfire, which was once the Confederation Navy’s newest, most powerful heavy cruiser, but is now nothing more than a ghost ship, adrift amongst the stars.

Meanwhile the last Imperial Princess, Sofia Aurelius, is questioning her own decision to focus on the Senate and turn her back on her family–and Jon. Embarking on a quest to discover the truth about the present–she instead finds the past has finally caught up with her.

Failure will mean certainly death for them both, but the price of success could be far worse, almost certainly plunging the galaxy into civil war, the last of which, five-hundred years ago, cost tens of millions of lives.

Smith has an inventive imagination, and this story is no exception. One may think that because Jon Radec appears near-invincible, that one has to completely suspend belief in order to swallow this story. But the beauty of writing the story mostly from his POV shows just how and where he is vulnerable. This sets the reader up for tension as events head Radec’s way.

But not only that. Smith is audacious, and comes up with plot lines and devices that stagger the readers’ imagination – and that totally suit the characters of Jon Radec and his contemporaries. What Smith does in The Sunfire is not far short of brilliant, and a joy (advisedly) to read. A page-turner that keeps one in the grip of events, hastening to discover the outcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed this second instalment of the Redemption trilogy, and look forward to reading Pax Imperia.

 

My Name is A’yen by Rachel Leigh Smith

My Name is A'yenSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

They’ve taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A’yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master’s murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A’yen’s trust. But she’s a breeder’s daughter and can’t be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A’yen’s mind about her importance. When she’s threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Association’s radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

This has to be one of the best début novels I have read. The concept is impressive in its complexity, and Smith’s writing is very clear, minimising confusion as one learns new concepts and is introduced to a society and people group that is entirely alien.

A’yen, the main character of the book, is introduced to us as a slave-with-no-owner who has been kept in ‘holding’ for just over a year. We soon learn that his previous owner, and lover, was murdered and died in his arms. His outlook on life as we meet him is bleak, to say the least. Most importantly, he no longer believes that his people have a homeworld.

He is soon purchased by Farran Hart, an archaeologist in search of A’yen’s homeworld. Together they embark on an expedition to a planet on the Rim that sees to fulfil the promises told in the legends of A’yen’s people. A planet A’yen previously visited with his former Master.

What I really like about this book is that it is, while clearly being a romance, not your conventional romance-format story. While the romance itself faces challenges, the tension in the book comes from an unrelated source.

It didn’t take long for A’yen to worm his way into my heart, which made this book a very tough read at times. There were numerous occasions when I was threatening Smith with all sorts of dire consequences if I had to read any more of the book (which, yes, I DID have to read!). What that means in simple terms is that she is a first-rate author; she gets you to love who you’re meant to love and resent/hate/loathe/despise (pick your emotion) those who you’re meant to… take your pick. And I love a book with a well-drawn villain – much as I frequently wish to punch them in the snoot. While it isn’t your conventional relaxing, easy read, it is a very rewarding one. All the characters have depth, and there are even a few surprises along the way for good measure.

I appreciated the lengths to which Smith went in building the cultures, society and worlds the book depicts. Here are no info-dumps, but instead tidbits that are easily digestible and tangible, building up images in the mind.

Overall, this is – despite the tough subject matter (slavery, physical and emotional abuse) – an accessible read with a lot of heart and a huge amount of depth. There is clearly much more to this than one book, and I will look forward to each of Smith’s future works.

Hero’s End by JC Cassels

BWC HERO'S END WallpaperFormat: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Amy

“Hero’s End” is the second book in JC Cassels’ “Blackwing Chronicles.”  For my review of the first book, “Sovran’s Pawn”, please go here. Cassels can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Over-all rating: 4 stars

“Hero’s End” is a better book, both stylistically and story-wise, than “Sovran’s Pawn“.  The characters are alive with rich background details. Scenery is described in dramatic fashion but not to the point that a reader becomes bored with every descriptive nuance.  The story is well paced with a good blend of action and exposition. If you love the lush settings, blood-curdling action, and cliffhangers of George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series, you will like this book.

Plot (no spoilers): 4stars

Blade Devon and Bo Barron are back to save the galaxy each other.  While there are certainly over-arcing political plotlines within “Hero’s End”, this is the story of Blade and Bo.  As the second in a series, the book does a good job of treading the fine line between re-telling the first book and plunging the reader into the action with no point of reference.  The first three chapters are a bit slower paced than the rest of the book, but still manage to draw you in.

This series of books is good, classic, space opera.  The plot is character driven and centered around the romance of the two protagonists. Don’t be misled, though.  This is not a sappy romance novel set in space. Cassels has created an entire galaxy full of competing star systems, power-plays, holo-feature starlets, and mystical wisemen.

There’s more mysticism in this story than in the prior book.  I always have to give myself a good mental shake when there’s talk of telepathy.  Yes mind reading is all very sci-fi, but the book does take place on spaceships and alien planets.

Formatting: 3 stars

I’m still an ebook snob, so I’m not going to over-look the lack of a working Table of Contents or chapter hyperlinks.

Final thoughts:

I stayed up until 4am to finish “Hero’s End”. Be warned, it ends in a cliffhanger that is so wrenching as to make me curse aloud.  Fans of space opera will not want to miss this book.