I'm not sure what to rate this. It was solidly a 4-star book until probably the last chapter. As with her first book, the author does a tremendous jobI'm not sure what to rate this. It was solidly a 4-star book until probably the last chapter. As with her first book, the author does a tremendous job of creating a unique, fascinating new world of the future. I was absolutely interested in the future she created where humans are nearly extinct and the Manti--a race of human/insect hybrids that were actually engineered by humanity themselves--are in control of the planet, and are also mortal enemies of the remaining humans.
The heroine, Ash, is an easy (human) heroine to root for and to like, as she's smart, doesn't act stupidly, and while conflicted at times about her loyalties, doesn't suddenly meet a guy she has an attraction for and decide that he's no longer the enemy and all her loyalty is with him. In other words, this doesn't fall into some of the old romance cliche in that way (some people might find the attraction/insta-lust itself a bit romance cliche but I thought it really worked)
Pax is our hero and he is, of course, a Manti. The story starts with Pax taking Ash prisoner and we follow their journey back to Pax's home, through rebellion and more, and to their happy ending.
Two things about this book: I mentioned I love the world created, and I do. However, I would have liked this book to be even a bit denser in the world building and details shared. I thought there was definitely more to know.
The other thing is that I thought the ending was rushed. I was at 98% and had decided this was the first part of two books, but everything was wrapped up kind of suddenly and somewhat neatly in the space of one scene/discussion. I do wonder if there's another book to come, because it seems like there's more story to tell, but the rushed ending made me feel less satisfied with it than I might otherwise have been.
That said, fans of the authors first book should pick this one up, as should anyone who loves science fiction romance that's truly got a unique setup in the terms of world. ...more
I'm really loving these books so far. I'm giving them a conditional enthusiastic recommendation, with the condition hinging on how it all wraps up inI'm really loving these books so far. I'm giving them a conditional enthusiastic recommendation, with the condition hinging on how it all wraps up in book 3. But right now, I can recommend for scifi fans and space opera fans. There are some romantic elements, but the world building and characterizations are just so good, along with the way the story is going. I can't wait to read book 3! ...more
First, because I know this matters to many readers: This ends in a cliffhanger, it's not a complete story but is clearly meant to continue in the next First, because I know this matters to many readers: This ends in a cliffhanger, it's not a complete story but is clearly meant to continue in the next book.
I'm not sure what to rate this because there was a lot I liked about the book, including the heroine, the story setup and the world, but as I was reading, I couldn't help but feel there were a lot of missed opportunities for shoring up world building, character development and story. I did feel like I was reading something original, and it moved very smoothly, but because I felt like there was so much there that was possible (and because I'm biased, possible probably more with the help of a strong editor in this genre) I'd probably give it three stars, but add that I'll definitely try book two. ...more
3.5 stars, actually. I think this book will be more popular with the dedicated sci-fi romance reader than with the casual reader. The story opening is3.5 stars, actually. I think this book will be more popular with the dedicated sci-fi romance reader than with the casual reader. The story opening is a bit hard to follow, and I liked the heroine's emotional journey better than I actually liked their romance. I actually felt a little awkward about their romance, for some reason. I think because there was such a dichotomy between what the hero is supposed to be like and how he acts with her. Almost too much of a dichotomy, so I felt uncomfortable with what seemed almost feminine displays of emotion from him. But the world building is interesting and detailed and the story pacing moves quickly. ...more
I really had no idea what to expect from this book, since book 4 had seemed to really tie up the story arc. But Ms. Huff did a fantastic job of pullinI really had no idea what to expect from this book, since book 4 had seemed to really tie up the story arc. But Ms. Huff did a fantastic job of pulling us back into Torin's world and investing us in what happens next. Let me start by saying that if you're a fan of space opera, kick ass heroines and you're looking for something new to read, I encourage you to pick up book one of this series. You may also want to skip reading my review, because it's impossible to write about this particular book without providing spoilers for the series as a whole.
**Series spoilers past this point but NOT spoilers for this particular book**
The book opens with Torin and Craig visiting Torin's home world. It's been just a few months since the close of book four, when Torin and Craig reveal the existence of the "plastic aliens" and that the war was a sham. Torin has left the military and is traveling with Craig and learning to work as a salvage operator. We get insight into Craig's world while building up to the main conflict.
Ms. Huff has a deft hand with her use of 3rd person POV and uses three POVs: Torin's Craig's and the antagonist, Cho's. It's fascinating to have that third POV, allowing us to see what's coming, to know the danger, and to want to warn the characters, but being unable to.
The issues that Torin and Craig are struggling with, their psychological issues especially, left over from previous events, are woven into the fabric of this story and I'm glad that the author doesn't make things seem too easy for them, as far as learning to live together and, for Torin, learning not to be "Gunny" anymore.
The story itself is a page turner, and well paced. I think, if there were to be any quibble, it might be how competently bad-ass Torin always is, but I think if that's something you're disgruntled with, you wouldn't have read the first four books. If you liked the first four books of this series, you'll enjoy this installment and revisiting.
No spoilers here but I love the resolution and wrap-up in the final pages of the book, of the hints of the next adventure to face this couple, and I especially love the final scene of the book. ...more
While I liked this book, I realized after reading a book I really loved last night that overall, the series was just mediocre for me. I thought the fiWhile I liked this book, I realized after reading a book I really loved last night that overall, the series was just mediocre for me. I thought the first book was the best. I enjoyed this as a wrap-up to the series but I didn't find myself wishing the series would continue, but instead found I was a bit glad there weren't more, as I would have wanted to read them to see where the story went, but was never fully immersed in the series or driven to get them read and stay up late to find out what happened.
I continue to enjoy Elizabeth Moon's writing but overall, I didn't think this series was the strongest example of science fiction/space opera I've enjoyed. ...more
I liked how this one started, in Rafe's POV, and enjoyed this book more than I did the third book. I also appreciated that Stella, Grace and Rafe finaI liked how this one started, in Rafe's POV, and enjoyed this book more than I did the third book. I also appreciated that Stella, Grace and Rafe finally got more page time as fully realized primary characters rather than second-rate secondary characters. In fact, I enjoyed their subplots more than I did Ky's, as I feel Ky's has been moving somewhat slowly, without any real edgy conflict. Fighting multiple space battles doesn't really work for me as driving conflict and the other conflict for her seems to be getting people to recognize she's got talents but that conflict felt a little worn and overused by this, the fourth book.
Overall, a better book than the third and while it didn't leave me quite eagerly anticipating diving into the fifth, it did seem a good fit into the series and left me ready to read the last one. ...more
This has been my least favorite of the series so far. I disliked that Stella was set up, as a character, to be so unlikeable and seemingly unreasonablThis has been my least favorite of the series so far. I disliked that Stella was set up, as a character, to be so unlikeable and seemingly unreasonable and anti-Ky. In other words, what could have been another strong female character in this book to provide a foil to Ky's character is instead set up as her opposition and somewhat of an antagonist. It's almost as if the author didn't want to provide Ky with any strong primary character competition, which is a shame, because it results in her seeming a weaker character instead of stronger.
I was also not in love with how Stella's objections and objectives suddenly seemed to disappear with a surprise revelation. It again seemed as if the author was undermining a character who would otherwise have great potential.
I struggled with finishing this book in ways that I didn't with the first two, and I hope it's a "mid-series" syndrome rather than an indication of how the last two books will go. ...more
I've read four or five of Elizabeth Moon's previous books in the Serrano Legacy series and enjoyed them, but think I liked this particular book even mI've read four or five of Elizabeth Moon's previous books in the Serrano Legacy series and enjoyed them, but think I liked this particular book even more. I thought in this book, we got a good sense of the character's growth and insight into her. I read this book quickly while at the waterpark and then bought the second digitally and read it the next day, though it was not quite as good, it moved the series along nicely and continues to show well-developed plot, story and character growth. I'm on the third now and looking forward to the others. My only small complaint is some minor story details that seem inconsistent or not well explained, but that isn't enough to keep this from being a great space opera read. ...more