Budd's Reviews > Paradise 21

Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne
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Sep 17, 2012

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bookshelves: sciencefiction, romance
Read in August, 2011

Aubrie Dionne is a fellow blogger, so when she announced a blog book tour for her new Scifi/romance novel Paradise 21, I offered my services. I didn't know that her publicist was going to send me the book to read. I haven't ever read a romance novel before and I am pretty sure I wasn't the target audience. I am always willing to read outside my comfort zone, and this book gave me the opportunity.

This book is a romance novel but it is very PG-13. I am pretty sure that I couldn't have made it through a seriously steamy romance. Dionne keeps the romance element at its basic and throws it in on top of a space opera in which the Earth has destroyed itself and was abandoned by the haves, leaving the have nots to die. One such ship, The New Dawn, has been traveling through space for hundreds of years towards a paradise planet where humanity can settle down.

Some of the have nots were able to hijack ships once they figured out that the were going to left to die. So space has a pirate class that are barely surviving. This group was not afraid to throw themselves into worm holes and find themselves even with the new dawn as the story takes place.

Aries is the main character of the book and she isn't happy with the puritanical ways of the new dawn. As a woman she is already a second class citizen and she is betrothed to a man that she can not stand. She decides to make a break for it using an escape pod. Of course, her controlling fiance doesn't want to lose face by losing her. She sets down on a desert planet. This planet is full of sandworms, lizard men, and the dreamy marooned pirate Stryker. Will her fiance find her? Will they survive the sandworms and lizard men? Will the space pirates die in space when they run out of resources? You know what they say; you will have to read the book to find out.

Overall- I enjoyed the book. I was super skeptical as it was all romancy, but the scifi story kept me interested. It was a very quick read and I burned through it. I now wonder if women actually think like the character of Aries, it might explain a few things, or if that is just how female characters in romance novels think. The scifi is light and fun, so if you are a hard scifi buff you might not enjoy this much. Dionne doesn't try to explain how things work in her story which is great for light scifi. Better to not say anything than to say something and be wrong. The audience I would really recommend this to are the wives/girl friends/moms of scifi readers that don't read science fiction. This book will ease them into the genre with a story told from the perspective of a strong female character that feels trapped. Guys if you were ever curious about romance novels and wanted to give one a try, this might be the one. While I probably won't seek out future romance novels, I will be keeping a look out for Dionne's next book.

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