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The Cold Between (Central Corps #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  954 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
When her crewmate Danny is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps engineer Commander Elena Shaw is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

While retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death m
Paperback, 519 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Harper Voyager
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SFF Lover You buy it of course, but if you asked whether or not you can read the book in Goodreads the answer is you can't. Goodreads is a place to keep track…moreYou buy it of course, but if you asked whether or not you can read the book in Goodreads the answer is you can't. Goodreads is a place to keep track of the books that you read.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vaginal-sf
I really liked this book. The cover has a dude with a tiny pony tail on it, which I think is just the worst. But inside, this is a really solid mystery-sci-fi-romance. I really liked the main characters and setting and world.

The tiny ponytail aside, recommended.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Well-crafted, gritty mystery with a little romance, wrapped in a space opera. The Central Corps spaceship Galileo is visiting the colony planet of Volhynia, with much of the crew enjoying shore leave. Its chief engineer, Commander Elena Shaw, unexpectedly finds an older man in a bar that she clicks with, Treiko Zajec (Trey), and takes off with him for a long night of sex ... and eating gourmet desserts.

When they part the next morning, Trey finds the murdered corpse of Elena's crewmate and former
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
An engaging space opera with elements of romance, mystery and military SF that doesn't quite live up to the complexity of it's world-building.

The setting is a remote sector of human-colonized space. There are two armed space-faring organizations that take responsibility for aiding and policing the human colonies. Central Corps is the Earth government navy of which the ship Galileo is part. The main character, Commander Elena Shaw, is the Chief Engineer of the Galileo and there are a couple of ot
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This one is light on the science and on the world-building, but heavy on plot and character. Thankfully, that worked very well for me. Even the whirlwind romance felt genuine, and I think it was the interplay between the four central characters and several supporting members of the crew that really hooked me. In particular, I quite liked Elena, even if she could be incredibly (and yet, in my experience, realistically) oblivious at times.

Oddly, for a book that I enjoyed so much, I do think the b
Mandi Schreiner
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This novel was right up my alley: science fiction, romance, mystery, and action all tossed into the cocktail shaker and vigorously oscillated. I understand the comparison to Bujold: the mystery is satisfyingly complex, containing both human and scientific elements, and the characters are vivid and likeable (though I agree with other reviewers that the villains are mostly one-note. (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I thought this was really well done. It was definitely a page turner with an interesting mystery and strong willed characters that I enjoyed reading about. Loved the relationship between Elena and Trey. Elena was especially entertaining, was cheering for her the whole way!

Will be interested to see where this goes from here after that ending
Tim Hicks
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
So, we have a romance/SF/military murder mystery.
I have always thought that books like that, with the possible exception of Bujold's Vorkosigan series, are likely to do none of the parts well.

Indeed, I saw one review that compared this to Bujold. That's a bit like saying Coors Light and Trappist Rochefort 10 are alike because they are both beers.

Bonesteel's third book will probably be good. Her second will be mostly good.

Near the end, I was finalizing my opinions when I came across - within
Carolyn F.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sfr, library-book
I can't believe I'm saying this but there was too much romance in this sci-fi romance. There's an old love, a want to be your lover and then a new guy that gets in her pants hour(s?) after meeting her. The mystery was okay. Not really game changing to me although it seemed to say a lot to everyone else in this book. I thought this was okay.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really not my kind of book. Bones of a decent story, but the author weighs them down with talk talk talk about relationships--forming, foundering, hitting the rapids, enduring complications and misunderstandings, being analyzed--and that had me flipping forward from Chapter One. The author also makes her solar systems the about the size of small towns, has spacecraft stopping and letting "inertia slow them down," and crafts a military organization whose members are constantly disobeying and ques ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Cold Between is both a mystery and a romance. It all starts when Elena goes on shore leave and does something very out of character for her. She goes home with a man she meets at a bar. They have an instant attraction but both know it is a one-time thing. She is on shore leave off of a space ship and he lives on the planet. What neither knows is that he is about to be framed for murder. The victim is a crewmember on Elena’s ship and is also her former lover. The killing took place while Ele ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
2.5 stars. Fails too many realism tests. And yes, I expect realism. The whole 500 pages of action action action happens in about 24 hours, and that's just *impossible*. Maybe that wormhole DID bend time. And don't get me started on the unbelievable and sloppy military protocol and personnel behavior.

HOWEVER, it's a fast-paced fun book. It's romance meets mil SF. I appreciate the heavy romance element was concluded in a non "happily ever after" way.

I expect the next book in this series to be stro
Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it
The setting of the book a bit of a murder mystery and it seems that it may link back to a missing starship from 25 years ago. Elena is on shore leave on the planet next to a wormhole that sends out an EMP blast every day like clockwork. While she is out having drinks and consoling her broken heart her ex -boyfriend is murdered and by coincidence the man she spent the evening with is framed for Danny’s murder. Once she is back up on the ship she finds out Trey, the man she whiled away a night of ...more
Vasuki Narayan
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun read...

I didn't quite know what to expect when I started this book. But new authors always interest me, and this seemed to have the "sci-fi with human relationships and a mystery to solve" formula of the J.D. Robb "... in death" books that I love.

It's fun, interesting and keeps you riveted. It's well written and moves at a good pace. I'm definitely a fan, and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
Liz B
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, sciencefiction
So not really science fiction romance, but definitely science fiction with romantic elements. It's billed as military scifi, and there are two military or paramilitary outfits involved--but everyone is so seemingly blase about the chain of command or any kind of discipline that the "military" aspect seems more like a convenience of transportation and plot. That's ok! I'm not that interested in military stuff anyway.

Our main character is on shore leave and hooks up with a guy. While they are busy
Carrie Mansfield
2.5 stars

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for review consideration.

Oh The Cold Between, how much I wanted to love you. You're a military sci-fi novel written by a woman that contains several strong and likable female characters: there just aren't enough of you out on the shelves these days. So I stuck with you. I kept going and kept going just waiting for that moment when it would all click together for me and somehow it never quite happened, which is just so disappointing.

Trying to peg
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise but I couldn't get past the near constant bickering/insubordination going on in the book. It had a promising start, hybrid space ship goes missing near a pulsar/wormhole; conspiracy from the top down, cover ups,space pirates, kidnapping, murder! This book had a lot of potential but unfortunately it fell flat and was largely overshadowed by the shitty interpersonal relationships and constant miscommunication that goes down between the captain and several crew members. I mean ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, arc, sci-fi, romance
A delightful sci-fi mystery with a strong current of romance, this action-packed novel filled with great characters to root for and against is perfect for fans of Lois McMaster Bujold.

Thanks to Harper Voyager and Edelweiss for providing a review copy.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would give this 3.5 stars. I liked it, but the end fell a little flat for me. I'm interested to read the second one, although I'm not sure where they go from here.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of action and unexpected twists, excellent reading
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was okay -- not great. But the audiobook narrator repeatedly mispronounced some common words, and that drove me crazy. How can this be allowed in a professional production?
This felt like a bit of a cross between the Honor Harrington-verse (the Central Corps does feel vaguely like the Manticoran Navy) and the B5-verse (at least, if you just focussed on the human parts of it, and ignored the aliens)

I basically enjoyed it, although some of the interactions between the female lead and her CO made me cringe more than a little. Looking forward to the next book in the series :-)
John Carter McKnight
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lot of reviewers are comparing The Cold Between to Lois McMaster Bujold's work. I didn't see it, and I still don't: to me it feels a lot like James S.A. Corey's books. Decent but flawed people trying to make their way through a galaxy of venality, corruption, and corporate exploitation, a hint of some wider mysteries, but grounded in real people with real relationships.

The Cold Between starts off as a romance: an engineering chief on shore leave meets a handsome mysterious stranger in a spacep
William Bentrim
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

My initial fear as I started this book was it was a romantic fantasy wrapped in a SciFi pseudonym. I guess I was unprepared for the exceptional story that was revealed. Conflicting life styles characterize the story line. Planet bound corruption is juxtaposed with laissez-faire government and gypsy policing. The book is people focused with the trappings of a future that is both hopeful and predictable.

The predictable part is that corporate greed and corrup
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Liz Bourke recommendation. (Thanks!)
Sometimes I forget that, with audiobooks, my usual rule that a book has 20 minutes to give me something to care about isn't a successful approach. I have no problem with books that open with a prologue that is not immediately relevant although later becomes revelatory, but when a book I'm listening to in audio does it, I feel like I've sunk all this time into the beginning story and have no payoff.
Moral of the story: it's worth it in the end
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

First of all, Elizabeth Bonesteel is either the best pen name ever or the best real name ever. It’s also the best possible hero last-name.

Steely boners aside, The Cold Between is a blend of science fiction, mystery and romance that I found difficult to put down. It is not, however, a romance novel, so I want to warn readers looking for a guaranteed HEA to gird their loins.

One disappointment was the relationship between Elena and Captain Foster. At first
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My favorite science-fiction usually involves kickass women, some sort of space travel (preferably with battles), some sort of action or intrigue, and if there's some kind of romantic subplot, all the better. The Cold Between has all of these things in spades.

The plot involves a spaceship engineer under the Central Government, a retired officer from a rival organization with whom there's an uneasy peace, a mysterious wormhole, and a murder. On the philosophical side, we get explorations of human
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Let’s get the not-so-good stuff out of the way first: this is pseudo-MilSF at best (liberties are taken with the fraternisation and chain of command elements and I’m not entirely sure the science here would hold up to close scrutiny).

But the setting and characters were enough to convince me to go with the flow and pretend that military science fantasy was the genre, and once I did, then THE COLD BETWEEN turns out to be an entertaining and fast-paced murder mystery in space. I’m not fully investe
Nicole Lisa
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Meh. It kept me entertained while I was reading it, but the romance really didn't work for me. The two men in the MC's life were too benevolently misogynistic putzs for me to root for either of them, and in fact I felt a bit of ick at different times throughout at the benevolent misogyny of the book itself. I like a little more awareness in my authors.

The mystery and the sci fi elements together worked much better. The writing in general is assured, but in other ways it falls into the trap of m
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel was certainly a worthwhile investment of my time and I would definitely read more from this author.

This book is not a typical anything, not typical sci-fi, not typical romance, not typical crime/mystery, but the mix of all of them works very well. I would recommend it to those who like Lois McMaster Bujold, for the strong female protagonists and excellent space opera, with a complex plot and well-developed characters.

I don't want to give anything away, but it was definitely wor
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Central Corps (3 books)
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“that was reality, and when all of this was untangled she would have to sit down and have a good hard look at that fact.” 3 likes
“You’re not a detective, dear. You’re a mechanic.” “It’s debugging, Bob, like I do every day. Start with what’s wrong, and go backward until you find the cause.” “You’re” 2 likes
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