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(Staying Afloat #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Some jobs are just too good to be true.

Captain Matt Spears learns this the hard way after a mysterious employer hires his ship to hunt down an ancient alien artifact but insists on providing his own pilot. Ryce Faine is handsome and smart, but Matt has rarely met anyone more obnoxious. With tensions running high, it isn’t until they are attacked by the hostile Alraki that
ebook, 184 pages
Published January 30th 2017 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Sci-Fi Stars!

My weakness is anything remotely resembling the TV show Firefly, so when I came across this space adventure about heroic smugglers, evil pirates with dabs of military interference, all with a dystopian feel to it, I could not say no.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Matt and his small crew of two, eke out a passable living under the guise of transporting various goods all around the galaxy for questionable “businessmen”, definitely toeing the line but never crossing it. Lately though, times
5 Lovable Misfits Stars

“Adrift” is an amazing sci-fi adventure. Mix together plucky space adventurers/lovable misfits, aliens, space pirates and you have a story that will capture your heart as well as your imagination. The romance is sweet and flirty, the characters are charming, and the action is fast-paced with danger lurking around every distant planetary outpost. I would love to read more about these delightful characters, and hope to see the romance flourish as the series continues.

This i
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm always looking for new authors and I picked this on a whim, not really having an idea what to expect. It turned out to be a great choice.

The story follows Matt and his two person crew. They are freelancers who take various odd jobs. Some of which are not legal. When they get an offer for a new job Matt can't shake the bad feelings he has about it. The details are few and the money very high. He has a feeling that he's not being told the truth but against his better sense he ends up taking th
4 stars – Before I get into my review of Adrift, by Isabelle Adler, take note that this novel is first and foremost a work of science fiction! While it has a small M/M romantic element to it, reading it with the thought that it is a romance novel, erotic or otherwise, will leave you sorely disappointed. I must admit, I fell into that trap, as I’m always on the lookout for good books that blend my two favorite genres. Viewing this through the lens as a purely science-fiction novel, I can comforta ...more
3.5 Stars

The romance aspect seemed a little forced and quite a bit Insta...but the rest of the story was pretty damned entertaining! This is labeled as the first of a series, and if another one comes out I'd definitely read it.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gays-in-space
Somehow this rubbed me the wrong way.
It wasn't bad, exactly, just not particularly good either.
The plot was okay, though not especially exciting or new, and pretty foreseeable. The mood was very Prometheus meets Guardians of the Galaxy, and it didn't always remind me of the good parts of those.

My main issue was with the main character, Matt, your typical morally ambiguous dude with a Past™ and a captital-A-Attitude who's ready to hump anything not up in a tree on the count of three. I might be e
Kaje Harper
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, scifi
This was a fun SciFi adventure with just a hint of gay romance to it - listed as book 1 of a series, I can hope for more from these main characters in the next book.

Matt is the captain of a smuggling ship, with a crew of 3. He's in a financial bind, and unable to turn down a substantial amount of money to let an unknown pilot take over his ship for a secret job. That pilot rubs him all the wrong ways - Ryce is cool, brilliant, and totally unimpressed by Matt's charm or his sexual come-ons. Matt
Joyfully Jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

Adrift is the first in the Staying Afloat series and right away I drew positive parallels between it and the Chaos Station series. Both contain crews of plucky space adventurers who bend the law in exchange for a measure of freedom in space. Additionally, both have fairly strong characters and do a good job of setting up future series additions. And this is all to the good. Adrift has a consistent plot with strong pacing and a real sense of forward movement. There
The TBR Pile *Book review site*
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sci fi fans
I absolutely love these kind of adventures, sci fi with some romance books. It combines all three genres and makes an epic read. This book had the adventure with Matt, Ryce and crew. The sci fi is a wonderful glimpse into the future of spaceships and roaming the universe. The romance is a bit thin though. ...more
R.J. Sorrento
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I had to remind myself I wasn’t on the ship with Matt and his crew whenever I took a break from my Kindle. The setting descriptions brought every scene to life, and I enjoyed the relationships between the characters, friendships included. Reminiscent of Firefly but with a queer twist. Can’t wait to start reading book 2 ASAP.
Adrienne Bross
I loved this book.


Adler's writing in "Adrift" is engaging, realistic without being needlessly gritty and descriptive without losing itself in the minutiae of overly-detailed prose. The characters feel like they have depth and nuance in a very little span of time, which is impressive, and each is to some degree relatable. The glue that binds them all is that they've all made mistakes, mistakes that they paid dearly for, and they accept each other despite (or perhaps even because
Christina's Bookshelf
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 *

Essentially, what could go wrong when you let a mystery man captain YOUR ship to a far off destination so he could retrieve an artifact from an extinct society?


You can see my full review on my website:
Jun 22, 2019 marked it as dnf
Well, I'm giving up on this one at 20%. I'm not enjoying the audio narration, and the fact that MC2s name, Ryce, is pronounced "rice" aloud is somehow jarring. I mean, sure, that's how you'd pronounce that name, but I don't think it would bother me in print the way it's bothering me in audio. Plus, Matt is pretty dumb, so my eye-rolling muscles were getting too much of a workout. I may try this again at a later date in ebook format, but I'm going to abandon the audiobook for now.
Lisa The Novel Approach
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways to bring people together who would normally never meet. And when it does, it’s often with awesome results. Isabelle Adler has done that in the first book in the Staying Afloat series.

Matt Spears is a captain of a small ship; with his crew of two, he takes jobs of questionable origin and legality to transport often illegal goods through space. Of course, his jobs are not without risk, but hey, that’s the price he has to pay to make money. When a job
Serena Yates
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
“When something sounds too good to be true…. it probably is.” This adage may be very right, and would save tons of people from disaster, but an adventurer at heart, like Matt in this story, or someone desperate for a well-paid job, again, like Matt, will not listen to this type of reasoning, no matter how helpful it is or how much trouble he could have avoided. And, in the end, I am grateful he didn’t listen – or I would have missed a great space adventure!

Matt hates authority, and being the cap
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Adrift was a great read! In the first installment of the series, the Lady Lisa is heading towards a planet on which there is a secret location. Ryce Faine had taken control of the ship and won’t give them any details about their journey. Captain Spears finds himself becoming intrigued by his mysterious guest. As the two men get to know each other, it’s revealed that Ryce is half-Onorean. The Onoreans are a scientific species and control the conception and birth of their offspring. Sadly, Ryce’s ...more
Elisa Rolle
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) Isabelle Adler
1) I must admit I’m a sucker for a good sci fi book. I really liked this story. It’s one I’ll read again and will go back and buy to have on my kindle. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for future books in this series.
2) An entertaining SciFi space adventure with just a hint of gay romance, a plot that worked, and a contrast between the main characters that generated interest and sparks. Looking forward to the next in
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
Ah, this book was all I wished for; I've to add here that I normally *don't* read sci-fi books because in the past they couldn't hold my interest long enough.

Isabelle Adler had such a captivating writing I was hooked from the start & I could literally see the crew, their ship Lady Lisa, the flights and the danger Matt and Ryce were.

It has a nice ending for those who want to end after one book but it also leaves questions so I can't wait to read the sequel next year. *.*

I loved the slow-burn ch
Shivani Seth
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review over at my site for more details, but I loved the heck out of this book and can't wait for the next one. So rare to get lovely queer sci fi that's got heart and goofiness along with its awesome fight scenes.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and that was totally awesome.
K. Childs
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An ace-ace-pilot, and a smuggler with a heart of gold vs pirates and corrupt military! M/M- but in the most casual way that just makes no show of the relationship being anything more than normal.

You can tell this novel was researched and the universe was fleshed out. The little details when the characters are strolling around in low-gravity, the atmosphere in locales are all very strong. I had actual chills when reading the ancient alien spaceship scenes, very H.R.Giger designs were curling in m
A neat little SF adventure with lots of potential for more in the same setting. I liked all the characters and the plot and look forward to continuing on with the series.
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Isabelle Adler’s Adrift is the sort of book that makes me go squee quite frequently. Adventure, danger, bravado, in space nonetheless!

Now you might be wondering what on earth has gotten into me that I chose to read a book that is categorized as romance. Well, fear not, I’m fine, and let me tell you, this is still more science fiction than anything, even if a certain character became quite fond of another one and there were some undeniably cute, and sometimes deep moments.

At a mere 180 pages Adri
Sadie Forsythe
2.5, round up to 3

This wasn't necessarily bad, but the author took the most often traveled road at every opportunity. I thought there was a lot of potential for an interesting story here. But Adler instead told one that every aspect of has already been told in the same ways too many times.

Further, aspects of it weren't well developed. There was a lot of hinting about a family rift that was never directly addressed, for example, and then it was easily rectified when the plot called for it. Again
D.W. Plato
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Captain Matt is a good captain and a better space smuggler. When he has an 'easy' job with a newcomer named Ryce, Matt's happy and intrigued because Ryce is handsome and available. Needless to say their first date becomes a butting of heads but soon the two find themselves on an adventure that could get them both killed. (and that's before secrets get spilled and space pirates show up!)
Sci-fi LGBT isn't usually my go-to genre but I met this indie author on social medi
J.C. Long
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why this book took me so long--I loved it, absolutely. I guess life kept interrupting as I read it. It's a wonderfully crafted science fiction tale, with a believable universe and premise. The characters felt believable and real, as does the scenario. I might have questioned a few motivations along the way, but I don't mind having to guess or be curious sometimes. The pacing is top notch from beginning to end, and Isabelle Adler deftly handles the tension and unwinds the story in a ...more
There were elements of this I liked and other elements that dragged a little for me. I never really understood why Matt went along with things for so long. His connection with Ryce also felt a bit forced at first. But the story grew on me as it went along. I do think some of the plot points felt a bit arbitrary and pushed the believability of circumstances. It upped the tension of course, but took away from some of my enjoyment of things. I think the biggest problem I had was things were so clea ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star, lgbtq, sci-fi
Tedious reading. Skimmed last the 25% to get it done. Nothing sparked to life here. The romance is practically nonexistent and none of the sci-fi action was exciting.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.

The characters are well-rounded and interesting. The interactions between the crew members of the ship are great. The dialogue flows naturally; when the characters speak, they sound like real people. And the plot was engaging.

Another thing I really liked was that the plot didn't take a backseat to the romance. Instead, the romance is woven through the story, with just the right amount of tension.

I'm excited to read the sequel and will definitely be checking out the a
Victoria Loves Books
Adrift is my first venture into sci-fi and I loved it. Adventure in the galaxy with space pirates was just as thrilling as I hoped it would be.

I'm really looking forward to reading Isabelle's other books as she is a talented author.

Richard Eckman is a "new to me" narrator and he did a good job bringing this book to life.
Jess Crafts
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Free Review Copy)
This scifi straddles the line between novella and novel at only 184 pages but doesn't let down on story at all.

A smuggler space captain accepts a job to try to fix his debts but finds him and his found family crew mixed up in something much bigger. Featuring a hidden moon, ancient alien technology, double crossing soldiers and a soft, slow burn m/m romance.

One of my favourite things in scifi is when people are stuck in an enclosed environment and have to survive. This book take
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Isabelle Adler writes M/M romance, sci-fi, adventure, and fantasy.
She has been a voracious reader from the age of five and always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination

Other books in the series

Staying Afloat (2 books)
  • Ashore (Staying Afloat #2)

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