"Being human is the apex of life. It’s the top, not the bottom."
Yumi is pretty sure someone's trying to kill her... and she can’t remember who. Undercover and alone in one of the most dangerous cities on the Southern Continent, she's struggling to live through every day until she can find her new allies and get back to Rin. But when the mission goes wrong and Rin is kidnapped and held for ransom, Yumi must act fast. Not only are the yakuza on her tail, but the fearsome Fukusha Model Eight androids are after her too. With her short-term memory failing and war just around the corner, she can only stay alive by determining who’s telling the truth and who will do anything to lie to her and steal everything she has, including her life.
Fukusha Model Eight is the third book in the fast-paced Hikoboshi Space Opera Romance Series. If you like high-tech futures, mind-bending intrigue, and character-driven action, then you’ll love S. J. Pajonas’ thrilling sci-fi adventure romance.
Note: THIS SERIES MUST BE READ IN ORDER. It is a true series and plot elements carry through every book, from beginning to end. You will miss too much by reading this series out of order or skipping around. This series contains a slow-burn romance, profanity, and sexual situations.
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, Capricorn, Japanophile, and USA Today Best Selling author. She loves summer, downtempo beats, yoga pants, foxes, owls, dogs, sushi, pasta, and black tea. She lives outside NYC with her husband, two great kids, and her dog who always wants to play. When it comes to her work, she writes about everyday women and uncommon worlds. Find her online at https://www.spajonas.com
Yumi is pretty sure someone's trying to kill her... and she can’t remember who. Undercover and alone in one of the most dangerous cities on the Southern Continent, she's struggling to live through every day until she can find her new allies and get back to Rin. But when the mission goes wrong and Rin is kidnapped and held for ransom, Yumi must act fast. But she's not without obstacles, many, many obstacles...
The short review...
After Chaos in Kadoma Ward I wasn't really sure what to expect but my gut was telling me to just jump in... and I'm sooooo glad I did! I wasn't expecting what I found in Fukusha Model Eight and it was on a totally new level. It was the same incredible Japanese culture, corporatocracy, android filled world building. Rin was the same imperfect, perfect love interest that you hope with your whole heart will never hurt Yumi... And Yumi herself was still the empowered, smart and headstrong journalist... but this time she was in the worst of the worst of situations.
That opening about killed me!! You are taken on this roller coaster of a ride with Yumi and you feel for her every step of the way, wondering if you could handle what she does and marveling that she doesn't make more mistakes. While I'm not really a martial person I was calling for a particular character's head, well maybe a couple of heads, and couldn't help wondering how differently the story would have gone if those heads had rolled. You may see some of the twists coming but you will for sure miss some of them... Fukusha Model Eight is for sure the climax of this three book arc of the Hikoboshi series!!
I seriously enjoyed Fukusha Model Eight and the action packed, roller coaster emotional ride that it takes me on. The Hikoboshi series is one for Yumi an empowered woman to shine with vulnerability, love and her go get 'em attitude! I can't believe there is more coming in the series but I'm sure S.J. Pajonas will make it even bigger and better then this stellar book.
Cover & Title grade -> A-
I felt the way about this cover the same way I felt about the Chaos in Kadoma Ward ... It's great that it is so complimentary to the other books in the series, it gives a sense of events in the story and it doesn't rely on the classic couple on the cover. I also love that its a different color than the red and blue of the previous two books.
Why did I enjoy the Hikoboshi series so far? YUMI!! It's all the protagonist fault...
-Her migraines. These are so crippling for Yumi and are connected the the weather and stress. I love how they brought her closer to Rin but also how they showed her vulnerable side without making her weak at all. They were really great at showing her state of mind as well...
-Memory loss!! This was an unexpected development that I felt was right in line with everything that came before for Yumi... It is the element that I am the most anxious to learn more about but I love the mental health aspect it brought to her experience.
-Yakuza... The whole contract thing around people is quite shocking but the turn of events with Haku is even more so... You'll find out all the reasons why this totally killed it in the story!! It created all sorts of problems for poor Yumi.
-The dog, Ninjin ❤️ Such an unexpected bonus!! How can we not love a dog?! Well Ninjin is actually even more precious... At times he rivals Rin for his place in Yumi's heart and for good reason. And when there was talk of saving animal consciousness... oooh you felt as conflicted as Yumi!
-Monstrous Family?! Just a tiny hint at the fun and totally different direction this series takes... S.J. is NO slouch when it comes with bringing us the action packed battles to end all battles in the Hikoboshi series but this added a whole new dimension to the whole society!!
As a Writer...
Reading Chaos in Kadoma Ward first and following it quickly with Fukusha Model Eight was smart on my part. It really brought home to me how Chaos in Kadoma Ward read like the middle of a larger story. Because everything that felt missing in the middle book came out with guns blazing in Fukusha Model Eight. And what really shocked and pleased me was how all sorts of events that happened in the 3rd book were referenced from Chaos in Kadoma Ward. You can see then that much of what happened in the 2nd book was all setup and foreshadowing for Fukusha Model Eight.
I actually don't mind this at all. It may read like a flaw if you were to wait to move onto the next book but really it works quite well if you view all three books as portions of the story as a whole. Normally when it comes to urban fantasy (this is mixed liberally with sci-fi) you expect a little of each one of the sub-genres to be in each of the multi-volumes of the series. And you are pretty much looking for them in equal measure because each book should be standalone.
In the Hikoboshi series S.J. Pajonas treated her series like one long story (which it always was!) and it creates this lovely realistic experience like you are voyering in on real people, with the same ups and downs, highs and lows, despite this being a rather sensational sci-fi urban fantasy series. If you enjoy Japanese culture, new worlds, technology out of control, kickass empowered women with a touch of mental health struggles then Chaos in Kadoma Ward and Fukusha Model Eight is part of a series you will enjoy!
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.
______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
Re-read review I am so happy I decided to re-read this series. There was so much I had forgotten especially from this book strangely enough. I enjoyed seeing some of the foreshadowing pay off and also be surprised again about some of the twists. Even with the re-read this series completely kept my attention and I loved re-reading this one. And Ninjin! I love the addition of Yumi's dog in this one. She goes through so much in this book, but there are also some good things that happen. And Yumi and Rin are such a great couplke, I love seeing them together in this book. I can't wait for book 4!
Original review I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
Gah this was such an awesome read! I am not sure what it is about SJ Pajonas' books, but they always manage to grab my attention completely. I was really looking forward to this book and it was just as good as I had hoped. I've been having a bit of a weird reading mood lately, so it was awesome to have a book that kept my attention from start to finish and where I just wanted to keep reading.
Fukusha Model Eight continues the story of Yumi. At the start of this book she is in a very bad place, she spent months undercover in a small town in a bad house without any contact with her friends. In Fukusha Model Eight we see the aftermath of what happened in book 2 and also how that's the building blocks for more that's happening now. And so many things are happening and going on, I wonder how things will turn out at the end of this series. We also get to see another side of this civilization and I like how this whole world comes alive and while we've seen things from the northern continent, now we get to see more of the southern continent and how different that is.
Yumi has to go through a lot again in this book and at times it almost felt like too much. She has bad thing after bad thing happening to her. And she not only has her migraines, but other medical injuries as well and rarely has time to rest and recover. I wasn't a fan of her memory issues tough, which is a personal pet peeve and it was difficult to remember sometimes what she did remember and what not. And it just made me feel sad she couldn't remember some things. I wouldn't have minded a few more calm and happy scenes, but it's not like those aren't there at all. The happy moments are sprinkled throughout the story and they are real gems. It's great to see that even with everything going on they have some fun and peaceful moments as well.
I was happy when she meets up with Rin again as I love seeing those two together. I feel like their relationships gets even stronger in this book, but they do have some troubles to overcome first as well. I like how much they care about each other and how great they are as a couple. There's also a new side character Ninjin, who was such an awesome dog and companion for Yumi. I was so happy she had her dog and I like seeing how protective he was on Yumi and how she cared about her dog and never left him behind.
It also was interesting to see the whole android situation develop in this book. The title sure fits the book as a lot is about the model eight androids in some way. There also are some great twists and reveals throughout the book and it was great to read about and see how the characters dealt with everything. Many of the twists I hadn't predicted, but there were a few hints that I remember and figured they would be important later on. And then with how things end I am so curious to see how that al impacts the next book and what's going to happen next.
I love how we discover and understand more of this world with each and every book. It's like each book adds even more to the world building and the different factions and corporations and how they work together and oppose each other. What everyone's goals are and all the different factions make their moves and change what's going on as well. It was interesting to see how things were different on this continent with almost no androids and more free form the corporations, but instead they had the yakuza ruling a lot. In many sci-fi books you only get one glimpse or overlap image of a plane,t so I liked how this book illustrated that even on the same planet, the different continents were different as well.
To summarize: this was another awesome book in this series. It's full of twists and reveals and a strong story. The story kept my attention from start to finish and I just wanted to keep on reading. I liked reading about Yumi and how she handles everything going on. Although I did feel sorry for her at times and she goes through so much, both mentally and physically and at times it almost felt a bit much. But I do like how realistic these books are and there are no instant recoveries or medical issues that suddenly disappear. I loved the addition of Yumi's dog Ninjin in this book, he was such a good dog and I liked how well he took care of Yumi and she of him. I also love the romance in this series, Rin and Yumi are great together, although they also have some obstacles to overcome together I do feel like their relationship is even stronger at the end of the book. With the way things end I am very curious to see what will happen in the next book!
How much do I love this series? SOOOOO much! Do you love Blade Runner? Altered Carbon? SF that makes you think, as well as having gripping characters, fantastic world building, and non-stop action? This series is for you.
Seriously, go pick up the first book and give it a go. I don't recommend reading these out of order, so if you haven't yet read the first two, definitely do that first. I love this series. I love Yumi and Rin and I cannot wait for the next book. This one felt like the pay off to everything promised in the last book, and I am so excited to see where the author takes these characters next.
Also, this is a spin off series to her other SF series, starting with the book Removed. You don't have to read that series first to enjoy this one, but both are excellent reading and complement one another.
Fukusha Model Eight is the third installment in Pajonas's unique sci-fi adventure series. Once again, Pajonas explores what a world completely run by corporations would be like---it isn't pretty. One of the things I love most about these books is the way that the main character's vulnerabilities are explored without making her seem weak. She's put in circumstances that would make anyone start to doubt themselves (and others around her). This book kept me guessing, with several twists I wasn't expecting as Yumi learns more about what she's up against. And, as always, the world building is exquisite---I feel like I know these alien planets so well! If you're a fan of adult sci-fi, I highly recommend this series. You will not be disappointed!
I absolutely loved every morsel of all three books in the Hikoboshi series. Yumi's spirit and desire to survive is daunting and courageous. I just got these books (in September 2019) when I realized they were missing from my S. J. Pajonas library and I had to have them. Is the author planning to continue the series? The story needs closure or is it just me with this need.