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Chilling Effect

(Chilling Effect #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,017 ratings  ·  531 reviews
A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sis
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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Lauren Davis I haven't gotten far in this novel, but in the first or second chapter there is a subtle mention that marks one of the characters on the ship is trans…moreI haven't gotten far in this novel, but in the first or second chapter there is a subtle mention that marks one of the characters on the ship is trans. (less)
George The back cover of the paperback says
Cover illustration by Julie Dillon
Cover lettering © GenerationClash/Shutterstock

The back of the title page says
The back cover of the paperback says
Cover illustration by Julie Dillon
Cover lettering © GenerationClash/Shutterstock

The back of the title page says
Designed by Joy O'Meara
which may apply only to the interior, and certainly should apply to all that part.

P.S. If you think you're addressing the author here, you're very likely not. Not all of them read their works' pages. Her author page on this platform is, for what that's worth.(less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  2,017 ratings  ·  531 reviews

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The book is a mix of Becky Chambers style small stories and gung-ho space opera. It’s a difficult one to love, with shallow characterisations and a plot that’s all surface. Captain Eva Innocente has a strong voice but the wrong kind— she’s an attitudey failure that seems to think that accepting her own mistakes makes everything ok. It might do for you, lady, but all the people who died might have preferred you weren’t such a dick. There are a few good moments, but they’re tenuously linked and ov ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jul 06, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Alien Emperors
Psychic Cats
And she's out of coffee


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May 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I received a copy from HarperCollins Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Captain Eva Innocente is living her best life working with a crew of friends that have become family on her spaceship as they pick up odd delivery jobs that take them all over space. Just when she thinks that a job requiring her to drop off a litter of psychic cats falls through is the worst part of her week, she finds out her sister has been abducted by a deep space criminal group that manipulates
3.5 stars. A fun space opera that took a little while to get going, with a wide variety of planets and aliens, a dark setup to Captain Eva Innocente's story, and some thankfully emotional growth on the part of the main character by the end of this book. There was humour and its overall tone is light, which was a little off at times considering just how dark some of the situations are. However, the plot moves fairly quickly, and though not a deep story, was pleasant enough for me to consider chec ...more
The Captain
Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon-ship
Ahoy there me mateys!  I am sorry to say that yet another book has been abandoned.  I really, really wanted to like this one.  It has an awesome cover. The cover says "Kidnappers.  Alien emperors. Psychic cats. And she's out of coffee."  The psychic cats were of course what led me to pick up the book.  It certainly started out strong.  The first chapter was perfect.  I liked the crew.  I liked the premise of bad girl gone good only to have to go bad again to try and save her kidnapped sister.  I ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Chilling Effect turned out to be a bit of a fun surprise, considering my initial concerns over it being too silly and offbeat for my tastes. But in the end, I think author Valerie Valdes struck the perfect town, finding that perfect balance between adventure and humor in her debut space opera. Readers will be treated to a fun romp between the stars in this science fiction tale featuring exotic far-flung planets, fascinat
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, adult, arc, action
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

This is actually 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I loved the premise and I REALLY loved the heroine.

Captain Eva Innocente of the spaceship La Sirena Negra has fallen on hard times. She walked away from doing business with her father because she hated how shady it was, and she hated the person she was when she was with him. But that's had financial repercussions for her and her beloved crew. They transport cargo from place to plac
K.J. Charles
Space opera with all the trappings--vaguely piratical captain with bad past but sense of responsibility, motley crew, threat to galaxy, cool alien tech. The cover also advertises psychic cats but they don't play a plot role, sadly.

It's got loads of potential--good dialogue, fun characters, lots of ingenuity and unusual touches, and a nice romance. But it's severely in need of a structural edit to make the plot hang together and keep it driving forward--as it is, the book devolves into a series
Peter Tillman
This was an entertaining (if scattered) debut novel that I ended up liking pretty well. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but the found-family stuff is nice -- and there's plenty of action! I was looking for light reading and I got it. Not as much of the space cats as I'd hoped, but they are cute and cuddly. The Cuban Spanish bits got distracting, though I could figure out most of them from context. Less of that would have made the story flow better, I think. I'll consider reading the sequel.

The r
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Some fun bits, but didn't quite deliver the fun as much as the blurb and cover seemed to promise. I definitely should have seen more from the psychic cats. Loved Vakar who shows emotions through scents, didn't care as much about the adventuring or even the main character Ava. ...more
Beth Cato
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2019, science, netgalley
I received an advanced copy through NetGalley.

Chilling Effect is a quirky space opera adventure reminiscent of Firefly, with an eclectic space crew captained by Eva. When Eva finds out her sister has been kidnapped by a nasty crime syndicate, she takes on a series of terrible jobs--all while keeping the truth secret from her crew. Of course, everything goes wrong, but does so in surprising ways. That's part of the fun of this book. It's a total screwball romp. You have no idea what's going to ha
keikii Eats Books
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
To read more reviews from this author and others, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

67 points, 3 ½ stars
{{You are very cynical.}}
Eat a turd, she thought.
{{You are also very rude.}}
"And you're a parasite attached to my skull who can't seem to understand the meaning of the phrase 'Jódete, coño!'"

Chilling Effect is a weird book for me. In the beginning I was determined to love it, and then the honeymoon period wore off fast. By the midway point, I was certain I hated the boo
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review.

I’ll be honest, as soon as I heard ‘psychic cats’ I was all in on Chilling Effect. I love space opera, I love off-beat heroes, and I love cats. While banter-y ‘squad’ sci-fi books don’t tend to work for me (see my burning hatred of Aurora Rising), but there was something about Chilling Effect that just worked. While it wasn’t perfect, it was so much damn fun.

Rike Random
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay, there were a bunch of things I absolutely loved about this and some I really think could have been done better. But overall I very much enjoyed Chilling Effect. So, good things first:

+ The characters are great! They are super diverse and quite a few of them, including the protagonist, are in their late thirties
+ There is a lot of action but also so much humour in this!
+ While there is a central romance, it's not the focus of the story
+ A lot of the stuff going on here plays with what's rig
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Eva Innocente is captain of the La Sirena Negra and with her small crew of friends they take on small mostly legal jobs to make a living. That didn't use to be the case, as Eva used to work with her father in various criminal schemes. When her sister Mari gets captured by a crime syndicate called the Fridge, she's blackmailed into working for them in a series of jobs that seem to imply progress on ancient alien technology.

This is meant to be funny. I don't see it. It is light, and action-packed,
✰ Aileen ✰
I seriously don't know why this is labeled science-fiction. ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Chilling Effect follows the adventure of our Latinx heroine, Captain Eva Innocente, and her crew, as they travel in space and try to save her sister, Mari. They used to work as courier of small cargos in space until a syndicate kidnapped her sister and she had to follow their—dangerous and mostly involving something illegal­—orders to get her back. It was written on third person’s POV and focuses on Eva. And is set on various planets, moons, etc. in this galaxy.

Eva is such a badass hero
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Sooooooo I'm a bit confused and surprised. I read this cause there were weird cats on the cover...but I ended up liking it in a non-gag way. The characters were enjoyable. I think the conflict was a little too simple but I can see why that would appeal to some readers when there's already so much to remember about the world. I want more of Eva's crew and more of the weird space cats. Eva's relationship with her sister and father are especially messy in this book and are very clearly going to be ...more
Sci-Fi & Scary
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to come.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute and fun, found family sci-fi with lots of action. There are psychic cats! Although I kept waiting for them to become a plot point (wouldn't it be amazing to hypnotize your enemies with your cat?!) and sadly it never happened. Captain Eva is on a mission to save her sister, who has been kidnapped by a crime syndicate, and she has to do it without alerting her (very perceptive) crewmates. That’s easier said than done, as Eva has to make up crazy excuses for visiting far-flung parts of the gal ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this novel! I'm a big Mass Effect fan and I appreciated all the references. Also, I love space adventures and this is the first one I've read that is unapologetically Latinx. I love how much Spanish was in it. This book is fun and has psychic cats and space dinosaurs! Love it!

Full review:
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an #OwnVoices science fiction book based in space! I felt like the book was slow at first but it definitely picked up towards the middle. The Latinx protagonist is Eva Innocente who is captain of a space ship called the Sirena Negra. The book has romance, action, and family drama. Overall I loved this book and I'm excited to read the sequel! ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: on-kindle, netgalley
I expected a story about a ragtag group of lovable and adorable misfits, led by a fearless but flawed leader, having adventures together, with some psychic cats causing mayhem. That sounds like so much fun! However, what I got was a boring group of bland and forgettable random aliens, led by a fearless (obnoxiously so) and flawed (in all the worst possible ways) leader, but the leader just goes and does stuff by herself, and in which some psychic cats don’t matter at all. Let’s break it down!

On my blog.

Rep: Cuban American pan mc, Black side character, side character with PTSD, nonbinary side character

Galley provided by publisher

Based on the reviews, this seems a bit of a hit or miss book, and for me it fell squarely into the latter category. It had all the ingredients for me to love it, and yet it fell flat.

Chilling Effect follows Captain Eva Innocente who is forced to work for a crime syndicate after her sister is kidnapped. But she isn’t allowed to tell her crew, and must inst
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
DNF at 4%

Eh, just not feeling it.

I don't know what it is, but it's not holding my attention. Maybe because in 4% I've already read three or four descriptions of Eva's tangled black hair? I dunno. I feel snarky tonight, and I'm just not feeling it.

Maybe later, maybe never.

Probably never.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I was promised Firefly meets Mass Effect, and that's exactly what I got. Valerie Valdes wears her influences pretty obviously, but those inspirations offer more complex casts of characters that interact realistically and never feel like simply complimentary pieces for the protagonist to use. That may be a bit too harsh, but Eva's crewmates were not really given moments to express themselves outside of Eva's needs or wants which boxes them into essential roles only to support her actions. The boo ...more
Jaclyn Brett Lewis
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Did Not Finish.

I really wanted to like this book, with its whacky style, pop-culture references, and diverse cast of characters. However, it reads, to me, like a first draft that was written to fill pages that didn't get properly edited into what could have been a good book. The tone shifts, the descriptions are sparce, and there are several unexplored ideas and characters that never reached their full potential.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
A really fun read! Before the confinement I couldn't get into it because I read bits of it here and there and couldn't concentrate in the tram and bus but now i was able to rush through it and enjoyed it a lot!
May 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book is a series of pretty well written action sketches strung together by the thinnest, stupidest excuse of a plot line. The characters start out pretty well, but they don’t develop in any way. Our gang-ho heroine, Captain Eva Innocente, rushes into action without thinking and with no sensible plan just as much in the beginning as at the end. Her swagger becomes annoying. I have no idea why her crew mates follow her, but they do. She wants to rescue others but needs to be rescued all the t ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

First of all, any story that begins with genius, psychic cats on a spaceship has me from jump. And that’s exactly the way that Chilling Effect starts, with Captain Eva Innocente running around La Sirena Negra trying to chase down her cargo; 20 genetically engineered, hyper-intelligent and hypnotic felines.

And just when she thinks she’s finally corralled the last one – everything goes pear-shaped. Which turns out to be a metaphor for this entire space-romp o
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Space Opera Fans : October 2020 READER: Chilling Effect by Valdes 11 40 Nov 15, 2020 03:50AM  
Book to the Future!: November 2019: Chilling Effect 1 3 Jul 01, 2020 10:30AM  

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Valerie Valdes’s novel Chilling Effect was shortlisted for the 2021 Arthur C. Clarke Award and was named one of Library Journal’s best SF/fantasy novels of 2019. The sequel, Prime Deceptions, was published in 2020, and the third book is forthcoming. She lives in Georgia with her husband, children and cats.

Other books in the series

Chilling Effect (2 books)
  • Prime Deceptions (Chilling Effect, #2)

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