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Chilling Effect

(Chilling Effect #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  662 ratings  ·  213 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
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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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)
Laura The author describes it as a humorous, videogame-inspired book for adults.

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  662 ratings  ·  213 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 ...more
Jul 06, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: reviewed
Alien Emperors
Psychic Cats
And she's out of coffee

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,
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
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, adult, sci-fi, 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 place
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 enjoyed ...more
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
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a case where I really wanted to like the book, really should have liked the book, but, unfortunately, could not. The worldbuilding is great. It's zany and a bit campy and fun all around, from psychic cats to mind-controlling parasites. Also, can you say alien romance? I loved that!!
But the execution of the novel left something to be desired. The premise is okay but the pacing is not. I was either being whipped around at breakneck pace or making my way through entire chapters wondering
Beth Cato
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, ebook, netgalley, 2019
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
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 them would have made the story flow better, I think. I'll consider reading the sequel.

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,
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 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
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
Is space opera its own mini-genre now? Because I feel like I've been seeing the term a lot more lately.
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 it's 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 ...more
laurel [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
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 compliment her actions. The ...more
Rike @ RikeRandom
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
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 ...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:
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.
Sam (she_who_reads_)
This was certainly full of action- unfortunately by the halfway mark it was becoming a bit repetitive, and I found myself no longer invested in the action. I also needed a bit more character development- especially for the side characters, who were quite one dimensional.
If a much more plot driven version of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet sounds appealing to you, then I think you will absolutely love this book! I’m disappointed I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found-family, ragtag space crew! Slow to start but I especially enjoyed the latter part of the book.
2.5 stars, a bit generously rounded up because I'm aware it's a debut, and I think Valdes shows promise!

I'm on a big sci fi / space opera kick atm, which means I kinda made the mistake of going straight from the seventh Expanse book (with all the wealth of experience those writers have) to this book -- Chilling Effect is very, very debut-y, in ways that are frustrating, but I'm willing to cut Valdes some slack and I would absolutely read more from her, because I have faith she can improve with
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
There were a lot of great ideas and moments, but the story wasn't strong enough.
This was compared to The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet - and I can see why - but it reminded me a lot more of Guardians of the Galaxy or Futurama, even though those are much stronger on humor, but they are similar in tone (mostly light and humorous, but not shying away from more serious moments when appropriate) and kind of in type of content.
There were a lot of interesting little worldbuilding concepts, not
Laura (bbliophile)
DNF @ 58%

well, I told myself I should DNF more books this year and not force myself through books I'm not liking anymore so, here we go. first DNF of the year.

it's honestly really hard for me to pinpoint what exactly I didn't like about this, but I just didn't. I didn't feel connected to the characters, I didn't really care about the plot, the whole book kind of felt all over the place and I just... no. this just didn't work for me.
Mya Alexice
3.5 stars. Humorous sci-fi isn't really my jam, but others might really like it! If that's your thing, check it out.
c, (½ of readsrainbow)
god i haven't disliked a mc so much in a hot minute


Rep: Cuban American pan mc, Black side character, side character with PTSD, nonbinary side character
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Valerie Valdes is most recently published in Uncanny Magazine, Time Travel Short Stories and Nightmare Magazine. Her debut novel Chilling Effect was published by Harper Voyager in September 2019 and by Orbit UK in February 2020.

Other books in the series

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