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(Queen of Spades #1)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Ayla is a villain. With a gift that allows her to see when anyone will die, she’s remorseless in her profession as the perfect assassin. When she wakes up in a cryo-tank three thousand years in the future, and no idea how she came to be there, all that matters is survival.

Rescued by Leith and the crew of the Nuria, Ayla discovers a far evolved world of space ships and gala
ebook, 280 pages
Published April 10th 2020
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Marta Cox
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
If you ever watched Firefly or even the much older Blake 7 then you will be aware of the joy that a ragtag crew aboard a spaceship can bring. This book about an unusual woman woken from cryogenic sleep three thousand years after her last memory has just that sort of feel to it with outlaws, villains, political unrest, vengeance and betrayal all thrown in.
This is no insipid, feeble heroine though as Ayla is a trained assassin who right from the start proves she can protect herself. Rescued by Le
Veronica Strachan
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dawson has created a delicious villain in Ayla. Awakened after three thousand years, this ruthless woman handles whatever comes her way - soaking up spaceships, interstellar travel, politics, corporate criminals, intrigue, and a fabulous new array of weaponry for her assassin's skills. But it's not all straight up for Ayla, though there is a stack of fast-paced action. The author takes Ayla through a roller-coaster ride of emotion, recovery, betrayal, and discovery that keeps you turning the pag ...more
Megan Rivera
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ayla is a villain. With a gift that allows her to see when anyone will die, she’s remorseless in her profession as the perfect assassin. When she wakes up in a cryo-tank three thousand years in the future, and no idea how she came to be there, all that matters is survival. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book. I enjoyed reading it.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved Awakening and am excited for the next book in the series. Dawson hit the right mix of romance and sci-fi action and created a ragtag spaceship crew I'm rooting for with all my heart. Occasionally I found myself lost in some of the details of about the technology of the future, though Ayla seemed to catch on very quickly. At times the world Dawson created felt too similar to our own—maybe 300 years in the future, not 3,000.

After finishing the book, I felt that the prologue was unnecessary
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wasn't too sure how I would like this book .. but it turned out to be really good. The relationship between the two characters was on point. The story was well written and will keep you intrigued throughout the entire read. ...more
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Review excerpted from my blog post over at Titillated Termagant Romance Reviews (https://titillatedtermagant.wordpress...)

My Rating: 4 stars

Library recommendation: Recommended for public library science fiction romance collections and/or science fiction collections.

Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story.


Number of titles I have read by this author: 1

Love story speed: I gue
S.R. Severn
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ayla Queen is my hero (well, heroine).
She's like a mashup of all my favourite female protagonists (Buffy, Xena, Captain Marvel). She will literally end you in a blink of an eye. I love it.
And no hesitation! It's so refreshing to find a heroine who shoots first then asks questions later! And to have such a unique ability of not only knowing a person's death date but altering it? You better believe this chick is a futuristic grim reaper.
But to be fair if I'd woken up from a 3 thousand year old sl
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-romance
The morally grey are beautiful

To say that I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I fell in love with the world E.J. created and I'm now pretty desperate to read the next one!

I absolutely adored reading a story where the seemingly 'villainous' character takes centre stage as our heroine. Ayla is one of those morally grey characters who somehow manages to make you fall in love with her anyway. It took me a while to warm up to her as a person, but I completely understood her struggle havin
Short and Sweet Reviews by Sam
Before I begin my review for Awakening: Queen of Shades book 1 by E.J Dawson, I would personally like to thank the author and Netgalley the opportunity to read this ARC and I have reviewed it honestly.

Meet Ayla, a kick-ass assassin, and join her in a futuristic, science fiction space saga as she awakens from a 3000 year cryosleep. With no idea how she came to be put asleep, Ayla must come to terms with her new reality whilst navigating her unquenchable blood-lust and unsettling ability to read a
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it

Ayla has been asleep for a long time, three thousand years in fact. Trained as an assassin because of a gift that allows her to see a person's death date, Ayla was a military weapon many were happy to utilize. When she suddenly is awakened from cryogenic storage, Ayla falls right into a fighting fray with the team who found her.

Leith and the crew of the spaceship Nuria rescue Ayla taking her with them on a mission. She has so much to learn and little time to do it. Ayla wants to work i
Kristina Miller
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ayla is one of the most intriguing main characters I've seen in the young adult genre in years! Without giving away any spoilers, she is cunning, brave, resourceful, and does what she needs in order to survive a...unthinkable situation. The authenticity of her character, and those of Leith and Casey in particular, is so seamlessly integrated into a futuristic world that it doesn't seem like a made up world at all.

Dawson's pacing is on point, which helps the vivid characters and "you'll never fi
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book to review from Netgalley. Thank you for the opportunity.
This book was sharp and well written. It draws the reader in immediately with the first chapter being full of action. The cast of characters are fascinating, particularly the MC Ayla who had been awoken after being held in stasis for 3 millenia. Ayla is a refreshing strong and relatable heroine who is also a heroine with the interesting talent of knowing when a person will die.
At times I felt there was an imb
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you so much to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was very excited to receive this book. I liked that it was about space and written in the villain’s POV? Color me curious!
Ayla is a likeable enough character. She’s a total badass and super independent. I like how she had to get out of her comfort zone and form relationships with those around her even though she’s never really relied on anyone but herself.
But to b
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Queen of Spades: Awakening was such an intense read.

An adventure thousands of years in time but still firmly grounded in what happened to MC Ayla in the real world, the plot only thickens by the end, heading into book 2.
Awakening has action packed fight scenes, snarky androids, alien food and drink, both virtual and physical assault ops, super-powered nanites, vivid space stations and settings, and some very steamy scenes!
Great for anyone who likes romance with their action, and deadly machina
Helen Snids
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was given this ARC for an honest review.
I actually enjoyed this novel, even though this genre is not my favourite. I thought the concept of Ayla's "super power" was a clever and original touch, especially her ability to tear out pages. Very evocative.
It made me want to read more about where this will lead Ayla, and at what cost.

I also loved the fact that the fantasy/sci-fi elements were not so technical or detailed as to cause you to lose interest because you had fallen down a rabbit hole of s
Charlene Perry
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story took me completely by surprise. After an interesting, but less than exciting, prologue and a disorienting wake-up sequence, I didn't have high expectations. But then Ayla was on her feet and I couldn't put the book down! There's just the right mix of sci-fi action and gut-wrenching emotion. The characters were so real, I feel like I know them. Reading book two is not optional; I need to know everything asap! I hope the author is busy dreaming up many more sequels! ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi adventure. Ayla is the ultimate misunderstood villain. The cool crew of characters that free her from her prison, each bring something unique to the story. The world building is creative and the action is a thrill-ride! I’m looking forward to the next book in this saga. An excellent read.
Jennifer Nichole
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
E.J. Dawson made me fall deeper in love with Science fiction. She has a knack for not underestimating her readers, and I love that.

Her ability to add the perfect amount of accessories (details) to a story make for smooth reading and left me hungering for more of the world she created!

Good thing she was so inclined to gift us a trilogy!
Jimmy Jefferson
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An assassin frozen in time must survive an unforeseen future

Ayla is an assassin with a special skill set. She can see how someone will die before it happens. She uses her skills to complete her murder for hire contracts until she awakens one morning to find she is several thousand years in the future and now owes this stranger Leith for bringing her back to the land of the living. As she works to repay the debt, she also struggles to find the reason she was frozen over 3000 years ago. This story
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve gotta admit, I’m new to science fiction. But this book was incredible! The writing drew me in, and the lead character was completely kickass. Looking forward to reading more from this author!
Emily Slack
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book via NertGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I must say, this is one of the best books that I've read in quite some time.
The beginning of the book had me a little confused and honestly the prologue could have been skipped. Its been a while that I have a read a Sci-Fi that has captured my attention quite like this one. The synopsis is well written and very accurate to the novel itself, there is nothing I dislike more than finding out a book is not at all what it
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Over the last few years, I've started moving towards Sci-Fi books with strong female leads and after reading several hundred, I'm having a hard time finding new books to read.

As I stated earlier, I am particular to books with a strong female lead and this book didn't disappoint. As soon as I finished it, I immediately checked to see if the second book in the series had been published, so I could continue the adventure
Natasha O'Connor
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dawson opens with a tension-filled prologue that sucks you in and makes you care about the characters a page or two in, before smacking you over the head with an action scene, featuring snappy dialogue. Queen of Spades: Awakening is an awesome sci fi novel. I liked the MC a lot and the way we discovered the world through her eyes. Totally worth a read.
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Ayla is tough but not unrealistic, and the romance is excellently paced. Like, I'm really impressed. I think I could have used more world building, as Ayla is thrust into a new environment, but I thought it was great. Sign me up for book 2!! ...more
Chantique Wilson
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advance-copy
This was my 1st novel by this author. I really enjoyed it. I loved the relationship between Ayla and Leith. I cant wait to jump into the next book in the series.

*I received a free copy for my honest opinion.
Daniel Williams
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read

I found this book to be a real page-turner with enough solid world-building and fast pace to give m the escape I like from Fantasy.

If it was to criticise anything, I'd say the writing gets a bit flaky with inconsistent voices now again.

Would recommend regardless of any criticism. Good read.
Chloe Balkin
rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2020
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Beginning a writing journey with an epic 21 book series, Ejay started her author career in 2014 and has taken on the ups and downs of self-publishing with her fantasy series The Last Prophecy since 2016. At the start of 2019, she put the series on the backburner to write Behind the Veil in 25 days, and signed a publishing contract for the gothic noir novel to independent publisher Literary Wanderl ...more

Other books in the series

Queen of Spades (2 books)
  • Darkening (Queen of Spades #2)

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