Review: The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder + Giveaway

zoastra affair by victoria pinderFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: science fiction romance
Length: 283 pages
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date Released: December 23, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon

A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space has brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra are part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.

Ariel, stuck on a Victorian planet, steals Grace’s body in order to get off the planet. Now Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life. What can she do?

My Review:

The Zoastra Affair is science fiction romance at the space opera end of the spectrum, but the emphasis is squarely on the romantic aspects of this story.

It also feels like there is a certain amount of wish-fulfillment fantasy mixed in, but that’s not a bad thing. The Zoastra Affair is the kind of mind-candy that is worth getting into, just for the fun.

The Zoastra is a ship. It’s an Earthseekers space ship, and the Earthseekers are heading out into deep space to put some hurt on the aliens who did a fly-by and carved up a whole chunk of North America. They’re out for payback, but they aren’t exactly sure who they are paying back.

Their last stop before they go “where no Earthseeker has gone before” is a hospitality planet populated by the Sheratons. Yes, like the hotel chain. The Sheratons look human but aren’t, and that where the weird gets into the romance.

Sheratons mate for life. Females have a biological imperative to mate at age 18, and once mated, the relationship between husbands and wives is symbiotic–they must have sex every week, or they will die.. (It’s fair that the compulsion hits both sexes, but not the way that females are forced to marry someone, anyone, at maturity).

The officers of the Zoastra include Peter Newman and his wife Grace. Peter is on the command track and Grace is a scientist. Their marriage is suffering a strain because they are both working way too many hours and not making time for each other.

Trouble arrives (it actually flies away with them) when Grace goes with the females of the greeting party to take part in a spa day and massage. There is one detail about the Sheratons that everyone believes is a myth; a small percentage of the population can switch bodies.

Ariel is inhabiting the body of a teenaged Sheraton because said Sheraton switched bodies with her against her will four years ago. She just wants to get back to her home society, to be of use rather than ornamentation, and before the hinted at mating bond is forced on her.

So she forces a body-switch with Grace, abandoning her on Sheraton in the body of a pink-haired 18 year old.

While Ariel is pretending to be Grace on the ship and with Grace’s husband, Grace is back on Sheraton, stealing a shuttle so she can get back home.

Grace’s return in the wrong body sets off a whole chain of events, which not only reveal Ariel’s subterfuge, but ultimately provide Earthforce with a whole new array of weapons against their enemies.

But first, Ariel has to give Grace her life (and her body) back. And Ariel has to find a mate she can bond with, because she is with Earthforce for good.

Escape Rating B-: There is quite of bit of highly improbable fun in this story. Sheraton females are tiny and pink-haired, so both Ariel and Grace are disgusted with the body they have to inhabit.

Ariel is endlessly guilty (and so she should be) for stealing Grace’s life in the same way that hers was stolen. Grace quite rightly points out that Ariel could have stolen a ship the way Grace did, rather than wait for an unsuspecting victim.

But it’s once the bodies are switched back that the real fun begins. It’s not just that Ariel needs to find a mate, but that whatever is compelling her to do so is also affecting the one man on the ship who swore that he would never remarry. Ariel spends a lot of her off-duty time in the processing of training the least civilized man on the ship.

She spends the rest of her time revamping the engines, and trying to gain (or regain) the trust of everyone around her.

The plot of this romance is completely frothy, and as sweet in its way as the bubble gum that Ariel’s hair reminds me of. If you like your science fiction romance very light on the SF and coming to a love conquers all conclusion, The Zoastra Affair may be just your cotton candy.


Zoastra Affair Tour Banner

Victoria is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one random commenter on this tour. To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

14 thoughts on “Review: The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder + Giveaway

  1. “highly improbable fun” is just the thing sometimes. Very helpful review thank you.


  2. Thank you for the review! I’m excited. My next few books are all contemporary romances that are due out, but science fiction romance is just fun to imagine.

  3. Awesome review Marlene; I find myself suddenly craving cotton candy 🙂

    To answer your quetion Victoria, something our family started doing when my children wee young was to gather everyone for light hors’d’oevres and sangria and spend the evening sharing anecdotes about the happiest times and memories we each had of the previous year. It’s a great way to connect w/family and friends and to learn how to be grateful for having them in your life for another year.


  4. what a fun post! Congrats to Victoria on the new release! I’d have to say do what I did this last New Year’s Eve. I sat at home, cuddling with my dog, drinking hot chocolate and reading!!!

  5. I like the occasional escapist, “cotton candy” read!
    The New Year’s Eve question seems like an odd one in March! My hubby and I always try to get to the beach and have even been there at midnight on New Year’s Eve and at dawn on New Year’s Day. The beach is totally different when you’re there in the dead of night. It’s a magical way to spend New Year’s.

  6. I’m a big loser as far as New Year’s Eve revels go. For many years, I spent the day/evening at my mother’s senior home. The festivities ended pretty early (way before midnight) but, believe you me, those seniors could party. For one party, the ambulance was called three times due to dancers falling over. (Nothing serious.)

    Thanks for this book tour, Marlene. You always introduce us to such a wide variety of books.

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