Series: Cosmic Cowboys #2
on February 16th 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Amazon
Astronauts, Aliens, and Apaches? What could possibly go wrong?
Working for a billionaire space entrepreneur has its perks: a nice paycheck, free room and board, and all the space flight hours a guy could want. But everything has a price. Astronaut Noah Wright has survived an alien attack, time travel and a wormhole, but the Apache princess he brought back through time may be the death of him.
Ela, only daughter of Chief Itza-Chu of the Mescalero Apaches, finds herself out of place and out of time. Everything she knows of her early 1800's life has vanished. Her savior and protector, Noah, is kind, but he’s not her family and certainly not Apache. Her only wish is to get home, but returning through the wormhole that brought her to the future threatens more than her past, causing her to have to rediscover what home really is.
When I reviewed the first story in Lisa Medley’s Cosmic Cowboys series last summer, I said that she had done serial novels right. Space Cowboys & Indians had a proper beginning, middle and end for that story, while still setting up the action for this next book in the series, The Astronaut’s Princess.
While the mechanics of the time travel in the first book still read like a whole lot of handwavium (time travel always does) the results have very real-seeming impacts on all the people involved. And possibly on the whole damn planet.
And just as she did with Space Cowboys & Indians, the story in The Astronaut’s Princess wraps up its arc while still dropping plenty of hints about the trajectory of a possible book 3.
Space Cowboys & Indians was the journey. The Astronaut’s Princess is all about what happens when our time and space traveling cowboys return to 21st century Earth – with a passenger. They made a deal in the 1800s to bring the daughter of the Apache chief back to their time to heal her fatal case of the measles in order to have the tribe’s help in defeating the aliens and stealing their ship.
The Apache princess, Ela, is none too happy at waking up in the 21st century. And she has no qualms about generating as many temper tantrums as it takes to get those astronauts to take her back to her tribe. She also doesn’t have the language skills to understand that it can’t be done.
Instead she breaks her room in the medical facility and screams at the top of her lungs for Noah Wright, the astronaut who has tried his best to help her and care for her – even though she drives him crazy. He’s unwilling to admit to himself that it might just be more than one kind of crazy.
Noah has a lot on his plate. While the alien ship and the asteroid’s minerals made him and his two fellow astronauts Tessa and Cole rich, it’s working on the Space X development that makes him happy, at least some of the time. This is his chance to be an astronaut, and he’s not letting it go.
But the owner of the project, Duncan Janson, wants to reopen the wormhole that led to the 1800s. And he’s building a space hotel tethered to the moon. And he’s got some kind of “in” with the federal government. More importantly, he’s willing to cut through all kinds of legal, ethical and safety concerns to see all of his dreams of space avarice come true.
When Noah’s attempt to re-settle Ela with the local Apache tribe turn up evidence that the time travel trip and the aliens they battled have had an effect on the local tribe and on history, Noah finds himself heading back into space with a lot on his mind – and a stowaway in his ship. It isn’t until Ela returns to space that she finally realizes that she can’t go home again – but that she can make a home with Noah in the 21st century, if he’ll just give in to what they both feel.
And if Janson’s attempt to open the wormhole don’t end up swallowing Earth into a black hole leading to oblivion.
Escape Rating B: Both Space Cowboys & Indians and The Astronaut’s Princess are short little novellas. If you want something fun to read but don’t want to get caught up in a three hundred (or three thousand) page marathon, these are nice, bite-sized science fiction romance treats.
Also, and unlike so many parts of serial novels, both stories are complete in themselves while still furthering the arc of the book-as-a-whole. While I don’t mind well-done cliffhangers, I hate it when books feel like middle chapters of something and both the beginning and ending are elsewhere. That is definitely not the case here.
It took a little while for me to get into The Astronaut’s Princess. While I love the concept of being brought forward in time (Star Trek IV anyone?) the story dwelled a bit too much on Ela’s tantrums, helplessness and unwillingness to at least investigate her new circumstances. She comes off as much more childish, or much more self-absorbed and self-centered, than I liked. While that may be realistic for her situation, I didn’t enjoy reading about it.
But once the action gets going in this story, it really gets going. Not just because I loved the shoutouts to Roswell and all the myths about Area 51, but because the action switched from slow to non-stop, and the imminent danger kept me on the edge of my seat.
It also firmly established that billionaire Janson may cause more evil than an alien invasion in the future. And I can’t wait to see what happens.
~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~
Lisa is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky entrant.