Dual Review: Fortune’s Hero by Jenna Bennett

Format Read:ebook provided by the publisher
Number of Pages: 400 Pages
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: Soldiers of Fortune #1
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK) | Goodreads | Author’s Website | Publisher’s Website

Book Blurb:

Quinn Conlan had it all: a fast ship, a great crew, a gorgeous girlfriend, money, and adventure around every bend. That was before he agreed to ferry a shipload of weapons to the besieged planet Marica. Now he’s stuck in the prison colony on Marica-3, enduring weekly sessions with the camp’s “medical team,” and praying for a quick death before he breaks under the torture and spills everything he knows about the Marican resistance.

When opportunity strikes, Quinn takes Elsa, a Rhenian med tech, hostage and heads into the inhospitable interior of the small moon where he formulates a plan for getting his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit. But when Elsa professes her love, can Quinn take the beautiful doctor at her word, or will trusting her—and his heart—condemn him and his crew to an eternity on Marica-3?

Our Thoughts:

Has: When I first encountered the premise of a Sci Fi prison break typesque romance it was no contest that I would want to pick this book up! Quinn a smuggler, is captured, imprisoned and tortured for information about the rebels he has been helping with supplies. But he has refused to let the Rhenian authorities to break him down or to betray the Marican rebellion. But during a torture session, Quinn manages to escape with a hostage, Elsa who is a Rhenian doctor who has been assisting with his torture although she finds it distasteful. But stranded in a stark and barren planet, along with dangerous creatures and no water and food, strong feelings develop between Quinn and Elsa and despite their differences, they soon begin to trust each other.

I loved the setting, premise and the romance, between Quinn and Elsa. I felt that Jenna Bennett sets things out realistically especially with the initial mistrust and fear between Quinn and Elsa and I liked how she evolved their relationship over the course of the story to that of enemies to lovers. There was a lot of thought into the world-building, and setting and I could envision the desolate prison planet which were vivid and stark. However the pacing, in the story was a huge issue for me. While I was glad there was a lot of time spent in building up the relationship between Elsa and Quinn, I did find that not a lot of conflict or action was able to bring forward the pace, which felt like it was dragging quite slow especially in the beginning. And the romantic/personal issues between Elsa and Quinn was not enough to engage me in the story.

Marlene: While I, too, loved the idea of a Science Fiction Romance prison break (I really, really loved (review at Reading Reality) Heather Massey’s Queenie’s Brigade, which uses this theme to the max) Fortune’s Hero didn’t quite move me in the same way.

The prison planet is pretty starkly drawn (the creepy crawlies, ugh!) but what we don’t know is why the Maricans are rebelling and what it is about the Rhenian authorities that make the Maricans need to rebel. Yes, the Rhenians have allowed the governors of this prison planet to conduct atrocities, but is the entire Rhenian government atrocious? We want to believe that the Maricans are the plucky “Rebel Alliance” and that the Rhenians are the evil empire, but we don’t actually know. We just know the Rhenians have some extremely rotten apples running this prison planet.

Quinn is a mercenary, after all. Not a member of the rebel alliance. They paid him to run guns and supplies. He’s not a true believer.

And Elsa started out her posting to the prison believing in the Rhenian cause, whatever that is. She thought that the doctor was serving the right. His torture of his prisoners changes her mind about his methods, but doesn’t seem to change her mind about her country, or planet or empire or precisely whatever the Rhenian group is.  Even when she’s captured by Quinn, she still believes that Major Lamb is a upstanding Rhenian officer. It’s only after some time in Quinn’s company that her allegiance changes.

A case could be made that Elsa has Stockholm Syndrome. She’s bonded with her captor. An equal case could be made that Quinn has Lima Syndrome. He’s bonded with his captive.

Has: I disagree about the lack of explaining why the Rhenian’s were so bad and oppressive, because  I got the sense they were pretty domineering in the book although I agree that there should be more about why they wanted to take over Marican system. What made them so special and was it over resources?  But I definitely agree with you about Quinn’s reasoning on not betraying the rebels to Doctor Sterling and it didn’t ring true on why he would not especially with the extent of torture he went through which was horrific. But I think with Elsa, she wanted to be a doctor and to heal, but her society’s structure and ethos seems to be very patriotic and authoritative and in a lot of ways reminded me a bit like Nazi Germany.

I actually felt that their bonding was the strongest element in the book, because while they were hiding outside in the wilds, they were both stripped from what they knew and that helped them to bond with each other. I think those were my favourite scenes in the book, because the romance for me was genuine and real.

I didn’t see Elsa being a brainwashed citizen and I think she was a bit of a rebel at heart and being with Quinn helped her to face her feelings. I do think it was idealistic and naive to trust and actually like Sterling, who came across as a cold-blooded sociapath. While with Lamb, I didn’t get a great impression for him being a smart leader and was incompetent especially towards the end where I think the escape was too easy to be realistic. But I was glad she never defended them or thought of them as being good men at the end. but I wished there was more time, in her questioning her home-land’s beliefs and the damage they have done to other planets and people because it was not realistic.

Marlene: There are definitely hints at the beginning that the Rhenians are supposed to remind us of Nazi Germany, but to me, thats all they are, hints. And all those hints come from Quinn’s perspective as the prisoner. I’m not saying he’s incorrect, just that he’d be inclined to see things in the worst light possible.

Likewise, Sterling is definitely a sociopath. He clearly loves torturing people. However, except for the staff at the prison, most Rhenians seem to worship Sterling as an inventor of medical miracles. He’s a two-faced sociopath, and probably just eats up the worship. The prison seems to be a collection of Rhenian sociopaths, with the exception of Elsa.

I think my point about Quinn was that the rebel cause may not be all that glorious. Quinn needed to be paid to serve that cause. He’s holding out from revealing what he knows for a whole lot of reasons. It’s part of his own code of honor, and because it’s the best way of keeping his team alive. Once he talks, Sterling will have no more use for any of them, and will probably kill them all.

The bond that rises between Elsa and Quinn does make up the lion’s share of the story, and it does strip away the masks that both of them, especially Elsa, normally hide behind. However, both the syndromes I mentioned do make the emotions they engender feel real. They need that bond to survive. If there were a second book, I would expect that figuring out if what they discovered between them was real or the heat of the moment would cause some tension, but would stand the test of time.

The romance was well done. It makes the story work. My question is whether it’s happy-for-now or happy-ever-after, considering the circumstances where it begins.

I would also wonder if there wasn’t a tracker somewhere, because that escape was too easy. If the Rhenians have conquered so much, they can’t be that incompetent.

Has:I think Fortune’s Hero basically sets up and establishes the characters and the setting and that there will definitely be more to come because there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end and there are hints of what direction the next book may go into. I think the main issue is that this could have been a tighter book if it was a novella because it was overlong due to the lagging pace and lack of clarification on the agenda the Rhenians have over the Maricans but I suspect we will learn more in the next installment.

I hope the romance and the issues that both Elsa and Quinn have will be further developed in the next book and we get to see more of the wider universe. I did like the general world-building and the tone and feel that Jenna Bennett has created was well done but I agree there were definitely issues with the details and of the main plot and even some aspects of the characterisations.

Marlene: I agree 100%. This would have been a better book if it were shorter. Maybe not novella-length, but definitely cut down. I wanted more explanation of the Rhenian agenda and the Marican rebellion, and less repetition of the prison planet terrain.

The romance was well-developed but this couple is going to have a lot of issues that will need to be resolved in the future. How will a Rhenian “traitor” fit in with a band of mercenaries? Did they get tracked? Was the escape part of a bigger plan?

Verdict: I give Fortune’s Hero 2 and a half creepy-crawly stars (read the book to understand)

Has: Whilst I liked the premise, some of the execution was a bit of a let down, especially since it didn’t expand on important aspects of the plot and along with the  bogged down pacing the initial promise didn’t live to my expectation. The romance was a highlight for me but it wasn’t enough to carry the story for me, but I enjoyed Jenna Bennett’s voice and I will definitely check out future books of hers but I don’t think I will follow the sequel.

Verdict: I give Fortune’s Hero two star and half stars (and no creepy crawlies linked to it because I don’t like poisonous spiders!)

***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 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.

Dual Review: Haven 6 by Aubrie Dionne

Format Read: ebook provided by the publisher
Number of Pages: 326 pages
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: (if it is) A New Dawn #4
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, ebook
Purchasing Info: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK) | Author’s Website | Publisher’s Website | Goodreads

Book Blurb:

A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it’s final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that’s supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.

When Eri’s team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth’s colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander’s intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

Our Thoughts:

Marlene: Haven 6 is the final book in Dionne’s New Dawn series, and she’s trying to tie up all the loose ends. So she goes back to the beginning. All the beginnings. The colony ship that arrives at Haven 6 is commanded by none other than the former Governor of New York, or what’s left of her. Governor Grier’s brain is Commander Grier, and she still remembers the last panic-stricken days of Earth. Those events form the story of A Hero Rising, book 3 of Dionne’s series.

But when the Heritage reaches Haven 6, it finds that the original scouting reports were wrong. The planet is populated. That population is descended from Aries and Striker, the main characters of the first book in this series, Paradise 21. (See what I mean about all the loose ends?)

But the crew of the Heritage doesn’t know that, yet. All they know is that there are huts showing up in the fly-by scan. Enter our heroine, this story’s ship-misfit, Eridani. Eri is a double-misfit; she is the result of an unauthorized pairing, and her job is less-than-essential. Eri is a linguist. on a ship that doesn’t meet anyone who speaks dead Earth languages. But since she’s good at her job, maybe she can make sense out of whatever the species inhabiting Haven 6 speaks.

Too bad it turns out to be English. And too bad for everyone that the first group of “natives” that Eri’s team runs into turns out to be pirates.

Things go downhill from there.

Has: Oh yes, you have summed up exactly how I felt about this final installment of the series and I was hoping it would improve. But, sadly this wasn’t the case. I was lukewarm on the romance, lukewarm on the plot and very lukewarm on the characters. The one aspect that I really enjoyed about the previous books, was the element of world-building and how Dionne sets up a tense and engaging setting of groups of survivors on their journeys to find a new home. However, even this factor wasn’t apparent and in fact didn’t make sense. Because it was set a few 100 years after the events in the previous books. I couldn’t understand how the survivors of the Omega station would devolve into petty warfare over technology especially since they kept that alien ship which was the only working tech which they kept for historical and nostalgic reasons.

There was not an element of how their society evolved and in fact it was regressing and it definitely didn’t make sense with aliens who Striker and Aries saved in PARADISE 21. They showed real promise and imagination in that book and I was looking forward to see how events would evolve when we revisit them in this book. But their depiction fell into a huge cliche pitfall of stand-offish aliens who must not interfere with human affairs. And the entire conflict in the book was relegated with the tensions between the opposing human factions of the pirate like gangs and the humans who lived in harmony with the aliens. I was very let down on how this played out in the book, because the plot wasn’t engaging, or had real depth for me.

Marlene: In the attempt to wrap everything up into a nice, neat package, the author recycled an unfortunately large number of cliches from the lesser Star Trek scripts. (I’m saying this and I love Trek with all my geeky little heart) The aliens that Aries and Striker rescue in Paradise 21 are now operating under some kind of semi-operative Prime Directive; they can’t interfere if it will lead to loss of life, but they can help a bit. They owe their existence as a species, not just as individuals, to Aries’ and Striker’s interference; does this make sense?

The society on Haven 6 has either devolved, or something weird is going on that we don’t know. There are hints, but not enough information. In Paradise 21, Aries and Striker bring the entire population of Outpost Omega to Haven 6, only they call it Refuge. Lots of those folks were pirates, but many were prisoners, and some were just folks trying to get by. How did things descend practically into chaos in just a couple of centuries? Also, they used a wormhole to get ahead of the colony ships. Many of the pirates, and others had their own ships. Did anyone go elsewhere? Use another wormhole?

These folks have gone effectively back to, as Mr. Spock put it in City on the Edge of Forever, “stone knives and bearskins”. Or very nearly. High-tech is seen as the great evil. Yes, the last days of the Earth that everyone escaped from were really bad, but all the way back to primitivism? Couldn’t they find a happy medium? Or even a happy medium-rare?

And then there’s the romance. We have insta-love between an outsider from the colony ship and a hero who otherwise wouldn’t know she exists. Along with a bully for romantic tension, although in this case the bully, a Haven girl named Riptide, isn’t as bad as Luna was in Tundra 37.

Speaking of Riptide, there are the two side-plots with Striver’s brother Weaver, and the golden liquid of doom, but I’ll leave those to Has.

Has:  I also have to add that this reminded me of Battlestar Galactica’s remake where the humans decided to renounce technology, and although I get why they did – there was no reason why the pirate gangs could have developed their own tech especially since they came from a space faring race. Riptide’s character who felt like an obstacle to force emotions out of Eri and to create tension between her and Striver. Although like Eri, I was bemused by Riptide’s appearance of foot-length hair which isn’t that practical in a jungle like planet (imagine the humidity!). But I also felt Riptide’s character was redundant and never really offered any real conflict in the romance and she was pretty much a cliche for me for being a bitchy character with no real depth.

However, I have to say I was very bored with the sub-plot with Striver’s brother who defected to join the pirate gangs because he was jealous and bitter of his brother’s popularity and leadership skills.  I found his character to be a whiny, selfish and stupid and the reasons on why he joined a dangerous albeit another stupid group of people didn’t make sense. And although it tried to bring out real emotions – for me it emphasized his TSTL reasons. I also found myself being bored reading his POV chapters because it didn’t offer any real emotions or push the plot forward and when he encounters the glowing pool which is similar to the glowing orb in TUNDRA 37 where people get lost and sucked into their past memories – Well it was a bit of an anti-climactic twist and I was very disappointed because the alien orbs/glowing pool ties in previous plot threads and adds more twists in this universe. But, overall I found that the main plot a huge disappointment and how it ended was a bit of a wet fish.

Marlene: The divide between the pirates and the what? not-pirates? on Haven seems to be that the pirates want to exploit the remaining technology, and Striver’s people keep the remaining technology under wraps, feeling that all technology beyond the most rudimentary is bad. The pirates seem to be too lazy or too violent to develop their own tech, they just want to steal it, which makes them one-dimensional bad guys.

Weaver was whiny, self-centered and fairly stupid. Not in the IQ sense, but in the survival sense. He didn’t see other people as “real”, only as how they held him back from his supposed “greatness”. He never saw himself as part of the problem. And he was a complete idiot to think that going to the pirates was any kind of long term strategy. They were murdering lunatics. Weaver’s purpose in the plot was to show the redemptive power of the golden memory liquid, and to be the obligatory sacrifice for the greater good at the end.

I also thought this one was a bit anti-climactic, especially compared to the first two.

Has: And that is why I feel let down by this because it resorted to cliches and not in a good way. There was a lot of promise because there was such a rich tapestry of promise with the alien and different human factions however the resolution was a lot to be desired. However I do have to say the romantic build-up between Striver and Eri was slightly better compared to the previous books. But once again their romance suffered from insta-love syndrome which I am not a huge fan of because there was no real tension between them. But I preferred this sub-plot compared to the main story of the book.

Marlene: You’re right, Has. The romance did work just a bit better this time. Although there was definitely an insta-love start, the romance between Eri and Striver had enough time and enough “stuff” in it for us to see why these two get together in the end.

But the rest of the story doesn’t work as well. The fight between the pirates and Striver’s people seems basically under-explained. Mostly because every time I say, think, or write the word “Pirates” when there is no water or space or ship involved, my brain goes “tilt”. They are thugs that this society hasn’t taken care of. The alien Guardians have “Vulcan syndrome” without being half as cool. Or a quarter as hot.

And the insecure younger brother plot was really insecure. The best part of the story, the golden memory liquid, got dribbled away.

For that, I dribble out 2 and a half stars for Haven 6.

Has:I also agree! I wished that this last installment, would have closed this series with  a bang and whilst I liked how Aubrie Dionne intertwined the plot threads from the previous books. This was pretty much an anti-climactic ending and didn’t live up to the promise of the earlier books. I found that this was the weakest book in the series and I am disappointed because I loved the world-building that was set up. And even though this had actually a stronger romantic subplot compared to the previous books, I enjoyed the setting and premise much more but I am sad to say this was a bit of a meh book for me and I don’t think I will continue with the spin-off series.

2 and half stars for Haven 6.

***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 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.

Dual Review: Tundra 37 by Aubrie Dionne

Format Read: ebook provided by Publisher
Number of Pages: 288 pages
Release Date: 7th of February 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: A New Dawn #2 Genre: Sci Fi Romance
Purchase links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Author’s Website | Publisher’s Website | Goodreads


Gemme is a hi-tech matchmaker who pairs the next generation of Lifers aboard the Expedition, a deep space transport vessel destined for Paradise 18. When the identity of her lifemate pops up on her screen, she’s shocked that he’s the achingly gorgeous and highly sought after Lieutenant Miles Brentwood—a man oblivious to her existence. Believing everyone will think she contrived the match, she erases it from the computer’s memory.

Just as comets pummel the ship and destroy the pairing system forever.

With the Expedition disabled, the colonists must crash land on the barren ice world of Tundra 37 where Gemme is reassigned to an exploratory mission, led by Lieutenant Brentwood. Only in the frozen tundra does she understand the shape of his heart and why the computer has entwined their destinies.

Our Thoughts:

Has: I have mixed feelings with this series, I adore the world-building and the premise of a future where humans are forced to flee the Earth due war, famine and disease. And to survive people travel in generational star ships to find new planets to colonise and to restart civilisation. Tundra 37 is the 2nd book of the series and follows the ship, the Expedition which is forced to crash land in a frozen planet after an accident.

Gemme, the heroine is a tech who match-makes pairings on the ship and to ensure that they are compatible genetically and psychologically. However she is shocked to see that she is paired with Miles Brentwood who is being groomed to take over the leader on The Expedition. She is afraid to be partnered with him because he is popular and very desirable and because of her position as the person who matches up couples. But the ship crash lands, and the remaining survivors have to find a way to safeguard the ship and to find new supplies to ensure their survival.

I have to say, I loved the main plot for the mission to survive and the search for supplies, but the romance subplot, wasn’t that strong and the weakest part of the story for me. I felt, that Gemme’s actions especially with her position as a matchmaking tech and to dismiss the original results of her pairing with Miles wasn’t that strong an obstacle for them. I also disliked  the character of Luna who I felt was one dimensional and despite the ship’s edict of ensuring human matches have to be genetically compatible was very focused on pairing with Miles despite the fact he was reluctant to be in her company. This aspect of the plot was forced and very weak and detracted from the main story of the ship’s mission and survival

Marlene: The New Dawn series seems to have more of a “space opera” feel to it than truly science fiction romance. The plot that drives all of the stories is the human diaspora plot–humankind’s need to distribute itself among the stars because we have totally frakked up planet Earth. This is a well-used and well-loved trope in science fiction, and the author has done some neat things with the generational ships and the base human drives that managed the people who initially populated them.

The romance subplots have taken a “back seat” in the stories (that has a tendency to be true in space opera in general).

Gemme’s job was to check over the computer’s genetic matches to make sure that the computer hadn’t missed any nuances that a human would catch. With such a relatively small gene pool, this cross-checking was required. Computers don’t do nuance terribly well. Gemme didn’t “make” matches, but she could prevent them if she saw something the computers didn’t. Of course, that gave her an enormous amount of very subtle power.

Miles has the overt power, but he doesn’t see it as power. He sees it as taking care of the crew. This is what makes him a good leader. And that’s why he’s been made a leader. What gets lost in the romance is why Gemme and Miles are attracted to each other at the beginning. Not why the computer matched them, that could just be genetics, but why they get lost in each other. Insta-connection, OMG.

And don’t get me started on Luna. She was so one-dimensional that she was flat. Except her boobs, which seem to have been positively ginormous. A factor which otherwise adds to her one-dimensionality. So to speak. Luna exists in the plot simply to be self-serving, to point out how self-sacrificing Miles and Gemme are. Luna in Tundra 37 is the equivalent of Astor Barliss in Paradise 21. She’s the bully.

Has:Yep! I totally agree although I did find Astor’s character more developed and fleshed out. But I found that the fact they were on a dangerous mission, and outside on an alien world, it was verging on ridiculousness about the romantic sub-plot. I wished there was some real build-up especially for the tension and for the feelings between Miles and Gemme because there was no explanation on how and why they should feel like this and I hate insta-love trope, it never really works for me as a trope and it never makes me believe in the romance.

I did like the subplot, involving the Twin navigators, Mestasis and Abysme who were melded to the pilot computer of the ship, introduced an interesting dynamic and I found their relationship much more interesting. It also had more depth, especially with the introduction of alien artifact on Tundra 37  which draws the ship’s attention like a moth to a flame and is the cause of the crash. Although I do wished there was more background on why this artifact was buried there and if there were any links to aliens in the first book in some way because it was a bit random.

Marlene: I’m so with you, Has, when it comes to insta-love. The only insta-anything that feels real is insta-lust. That one, I think can be pretty darn instantaneous. Anything that requires emotions takes a bit of time. And at least a few conversations!

Something about Tundra 37’s emotional chords that struck me was that all the depth comes from the backstory, and mostly occurs in flashback. Whatever happened between Luna and Gemme that made Gemme kowtow to that witch happened when they were kids. It’s supposed to make the reader understand, but we don’t get enough. Gemme’s and Miles insta-connection is fueled by past lives, which they relive through the alien tech. The Twins’ shared experience, and the sadness of Mestasis’ lost love back on Earth, are experienced in their dead memories through the artifact.

The emotional present gets shorted. And you’re right again about the past of the artifact. Where did it come from and does it have any bearing on anything else whatsoever?

Has: I thought it was interesting about the flashbacks adding the depth and it did help with the buildup and contrast that with the insta-love it just highlighted the lack of development of the romance especially. I also wanted to know about the future of the survivors, because it ended abruptly, although there was hope they would be able to survive despite not them reaching their goal planet. The fact they end up on a desolate cold world was sad, and it also felt the story just got going for me. I hope we do get to revisit them and to see if there is more to come for this crew and if there is more developments with the alien artifact and its origins.

Marlene: I wonder how all the survivors turn out. The point of a diaspora story is usually to spread the survivors as far apart as possible so that there are as many chances of human survival as possible. Being a science fiction reader, I can think of a bunch of ways that we could legitimately check back on the surviving groups. I wonder if the author will pick one.

The alien artifact is interesting because it showed past lives, not just memories. How did it know? Were they true? It opens up a world (no pun intended ) of story-telling possibilities. Who were those aliens? Will they be back?

The ending, with that rousing speech, reminded me a lot of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, and some of Adama’s speeches. But then, the Seers hooked into the ship reminded me a lot of Helva from Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang. Science fiction recycles a LOT of tropes.


Has: Tundra 37 had a fantastic premise but the romantic subplot, for me was the weakest element of the story. However the flashbacks involving Mestasis own tragic romance who is the featured hero in the prequel, A HERO RISING, had depth and was much more engrossing, and heart-wrenching and I was drawn to her character and that of her sister which really made the book and story alive for me. Although I wished the ending didn’t end abruptly, the world-building and the story threads which link and tie in with the other books in the series, is engaging and keeps me interested in the story. I just wished the romance subplot was developed and didn’t fall into trope pitfalls.

I give Tundra 37 3 stars.


Marlene: I also thought that the premise behind Tundra 37 was terrific. The human diaspora story is excellent, and the survival adventure part of the story was well-done. But the romantic elements felt slightly underdone. The romance between Mestasis and James, centuries ago, held more passion than the current living love between Miles and Gemme. Flashbacks are a great story-telling device, but they shouldn’t bear the entire burden of holding up the romance. The ending was upbeat and in a pretty good place, hope and inspiration for the future, before the hard work begins. But that particular ending is a common science fiction trope.

I give Tundra 37 3 stars for too many trips to troperville.