I read this because I’m thinking to submit my next book – Captive – to a couple of publishers and I wanted to see what kind of fantasy books Escape Publishing was publishing these days. Escape is an Australian Romance ebook only publisher who churns out ebooks. I have two friends who write for them. I find their covers uninspiring generally, but this one is by far the best of theirs that I’ve seen and the description sounded interesting. Now to the romance book review.
The science fiction aspect was certainly well done. The story was well written and engaging. A space ship aimed for earth crashes into space junk and ends up propelled into earth in the future. The culture of the earth population is nothing like our present, and the world building is execellent. Gildchrist has created a very believable, if bleak, future earth. The central character Sherise is not the Captain of the spcaceship, but she has a higher status than the Captain because she is the sister of the man who rules this future universe. Her idea is to repair the ship and get back to their own timeline, but despite her protests, she falls in love with a local. This creates a challenge for her: does she stick to her plan to repair the ship and leave, or does she follow her heart and stay when staying means becoming embroiled in a war and living in conditions more primitive than those in her own time – at least until the war is won.
The author fleshes out the story with pasts that haunt Sherise and Maaka, the love interest, and this gives them solid characters, though supporting characters are more sketchy. The truth about the past is hinted at and only revealed later in the story giving a mystery element. Though the conclusion was predictable – it is a romance after all – the route to that point was unpredicatable.
The prologue was unecessary. In fact I found it confusing, and the story explained all that was needed from the backstrory without it. Other than that I found the central character’s challenge of staying out of local politics and sticking to her mission somewhat over stated. Had she looked at it from different angles each time she thought about it, I may not have had the ‘yeah, yeah, I get that already,’ reaction.
Overall this is a light read that anyone who likes sci fi with a female protagonist and a bit of sex will enjoy.