I thought this one was going to be space opera, and it was… sort of:
I picked this one up some time back, and looking at the cover (the one on the left), I expected it to be space opera with perhaps a hint of military SF. You know, athletic gal, big gun, things will go boom. And yes, things did go boom.
But it was also something of a romance, which makes more sense when you look at the cover on the right. The prominent figures are attractive, pressed close in a tense but lovey-dovey pose. We still have the ships and explosions below to tell us that it’s a romance in space, but it definitely sends the romance signal.
So anyway, I’d picked it up, tried reading it, but flamed out in the first few pages. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but it had failed to grab me. Then my wife read it and recommended it to me, so I figured I should give it another shot.
I made it through the first couple of chapters, and by then it had hooked my interest, though I confess it was a struggle. Again, I can’t put a finger on it, but the opening didn’t grab me. It certainly began with some action, but I may have simply become spoiled by the kind of openings that Jim Butcher pulls off.
As it went on, the space opera threads built fairly strongly, but the romance was picking up as well, and it kind of annoyed me. It’s not that I’m against romance. I’m something of a romantic myself – geek romance, admittedly, but still full of all that gooey stuff. However, I think what annoyed me here was the strong emotional/physical combo. They were like two hormonal teenagers who had never felt sexual arousal before and didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe at my age I’m too jaded to remember that with compassion, but mostly it just annoyed me.
So, leaving the romance aside, it was an okay space opera but not great. I also feel that the ending pretty much fizzled. There was this great secret they were trying to track down, and I don’t feel they ever quite got it, and when finally facing off the bad guys at the end, we got a bit of an info dump on their internal factions that seemed tacked on and had not been integral to the plot.
So anyway, if romantic space opera is your thing, give it a try because I suppose the romance part of it was good as far as romance stories go. But if you’re just after some good space opera, I’d say look elsewhere.