Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

Have I mentioned I think these books are addictive? Yes? I read one and 2 weeks later you get three reviews about books by this author. I think I'm going to go through her whole backlist soon, but I'm actually holding myself back at the moment. I'm trying to make the TBR go down first (131).

Side note – amazon is only showing the newer covers, at least to upload to vox. I think the line probably looks more cohesive with the new covers – an amorous couple plus spaceship. It also looks like its romance and science fiction now. I have the older cover though.  I think they both have pros and cons but I think they're both equally nice looking.

This book is about Captain Tasha Sebastian (Sass), a member of the United Coalition forces and Admiral Branden Kel-Paten of the Triad. Sass has just been assigned to Kel-Paten's ship as part of the new Alliance between their governments, but she has a hidden past she doesn't want him to know about. Meanwhile he has something he doesn't want her to know about. He's a biocybe – half man, half machine, supposedly unable to feel emotion, but he's been secretly pining for her for years. Enter mercenary Jace Serafino. He's just been rescued by the Alliance and he has some major secrets of his own that could bring down parts of the Alliance. Sass and Dr. Eden Fynn (Sass's best friend)  get suspicious when Jace reveals some of what he knows. They don't know who to trust.

As with the rest of the books, there's a lot of action, space fights, and cool technology bandied about. I always enjoy the world building. I also have noted that each of the books so far seem to be in their own universe (or part of the universe) - I haven't seen overlapping names of governments, religions, or races yet. Unless I missed one. There are common things in terms of characters using coding skill to hack into computers or ship mainframes, or being brilliant at fixing a dying spaceship on the fly. I love reading those bits.

In this book we also see more than one romance – it's two parallel romances. The center one was Sass and Kel-paten's, and I prefered that one out of the two. Probably because of the comparison of Kel-paten's experience in his worklife compared to the utter lack of experience he has with personal matters. It made his personality strangely vunerable and endeering to read. At times I felt like *wincing* because he was so out of his element trying to deal with Sass and his feelings.

Another interesting element was that there were pets in this – the furzels, which I imagined to look exactly like cats, except these were psychic, translocating, fighter cats. They talked to each other in a childlike way that provided comic/cuteness relief (once or twice it was a little too much for me but overall, they were amusing). I could imagine my cat talking this way sometimes.

This book is the most recent book published of the ones I've read so far. The author's website says Games of Command starts of in a similar way to her book Command Performance (part one of a series, but the rest was never published), but most of it is new. And out of all the three books read so far (this, Gabriel's Ghost and Finder's Keepers), this is my favorite. It's a keeper, and Linnea Sinclair is on my autobuy list. I'm having a lot of fun reading these. Crack I tell you.

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Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair – part 2!

So after feeling alll unfulfilled and going on and on about how Gabriel's Ghost feels like it needs another book, I looked at the author's website to find – THERE IS A SEQUEL! Yes! The book is called Shades of Dark (apparently it was renamed from "Chasidah's Choice") and is coming out in July 2008. I feel all better now and take back what I said about book 1 being unfinished. Maybe I should look this stuff up huh. But seriously the book did not say there is a sequel! What would I do without the internet?

P.S. I was on Linnea Sinclair's website because.. I think her writing is like crack. Fun space opera crack.

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Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair

Gabriel's Ghost
Linnea Sinclair

Oh my,  look at this cover. Racy! I have another cover but vox gives me an error if I try to get it.

Since I'm on the space opera kick and my Borders is closing and there are sales, I went and bought about $50 worth of books there. My TBR is 129-ish. Don't judge me, I am weak. I will make it go below 100 some day. I say this and then I laugh a little.

Also – man I am depressed that this Borders is closing. I've been going there for 9 years. It's in walking distance. 😦 There's a Barnes and Noble that's a couple of blocks closer, but I still like the Borders better. If you live in Westchester, New York, the White Plains Borders has a 40% off sale now until it closes on Saturday (tomorrow). I could cry.

I picked this one up because I knew it was standalone plus I'd just read Finders Keepers by the same author. I guess this cover to the left conveys that this is both romance and science fiction with spaceships and stuff. Which it is – Chasidah Bergren was a Fleet Captain when she was courtmartialed for a crime she didn't commit, and sentenced to the prison planet Moabar, where life expectancy is very low. After two weeks, Gabriel Sullivan, a mercenary she's spent time trying to capture in the past, finds her and offers to help her escape the planet. Of course there are things she doesn't know, like why he tracked her down of all people, and what is he doing alive, because he was supposed to have died years ago. Larger things are happening and she is part of it. Much fun space opera action ensues.

When I read Gabriel's Ghost I was mentally comparing it with Finders Keepers, and it feels like it's a later novel. I just checked and that's true. I didn't see the repetition in phrases I was seeing in Finders Keepers, so that habit is gone. Also the romance is more complicated in this book, less predictable. Despite that, although the writing still pulled me in, I liked Gabriel's Ghost less than Finders Keepers. The first part of the book was very interesting, but then about halfway through, the story started to lag. I felt like the relationship should be all resolved by then and I' dlike to see it build from there, but it was just being dragged backward and having wrenches thrown in because Chaz Doesn't Really Know the Truth About Gabriel. She would find out something, freak out a bit, then got over it and become reasonable. But this keeps happening because Gabriel gave her the facts in little crumbs. I think the book could have been better if this didn't go on as long as it did. Plus, to add to this – the hints about Gabriel were all over the place. There were a couple of things I didn't guess that were minor, but if Chaz had figured the obvious this book would have been shorter in a good way because the story picks up towards the end and then – it ends! A couple of major parts were resolved, but.. certain other very large questions are not. IS there is another book? If there is, I would feel happier. They never really completely fix the issue that they are trying to fix. This book ends one battle but more are forthcoming. There are also major prejudice in certain characters which our heroes have to confront soon. I wondered how that was going to go. Plus, in the end, I wasn't completely convinced that there was proof Chaz wasn't being manipulated. I felt like that wasn't resolved as well as it could have been. More could have been said!  So not a bad read but for me it was cut short.

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Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair

Finders Keepers
Linnea Sinclair

I'd kept seeing good reviews of Linnea Sinclair's books on different blogs so I went ahead and picked this up when I was in Arizona.

I think the cover is a big hint that this is a sci -fi. It is rather space opera, action-y with guns and spaceships and wars. But. It's also romance heavy, at least for a sci-fi book. My impression when I was reading this was – if you like sci-fi, AND you like romance, you'll like this. If you only like one genre and not the other, I'm not sure you'll enjoy yourself. This was shelved in the sci-fi/ fantasy section, but I'd call it more of a crossover book. I found it rather an addictive read myself. After the first chapter (which I thought started off slow in the first couple of pages), it got interesting.

Trilby Elliot is the captain of an OLD spaceship which she uses to transport cargo as part of her business as an independent freighter. The ship is a bucket of bolts and full of non-functioning parts barely kept together by Trilby and her robot Dezi. Trilby is constantly running out of cash and calculating how much she can repair with the money she gets on her next run. To keep costs down, she secretly uses an uninhabited planet that's far from the path of usual space traffic to make modifications to her ship. While she is there another spacecraft crashes to the surface and Trilby discovers an unconscious man thrown out of the wreckage. This man calls himself Rhis and says he is a leutienent in the Imperial forces who crashed on the planet after escaping enemy 'Sko. Chases, gunfights, political intruige, romance, undercover work and alien encounters follow.

This was good for a fun read though I did notice some nits:

  • Dezi reminded me a lot of C-3PO.. I guess I didn't care too much about this, but it could be annoying to others.
  • I noticed that the author repeated certain things a few times -certain phrases were repeated in the same area of text. Some examples:  Trilby thinking how certain Zafharian traits must be in the water, Rhis thinking of Trilby as a air sprite, and all the times Trilby kept turning around and bumping straight into Rhis's chest (what was up with this?). It started to jar me when I kept seeing things repeated, especially phrases.
  • The romance was predictable. I think the setting and the rest of what was going on is what made it interesting here.
  • There is the Zafharians, the 'Sko and the Conclave, but all of these factions have other nicknames which Trilby uses in practically the first 3 pages. It took me a little while not to be confused and realize Zafharians = the Imperials = the Empire and also figure out the other names used when referring to The Conclave and the 'Sko.
  • I never did get exactly ALL of the plot of what was going on with the bad guys and their plans at the end of this book. It felt a little sparse on the details or maybe I missed something obvious. I got most of it, but.. I still have a couple of but.. what would they gain by doing it that way?

Anyway, besides those nits, I have to say, I was glued. It was a fun way to pass an afternoon and I'd gladly read another one by this author.

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