Veronica Scott’s Sectors SFR

If you like your Science Fiction Romance toward the Science Fiction end of the scale, you will surely enjoy Veronica Scott’s Sectors series. Set in the human-dominated Sectors, this collection of novels, for the most part loosely connected, generally focuses on military heroes and strong heroines. The Sectors are at war with the Mawreg (the mere sight of a Mawreg can drive a human mad) and their client races, including the insectoid and nearly indestructible Shemdylann.

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Star SurvivorStar Survivor is the sequel to Scott’s Wreck of the Nebula Dream (think Titanic in space) and focuses on Twilka, the Socialite who demonstrated her inner strength in that book. Star Survivor picks up when Twilka runs into Khevan again, five years after he apparently left her without a word. Needless to say, that’s not quite what really happened, and the two find themselves on the run from Khevan’s D’nvannae Brothers.

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Star Survivor not only lets us know what has happened to Twilka, Khevan, Nick, and Mara in the years since the wreck, it also explains a lot about the mysterious Red and White Ladies. Although most of Scott’s Sectors novels can be read as stand-alones, this one is best read after Wreck of the Nebula Dream.

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The Fated Stars puts something of a gender twist on the military hero—in this tale it’s the heroine, Larissa Channer, retired from the Sectors service and now a mercenary with herThe Fated Stars own small ship, the Viking Queen, who is the Warrior. The hero, Samell, is far from a wimp, but he’s definitely in distress, held captive as a fortune teller in a shabby carnival traveling from world to world. When Larissa sees him, she knows something is wrong, and when he manages to pass her a mental message, she takes it upon herself to rescue him.

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Easier said than done, and even when accomplished, Larissa and Samell face escalating problems, while finding that the psychic abilities of Samell and his people, now a band of ragtag refugees, may make huge contributions to the war against the Mawreg.

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I have more Sectors tales waiting on my Kindle. If only I had more time to read . . .

 

Donna Frelick: Trouble In Mind

What if aliens really were abducting humans, for slave labor and sometimes for their psychic powers? That’s the premise behind Donna S. Frelick’s Interstellar Rescue series.

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trouble-in-mindTrouble In Mind (the second book in the series, but definitely readable as a stand alone—I haven’t read the first one yet) begins as a suspense novel, with FBI Agent Alana Matheson called in on what seems like a routine kidnapping case. A woman and her son have been snatched from a remote location, leaving her husband beaten but alive—and now a suspect.

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But Lana’s investigation soon takes an unexpected turn as private investigator Gabriel Cruz shows up, brought into the case by the angry husband and his friends. Lana is having enough trouble with her FBI partner—she doesn’t need more from interfering civilians.

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Gabriel is not just another private eye, and the kidnap victims have a background he can’t explain to Lana, not without telling her about psychic powers, galactic conspiracy, and his own extremely dysfunctional and not entirely human family.

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Trouble In Mind moves smoothly from Earth-bound suspense to interstellar intrigue, from Lana and Gabriel to the kidnapped woman to the aliens pursuing her and the masterminds behind it all, as Lana and Gabriel race to rescue the victims and Lana gradually learns that there is far more involved than she ever imagined, even in her own background.

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This is an exciting, well-written example of the science fiction romance genre, but be advised that it contains some very graphic language, sex, and violence, all intrinsic to the story and characters. All the same, I’m hooked. I’ve downloaded the first book in the series, Unchained Memory, and pre-ordered the third, Fools Rush In.

Book Review: Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet

With Ghost Planet, Sharon Lynn Fisher has come up with a truly unique premise.  I’m not giving anything away when I say that the protagonist, Elizabeth Cole, dies before the book opens.  It takes her a while to figure this out, though.  In fact neither she nor Murphy, her prospective supervisor at the New Seattle Counseling Center on the planet Ardagh 1, realizes that Elizabeth is a ghost until an alarm goes off when she passes through a sensor.

Ghost PlanetThe two had met only once, casually, years earlier on Earth, but that tenuous connection has turned Elizabeth into Murphy’s personal ghost (supplanting his rather mousy Aunt Maeve).  This strange relationship traps the two together, bound by a force that requires Elizabeth to stay near Murphy but separated by the Ghost Protocol, a measure devised by Murphy to protect the colonists from the emotional damage done by the ghosts, aliens who replicate, and believe themselves to be, the settlers’ lost friends and loved ones.

Elizabeth is not your average ghost.  With her academic background and research skills, she sets out to discover the secrets of the planet, upsetting the established order and drawing Murphy with her into a roller coaster adventure.  Can they save themselves?  The ghosts?  The colonists?  The planet?

This well-done science fiction romance will satisfy lovers of both genres, weaving the love story through a tale grounded in scientific theory and superb world building.  Fisher leaves enough planetary secrets hidden to warrant a sequel, and I hope there will be another visit to Ardagh 1 in store.  Highly recommended!