I understand that Linnea Sinclair is quite popular among readers of science fiction romance. Which, of course, explains why I haven’t read her until now. I am the absolute last to know about this stuff, I swear. Anyway, I started with Gabriel’s Ghost because it has sequels that I will be reviewing soon. And I’m glad I read it. Ms. Sinclair has a great gift for storytelling, and I was entranced from the beginning. Despite its flaws, I will definitely eagerly read the rest of the series.
Chasidah “Chaz” Bergrin has been exiled to a prison planet for a crime she didn’t commit. A long-time captain in the Fleet, this has been pretty devastating for her, but she finds herself rescued by none other than Sully, a man she spent years of her career chasing through the galaxy, a man she has always been attracted to. Sully wants Chaz’s help to stop the breeding of an alien monster. Along the way, they face danger, and their attraction grows.
This story is told in Chaz’s first-person POV. This was both a strength and a weakness for the book. I liked Chaz’s narrative voice, since it was pleasant and relatively snark-free, but I really didn’t get a very good sense of who she was. I have my ideas, but I don’t feel I got to know her as well as Sully or the others, and that’s a shame, because I did like her. Except for the times that I thought she should have picked up on a few things a lot faster than she did.
The true star of this book, though, is Sully. Sully has a huge secret, the extent of which is not revealed for quite a while. It’s a secret that has deeply influenced the kind of person he’s become, and he totally had me from the beginning, mostly because, as I’ve said before, I love me some emotionally repressed tortured heroes. The chemistry between Sully and Chasidah was obvious, and though the sex scenes were more lyrical than explicit, there were definitely more than a few squirm-in-my-seat moments reading them.
The other characters we meet are equally well drawn. Sully’s crew is made up of fascinating people, and I hope we get to see more of them as the series progresses. Even Chasidah’s ex-husband, featured near the end of the book, is painted sympathetically. There are villains, too, but their motives aren’t simply maniacal and evil, and I really appreciated that.
The plot moves along at a brisk pace, which kept me reading as quickly as I could. I also liked that the romance arc and the more action-packed sci-fi arc really couldn’t have existed without each other, which, to my mind, is what creates believable science fiction romance. I do think some of the world-building could have been better — I felt at times like I was reading something just a shade too derivative of Star Trek — but that’s a minor quibble, because I liked the rest of what I was reading.
Overall, this was a good introduction to Ms. Sinclair. I hope that, in the sequels to this book, she has chosen to provide more insight into Chaz’s character so that I can fall in love with her as much as I did Sully. Other than that, though, I think fans of science fiction romance and Star Trek should definitely give this one a go.
A life-and-death battle where giving up the ghost has a whole new meaning…
After a decade of cruising interstellar patrol ships, former Captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime Pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit—and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.
Gabriel Sullivan—alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue—is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom—for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates imperial space. For Chaz, it’s a matter of survival. For Sully it means facing the truth about who—and what—he really is. The mission means putting their lives on the line—but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: