Abandoned by her people, young Salika fends for herself in the desert wilds of the unnamed planet of her birth. She finds comfort in the company of a stray sand dog but also learns of her own special talent that allows her to move great volumes of sand at will. Escaping a death sentence for theft, Salika is found by an interstellar recruiter searching for beings of specialty skills and is taken to Citadel Balen. There, Salika finds a home among galactic intellectuals and specialists, honing her newly-discovered electromagnetic skills and finding her purpose in a new world.
This is the second work by this author I have read. Though short, the topic matter and invented world created here is equally as delightful and original as her previous novella, Obsolete. Sands of Sorrow, however, is clearly part of a serial work and definitely has an episodic feel to it with its "to be continued" ending. The romance factor here is really only alluded to here, with an attraction building between Salika and one of her trainers but not developing very far. We get a hint that this will be allowed to flourish in a later installment, so stay tuned!
I am intrigued by the author's vision of a future where beings are valued for their individual aptitudes and encouraged to pursue them in a supportive environment devoted to the nurturing and vocational practice of these talents. The natural peace and order that could be possible living by such a credo makes the future something to truly look forward to!
Sci-fi fans like myself will enjoy Sands of Sorrow, as we are always enchanted by a story that treats a favorite genre so well!
Trash to Treasure...
Olena Jackobi is an expert at turning one alien race's space junk into another's joy. Uninterested in her Terran life, Olena joins a salvage operation, and in unlocking a derelict space pod also unlocks her future when the pod's cargo turns out to be her fated mate, Brin Tai Wekk. Together they "repurpose" the consciousness of a lost world, where Olena's talent for making something new from something old truly comes in handy.
While the romance takes a bit of a back seat in this little drama, the sheer scale of imagination this
author displays is breathtaking. To capture such complete societal and historical framework in such a short
story was no less than amazing. Bravo! I've always been a sci fi fan, and I loved the concept of a future world where programmable hair follicles and fluid-sucking, self-maintaining work jumpsuits are the norm. The fact that our hero has patterned skin, green hair and an -ahem- working part that is several feet of coiled maleness seems quite natural in the universe Viola Grace creates for us. The dialogue, particularly on Brin's part, was entertaining and well done. The lingo and jargon the author creates here is terrific and deserves a gold star. there's a lot going on in this book, so it behooves the reader to pay attention!
If you like strong, quirky heroines, space travel and alien sex scenes that don't get it the way of the main action, OBSOLETE is a treasure waiting to be found.
Title: Molten by Viola Grace
Series: Terran times Second Wave
Length: 87 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars - Recommended Read!
Heat: 2/5 - Flirty
An interesting tale with a rich setting, and unique characters. Nanette is anything but your average heroine. Fierce, Independent and able to work metal with her bare hands, she travels the universe taking jobs, and meeting intriguing races as she works with a tutor. Her travels land her on a planet where her scent must be masked to keep from working the races into a frenzy, and that’s where the story really gets started.
Rand is literally intoxicated by the Terran who’s unlike anyone he’s ever known. As his interest grows, fate is on their side, placing them in close contact. But interspecies mating is never easy, and these two are no exception.
While the setting and the world built was very intriguing, I felt it overshadowed the romance. I would’ve liked to get to know more about the characters and their romance. If you’re looking for new worlds, and fascinating creatures this one will hit the spot.
The imaginative world, Ms. Grace wove was full of beauty, and brains. Whyt is a member of the upper crust of a swan shifter family. Yes, they’re as beautiful as you’d imagine they’d be. Her station makes her parent’s plans for her a bit of a 1950’s throwback. A husband and kids , none of her choosing. As a half breed, Whyt was born without the ability to fly, but not without the desire to do so. Her real passion is flight, and hidden under her exquisite exterior, lies the heart of a mechanic.
I loved her complex layers and the masculine profession she hoped to enter. I found her bravery admirable as she fled the comfortable life and the only home she’d ever known. I did wish we got to see a bit more of who she was on the inside. But there was so much happening ,I think the action took over.
The hero , Sarge fell a bit flat to me. I can’t say too much without giving away the twist. But the flow of the story left out the more romantic aspect of his emotions toward his mate. I liked his ability to keep an open mind during and consider what she wanted.
This story almost read more like an adventure to me because the romance at times felt like an afterthought. Which was why I gave it three stars instead of four. Regardless it’s a unique, and engaging short story.
A Mermaid’s Wish
Author: Viola Grace
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Length: 49 pages
TBR Reviewer: Shyla
Rating: 5 Stars - A Must Read.
I love a good story, be it sweet, or scorching, and Ms. Grace earns props for making it so appealing. This was Little Mermaid meets Pretty Woman if Julia Roberts had been a total bad ass.
Born to a nitpicking mother who focused on beauty, poise, and wealth, Taem makes a deal with a
gene witch, *cough Ursula* to be normal. The charm placed on her person allows her to be herself, avoid society rules and restrictions. Intelligent, witty, and take-control you can’t help but love her.
In charge of her people’s newest colonization effort, she’s determined to change things for the better. The prince, Sardu, approves of her efforts and so much more.
Sardu is as beautiful as he is brilliant. Ready for change, and over silly woman with nothing between their ears he has his sights set on Taem. Now he just needs to inform her. Strong without being overbearing, and filled with humor Sardu is impossible not to like. The book focuses around Taem, so we only get a broad picture of the prince, and I would’ve liked to learn more.
There are no steamy scenes here, just sweet kisses. So if you’re looking for that it may come up short. I think this is a highly imaginative short, perfect for a quick read that’ll make you think.
Author: Viola Grace
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read.
Heat: 2 - Flirty.
Cera is summarily dragged from her current life to "summon" Lord Renn to defend the world Haloth which is about to be raided by miners and then goes about doing just that. Not being flip, but that's about all there is to the summary.
Now, as to the book itself. I thought Lord Renn was a great idea, and the concept behind him, that he was the embodiment of thousands (if not millions) of little star fragments coalesced into a single being, brought forth by the "Brotherhood" (one of those details I would have liked to have been given more information about) to defend the world was fantastic. The scene where he shows Cera his true body ... wow. The imagery in that scene alone made this book worth the read.
Cera is a decent enough character, not too whiny, but throughout I felt incredibly disconnected when it came to her. Very little emotional involvement or pull. She did what she needed to...and that's it. The Brotherhood, what little we get on them, is a fascinating organization of people who are gathering energy/minds from around the galaxy, and I like this concept a lot.
There is relatively little page time showing a growing romance between Renn & Cera. His body is based on a composite of men (in her memories) that she found attractive over the years, so of course she's attracted physically to him. There's no real spark, just poof...at point X they did the deed and it was good.
Let me say first off, this is book number a million (exaggeration, but there are a TON) set in the universe that Finite takes place in. I had no idea that that was the case when I picked this book to review. I began to suspect that might be the situation when I was floundering badly within a few pages, trying to understand the world(s) the book was set in. There was little explanation as to technology, who all the
names were that were thrown at me, and so forth. That's when I took a break and looked up the author/book on Goodreads. Ah ha! Now the complex universe setting made a little more sense. It didn't clear up anything as far as who everyone was (though some of the characters were likely former hero/heroines in other books). Unfortunately, the fact that I needed to do that was a sore mark against this book from the get-go. I shouldn't have been left so adrift by the vast universe that I needed to know if there was more (just to center myself). While a novella isn't the place for huge world-building details, a little bit here and there might have helped round things out for me.
The final thing that kept this from being rated any higher was the lack of any sense of real danger. Renn needs to be summoned, poof. He's summoned. Cera needs a weapon, poof, she has a weapon (or is a weapon herself). Cera needs a treaty, she makes a phone call and poof. Treaty/protection achieved. There's no real sense that she might not get anything. Just she asks and it's hers.
So, while I liked the overall environment (once I got past the beginning where I was very confused at why it seemed like it was assumed that I would know who the people involved were), the book for me was really very ho-hum. I think I'll check out other books set in the Terra worlds, but they won't be particularly high on my list of "to be read" books.
Science Fiction - Erotica
TBR reviewer: Shyla
Raine knew she was special enough to be a Volunteer, but mating with a dragon is a whole new kind of special.
Setting up orbital stations was lonely, but not a horrible occupation. Raine has spent years organizing computers and systems to work in harmony, but when she is sent to a spa to wait for her ride, she learns that work is not the only pleasure in life. Orell has waited for her
for centuries and he is not going to let a little thing like a Terran obsession with work get in the way of him claiming his true mate. He will use every amenity at the spa to wear her down and then he will swoop in for the kill, so to speak. What is a little death amongst friends and lovers?
I’m a huge fan of Dragons, and Intensity was a blend of science meets myth that I found entertaining. Our heroine Raine has been altered with ports in her head that allow her to talk to the main frame of computer systems. Intelligent, humorous and hard-working, Raine is an easy gal to like. An Agent of the Alliance, she gave up life on earth years ago to come and work among the stars. When the battle ship due to pick her up from her work station is
called away for an emergency, she finds herself sent to a local spa for a much needed vacation.
What Raine finds on the planet Yosh is much more than she bargained for. Rest and relaxation turn into steamy nights and adventure when she meets the dragon shifter Orell. Orell is intelligent, attractive, and he can fly. What woman could resist that? Certainly not Raine, who just happens to be his mate. As the two begin to explore their new bond, and begin the mating process unexpected twists and turns keep you guessing.
I enjoyed this read. It was unique, smart, and full of details. I really felt like I was on a different planet with new species. I appreciated the different twists, and turns Ms.Grace provided, but there were times the story felt rushed. I think a slower pace would have really made this a better story, and I would’ve liked to see the bond between Orell and Raine explored and explained more. Intensity is a great pick if you're in the mood for something short with a but of spice and whimsy.