Collision Course by Zoe Archer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a fun, quick read. I love space romance, and this definitely fits the bill. I rated it three stars because the storyline was too focused on sex for my tastes. It seemed like much of what happens occurs through that filter. I would have liked to see more of Kell and Mara's relationship develop outside of their sexual attraction. It was clear they fell and love and will stay together, but too much of their bond seems physical to me.
Also, Mara seems to be mainly characterized by her sexuality. While I'm not judgmental against a woman for being sexually active, I was uncomfortable with how often her past sexual exploits (including a drunken bout with a female friend and triplets) were referred to. I can appreciate the role reversal that I believe Archer was going for. How often is the hero's sexuality thrown in our face and so casually? A lot. I'm not a big fan of that, so I'm equal opportunity. Her past when reveals adds some perspective to why she lives her life the way she does.
Kell is a good hero. I like that he's multi-layered. While he's an all business military guy, he also has a less-than-respectable past, and he can handle himself, in all ways. I liked that it was clear that he was falling in love with Mara probably even before she was allowing herself to feel something more than lust for him. He can hold his own with a strong woman and throw down, and what's not to like about that?
The action was really good, and the world-building felt authentic. The descriptions of the planet and the Scavengers hangouts were really great and gritty. I really got a feel for their culture in those descriptions. I love that Rustic sort of sci-fi vibe, ala "Firefly" and Archer captures it here beautifully. The aspect of how the 8th Wing fighters fly their ships was really cool. I was geeking out.
I think that if a reader is going for a shorter, steamy sci-fi romance where sex is the focus, they will love this. If a reader wanted a more full-bodied story where other aspects are equally developed, they might find this lacking a bit. Having said that, I'm excited to read Chain Reaction in the near future, I hope. Zoe Archer is a great writer and I'll continue to read her books.
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