Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Science Fiction from Ilona Andrews

Silver Shark
Kinsmen Series #2
By Ilona Andrews
Digital Novella
Publisher: NYLA
September 14, 2011
Excerpt HERE

SUMMARY: Claire Shannon is a Kinsman, a woman gifted with enhanced mental capabilities. Her skills and her life were taken over by the military to fight in war that has raged on her home planet for decades. But as the war ends, she is forced to hide her abilities in order to make a new life for herself as a civilian. It’s a new persona, a new planet and new job that has her crossing paths with the powerful and alluring Venturo Escana. Is she strong enough to hide her true nature from her perceptive new boss? And as they grow closer, will she even still want to try?

I won both ebooks in the series from a contest on the authors' blog, though I would have bought both books this Friday. Silver Shark is a science fiction romance that takes place in the same world as Silent Blade (below) which was published in 2009. It can be read as a stand alone with no problem since the characters and plot are not connected. I really enjoyed this novella, and hope the authors continue with the series. It's science fiction with the romance on the side which will please fans of both genres. The characters are well developed, interesting and the plot is compelling, fast paced and suspenseful. I love that most of the story takes place in the Province of Dahlia and dahlias are used in the landscaping. Dahlias are a bright, cheerful flower that I've always loved, and for me it was a cool way to visualize the fashions and personalities of the citizens of Dahlia. (That might just be the gardener in me.)

Fans of the authors' other books should understand that this series is not urban fantasy, nor does it have the sarcastic humor like their other books. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, but it is different. Silver Shark reminds me of a lot of the science fiction I read as a teenager. The story challenges the reader to think of a strange world in a futuristic society, but yet it's not over complicated or deeply cynical as some science fiction can be. There is subtle humor, and the characters are very likable.

Silver Shark pulled me in, made me care about the characters, kept me on the edge of my seat, and made me smile at the end.

Silent Blade
Kinsmen Series #1
Ilona Andrews
Digital Short Story
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Released: June 2, 2009

SUMMARY: On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport—in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask. Kill the man who ruined her life.

Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen—and skills with a blade—won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control—his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?

I loved Silent Blade and wish I had read it much sooner, though reading it with Silver Shark was cool because I loved the world the authors have created so it was a double dose of Dahlia goodness. This story emphasizes the romance a bit more than Silver Shark and I'll confess I was a tad weepy by the end. I loved the characters, and the descriptions of their fighting abilities were pretty cool.

This was published by Samhain and they consider it a short story but it was actually longer than Silver Shark. I would consider them both novellas which means they are longer than a short story but not as long as a full length novel.

Fans of Science Fiction Romance will love this story, as well as fans of straight romance. If you haven't read either one, buy them together and enjoy the world Ilona Andrews has created.

Both digital editions are available at Amazon HERE and you can read more about the series on the authors' website here: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/