Title: Collision Course
Series: The 8th Wing, #1
Genres/Themes: science-fiction, romance, opposites attract
Author: Zoe Archer
A solid series-starter, this would make for a good first taste of sci-fi romance for fans of paranormal romance. Some very minor personal gripes couldn't keep me from loving this action-filled, steamy romp.
Book Description (via author site):
Mara Skiren is a scavenger, a black-market dealer. Blackmailed into helping Commander Kell Frayne infiltrate a treacherous corner of the galaxy, Mara learns that her biggest danger is from her sexy, by-the-book partner. She’s a loner with more than a few battle scars on her heart, but something about Commander Frayne stirs up her long-buried need for an intimate connection. An ace pilot for the elite Black Wraith Squadron, Kell’s mission is to rescue a lost pilot and ship. Unable to deny his attraction to the beautiful, rebellious woman , he decides bedding her would cool his ardor. But one taste is not nearly enough, and he finds himself sharing more of his real self with Mara than he has with anyone. With deadly criminals on their heels and an increasingly dangerous assignment to complete, he’s starting to wonder…. If they survived, could he let her go? And will Mara want to stay?
A new sci-fi romance series is born! This is a great bit of news, since this segment of the romance genre definitely deserves more love and attention, especially given the increased popularity of its sibling paranormal romance. In my view, Collision Course is sci-fi lite—in a good way. It would be a decent segue into its genre from those used to PnR.
This book is aptly named, as it involves the clash between classes, ideologies, and—most specifically—the two main characters. The plot itself is straightforward, with not many asides. The set-up of an epic struggle between corporations 8th Wing and PRAXIS is fun, and carries much potential. It’s pure space opera to the max.
Though there is a good bit of legitimate world-building, the narrative definitely doesn’t hold your hand through visuals. The text is full of what I like to call “nothing words.” Those are science-fiction-sounding wording that ultimately carry no real meaning to the reader; comprehension instead comes from the rest of the sentence, as in “he was as sneaky as a Cormelian sea worm.” But this sometimes happens in science fiction writing, right? One must simply get used to working more actively with the descriptions provided.
I really enjoyed the hero, Kell Frayne. He was intriguing both when serving as the narrative voice, and when being described through the heroine’s head. There’s something rather attractive about the tough and practical yet honorable hero. ^_^ He’s definitely one of the strongest sources of my attachment to the book.
Zoe Archer is quite good at action sequences. My excitement for the book ratcheted up several notches in the third act, where most of the high-octane activity takes place. In that area, the author seems to have a great sense of pacing and tension building.
I must make a small note of one aspect that didn’t thrill me, though. A little bit of the later dialogue felt a bit too trite for my taste. It was discourse between the hero and heroine, too…oh well.
This story is definitely a solid series starter. I’d recommend it to those newer to or unfamiliar with the genre, since its themes are fairly universal and the world built thus far is not too complex.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I really liked it."