Book Review

Review: Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Sci fi romance? Why not? Nightchaser runs the gauntlet between Firefly and Mills and Boon and it turns out I’m OK with that.

Nightchaser

Title: Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Pages: 416
Publication Date: 1st January 2019, republished 4th July 2019
Publisher: Priatkus (July 2019)

I really didn’t know what to expect from sci fi romance as a genre, and it kept taking me by surprise (so to speak) when the tone switched from space talk, warp drive and ship repairs to intense chemistry, heavy eye contact and some steamy sex scenes. And you know what? I’m there for it. (Although the change in tone from ‘save the galaxy’ to ‘hey baby …’ was a little jarring at times).

We first meet Tess Bailey and her crew of damaged misfits when they are fleeing a Dark Watch ship, and carrying a precious cargo, straight into more danger. Safe – for now – they need to repair and enlist the help of dark and mysterious Shade Ganavan, who has ulterior motives of his own. The crew are desperately hoping they can find a way to put a stop to a new virus sweeping through the galaxy’s orphanage that holds a special place in Tess’ heart.

The villain of this piece, the Overseer, likes order, plain clothes and nuclear weapons. His right hand man, Nathaniel Bridgebane is impassive yet conflicted. Everyone else in the Dark Watch is a ‘goon’.

And there’s a cat called Bonk. And that’s great.

The action is punchy, the sex is steamy – I don’t know what else to say; it’s hard to balance the two!

There were a few specific things that didn’t work for me, however. Tess and Shade’s flirty talk was pretty cringe in places – ‘Space Rogue Phenom’? Baby? I did like starshine, though. And because half of the novel is given over to romance, it meant that this sci fi universe lacked a lot of fleshing out – this is a galaxy of humans? Why are they using terms like warp drive? And, given how this ends, more sexy snuggling probably wasn’t appropriate.

I mean, it’s not easy to summarise this one. It is Firefly? Guardians of the Galaxy? Or a sexy space romp? Who knows?! But it was certainly fun.

And before I finish, can we take a moment to consider how different the two book blurbs are from NetGalley and from Goodreads? Is this Robin Hood?

NetGalley:

Wanted criminal Tess Bailey and her band of merry thieves are desperate and on the run. The most powerful ruler in the universe wants them dead, and while he hunts them, the stolen ship they escaped on is running out of steam. Their one offer of help comes from Shade Ganavan, a tall, dark and arrogant stranger with ambiguous motivations.

At her side is gentle, blind Shiori, Fiona, an ex-rebel fighter with a rage so strong it could bring generals to their knees, and determined Jax and Miko, steering their ship through the depths of space. Together, their friendship gives them strength, but will their bond be strong enough to defeat an enemy whose ruthlessness is legendary?

As their luck runs out, Tess will have to choose an ending to her story – and whether to fight against or yield to a temptation so strong, it threatens to cleave the land of stars in two.

And Goodreads:

Tess Bailey: the galaxy’s Most Wanted.
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear…

Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm…and that special something that makes you want to kick him.
With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it’s too late.

Sounds like they didn’t quite know what to make of it all either!

3.5 stars rounded to 4.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Priatkus in exchange for an honest review.

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