Book Review: Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet
This is the second in the Endeavor series following Nightchaser (which I also reviewed) and if you didn’t read Nightchaser, you should absolutely go and read that before diving in here, because this isn’t a standalone. You need to know how Tess Bailey and Shade Ganavan met and why Tess is so important in the mythos of this intriguing universe.
On the run from the all-powerful Overseer (Tess’s stepfather) and the Dark Watch, plus bounty hunters looking to claim the enormous bounty on Shade’s head, Tess and Shade are building their mutual trust. While on the run with their motley crew of space outlaws (a crew steadily increasing in size) they find out more information about Tess’s mysterious real father and just why her blood contains mysterious powers.
In a universe where a fascist dictator has complete control, trust is in short supply. Bouchet paints this brilliantly as the point of view switches from Shade to Tess; having recently joined the crew, Shade doesn’t really trust anyone but Tess herself, though, and as more characters from Tess’s past make appearances, Shade has to make the call whether to put his faith in Tess’s judgement.
There are a couple of sexy scenes in here I honestly ended up skimming over because I didn’t feel like they really added all that much to the story. They’re perfectly well written but I wanted to get back to the plot, which I was a lot more invested in than the romantic relationship. To me this is (excellent) space opera with a side of romance, but the sex scenes make this feel more like the author’s trying to put it into sci-fi romance, which I don’t think works all that well over a series of books about the same two characters because you don’t get a proper HEA at the end of each book. For me this kind of falls in between the two genres. It’s an excellent read, though, as long as you don’t go in expecting precisely one thing or the other. Five stars for a solid second installment in this fascinating trilogy.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.