From the very first page to the very last, Nina Croft’s series debut is a delight to read. She manages to carve out a world in 117 pages, that some authors fail to do in a full length novel.
For any fans of the TV show Firefly, this book is a must as you can almost imagine the characters in this book crossing paths with the crew of Serenity. They may even carry out a few jobs with them or chug down a few drinks.
The crew, or more correctly put bandits, are hired by the mysterious Skylar to break her brother from a prison that is reminiscent of Alcatraz. The captain of the crew is Tannis, a tough yet loyal mortal hired by Rico, the hero of the piece. Tannis takes the safety of her crew very seriously and is instantly distrusting of Skylar, but agrees to take the job to get the credits she need to buy the Meridian, which will make her immortal. She seems interesting and you instantly warm to her.
Rico on the other hand is a bit of an enigma. We find out that he is a vampire, but only get snippets of his former life. He is a bit of a smart ass, and pushes all of Skylars buttons but in a loveable way. What I really liked about him was the fact he pretends to be aloof yet he cares just as much as Tannis does.
Yet, the most intriguing character in the story has to be Skylar. Through her point of view, you get the feeling that everything is not what it seems. She is in conflict about her mission to save her “brother” and a few times a massive hint is thrown at the reader. What is great though is the fact that Croft takes you down one road only for her to pull the rug from under you near the end.
Right up to the very last chapter, I thought I had the conclusion all figured out, only for it to go a completely different way.
One last thing I have to mention is the fact that the romance between Rico and Skylar is written in such a way that it starts off with Rico insisting that along with the credits, he will only take the job if Skylar agrees to be his source of food (blood) and sex, although it’s not put in quite those words.It turns into a challenge between the two, with the reawakening of long dormant feelings within Skylar. The scenes where they are fighting an attraction that goes deeper than lust are a joy to read, especially with the constant interruptions by the crew. There is a great explanation to why this is the case, but I won’t say what it is as I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to read the book.
A few of the secondary characters seem to have interesting stories to tell and thankfully the next book Deadly Pursuit looks like it will explain one of the more mysterious crew members. I found myself drawn so completely into Break Out that I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot is tightly constructed and before you know it you have come to the end.
A great start to an interesting series which managed to keep my interest from beginning to end. It can be read as a stand alone but it does leave you wanting to find out about the rest of the characters on the ship. My only gripe is that I would have loved for it to be longer. Luckily, for the Mass Market Paperback issue, Croft promises that there will be more Rico…
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Break Out
- Deadly Pursuit
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