THE COLD BETWEEN Make love not war
released 10 March 400 pages | Paperback/ ebook
Author Elizabeth Bonesteel
Publisher Harper Voyager
This debut novel starts with girl- meets- boy – or rather, seasoned woman meets seasoned man on a space colony. Frisky sex follows ( fully but not eye- wateringly described), but soon after the man is accused of killing the woman’s ex. Worse, the lovers come from two very different interstellar human cultures, which may be about to go to war…
That beginning may make readers fear this is a genre romance in space- opera clothing. But it becomes a highly enjoyable read, with meaty punch- ups, adult emotions and assertive feminine characters. The murder mystery becomes a conspiracy thriller, then heads out into space for the revelations. These are the least satisfying parts of the book, especially when it comes to a universe- defining decision which a character makes in barely the space of a paragraph.
In fairness, this part of the story may be explored more in the forthcoming sequels; there isn’t a cliffhanger, mind, and the book satisfies as a standalone. What’s really impressive about The Cold Between, though, is that the characters’ pasts are sketched so well that it already feels like it’s part of an established series. Andrew Osmond
Elizabeth Bonesteel once ducked out of Alien (“I couldn’t take it”) and “cried like a baby” at The Wrath Of Khan.