released OUT NOW! 416 pages | Paperback/ebook Author amanda Bouchet Publisher Piatkus
When you’re writing a science fiction story about a team of misfits on a spaceship rebelling against a fascist galactic regime and your lead character is named Quintessa Novalight, it’s probably fair to say that you’re not really going for “subtle”. Indeed, Nightchaser is about as subtle as George Lucas doing some retroactive CGI tinkering.
That’s not to say it’s unlikeable, however. While its premise may be a melange of Firefly, Dark Matter, Star Wars and a million other space operas, Nightchaser does have an interesting crew, a diverting love affair at its heart (featuring a guy named Shade who, funnily enough, is made up of shades of both Han Solo and Mal Reynolds) and a compelling cliffhanger ending. But it loses a lot of kudos for the fact that bugger-all happens for the bulk of the novel, as the team simply sit around getting their spaceship repaired. Sure, there’s some soft porn shoehorned in during this slump, but the plot disappears up another orifice. Not to mention the fact that the author’s flowery language is pure cheese (eyes are never merely eyes: they’re always “lasers” or “bright-blue bombs”… you get the gist).
Sadly, as this is the first part of a trilogy, the only meat is in the naughty bits. For the main course we have to wait for book two: let’s hope it’s a feast. Jayne Nelson