Four Books for the 2011 Sci Fi Romance Reading Challenge

I’ve been catching up on my SFR reading.   I only wish there were more…sigh.

#17 Claimed (Brides of the Kindred #1) by Evangeline Anderson

3 stars

A nice little erotic sci fi romance. The sex in order to bond thing was the main thrust of 2/3rds of the story. After she is forced to break the contract for marriage and leave him, the action picks up and the story is actually more interesting. Also the genetic traders thing was interesting and different. It sets up the possibility for different types of alien actions of the heroes in further books.

The sci fi elements were not the greatest here. It’s what I call sci fi so soft it’s hazy. For example, there are a bunch of mostly unbelievable animals living on the ship. I mean come on, a push me pull you llama type thing that changes sizes on command, can carry you anywhere on the ship, is telepathic and lives below the garbage disposal?

Plot wise things are not the most lucid. Most of it involves the fact that the Kindred are 95% male and need women from the three planets they’ve found in order to breed more Kindred. The guys then try for a month to seduce the woman they’ve claimed. The first 2/3rds of the story involved this so there wasn’t hardly any action/plot at all for most of the story. Also they’re at war but bring their human women up to live on a ginormous ship orbiting earth. As big as the Death Star it seems. That just seems a little iffy since the bad guys are hiding just behind the moon. Mostly the bad guys capture their enemies to torture them since they get some sort of energy high off of it but they also attack and blow ships up.

But the taken by a sexy alien thing was the thrust of the book and if that’s what you’re looking for, you should find it here.

#18 Dark Abyss by Kaitlyn O’Conner

4 Stars

Another good sci fi menage story from Kaitlynn O’Connor. In this one the guys aren’t aliens but are genetically mutated humans. The story was good. The focus was a bit more on action than romance here which is fairly typical of KO’Cs books but I felt that the romance was just a bit less developed than in some of her books. There were some similarities to The Spawning in how the guys lived underwater. There were bits of the physical setting that weren’t explained as well as I would have liked. Also the guys all swam around naked then got out and put on a robe wherever they arrived. That just seemed non sexy to me. Bunch of guys sitting around shooting the bull or watching security camera feeds in fluffy white bathrobes? Not doing it for me. They could have worn swim trunks. Anyway the writing was pretty well done. The guys mostly had separate personalities. I liked that the heroine was pretty backward socially. I do wish that KO’C would not feel the need to describe or allude to a everyone at once menage sex scene near the end of a book. Some authors can write them well but she doesn’t sell me on them. Her sex scenes are much better when it’s just the girl and one of the guys. Hers can be slightly icky.

   #19 Redeeming Zorus (Cyborg Seduction #6

     By Laurann Dohner

     4 stars

Another good one by Laurann Dohner. Zorus was a total ass in all the other Cyborg books. He really needed to be redeemed. He hates humans especially human women. He was the one that made it a law that humans are property on the cyborg world. He tried to have the human mates of the other cyborg guys killed or at least have their marriages denied. Plus there was one time in an earlier book where he tried to get another cyborg to stay behind on an exploding space ship so that he, Zorus, could escape and live. LD explained or justified all of the asshatery except that last bit which was conveniently ignored. Authors shouldn’t make characters so bad in earlier books that they can’t justify somehow their actions later when they have their own book.

Zorus did change his mind about human women pretty quickly but he did have some pretty solid evidence that Charlie was a totally good worthwhile person even if she is human. Charlie was a great character. Spunky and fun. There was a pretty solid plot that mostly revolved around their relationship as she rescues him and he takes her back to the Cyborg planet. There was fallout from his extreme and sudden change from being a human hater/killer to being in love with a human woman. The other cyborgs had difficulty believing in his transformation.

There were not as many sex scenes in this one. They were there and they were nicely done but I didn’t feel like they overwhelmed the plot as happened in some of the earlier books.

Can’t wait for the next one. Krell maybe?

#20 The Ninth Orb by Kaitlyn O’Connor

4 Stars

This was a pretty good one from Kaitlyn O’Connor. This one was heavy on the world building and lighter on the sex scenes. That’s actually the way I prefer it so it worked for me. I always find it fascinating that KOC invents so many new worlds instead of always writing new stories in the same old setting.

There are 200 women who have traveled 15 years to arrive at this new planet to colonize. They bring along frozen semen to have babies when they arrive since they think it will make a more viable colony than having men along. But there are already men there, a colony of human seeming males but with horns and wings. Obviously they end up getting together. And since this is KOC, all the relationships are menage.

One problem with KOC is that she lacks descriptions. In other words for example, we know the men have horns and wings but we don’t know what the wings look like, where on the head are they? Do the guys have curly hair that curls around the base of the horns or long straight hair that flows away from them etc. Some of them have wings. Why only some? How do their clothes fit around them? How do they sleep in bed? Do they contain erogenous zones?

A couple of the plot decisions seemed a little simplistic for example the choice of where the aliens’ home planet is located and the fact that the guys are discovered to be human genetically without any supporting info or even guesses on the part of the women. They basically went “They’re human huh? Cool beans. So about that desalination plant…”

There were a lot more good points than bad though. There was a lot of thought put into the alieness of the guys. Altough I would have been happy with a bit more explanation of the guys’ society, there was enough that you understood them. The two groups were socially very dissimilar and they did have plenty of issues understanding where each other was coming from. There was thought put into issues that would arise with 200 women who hadn’t seen a man in 15 years.

The writing is good. The emotions are realistic. Only a couple of the guys in the menage relationship were developed at all here but those were fairly well done especially the main hero, Baen.

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Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

4 stars 

Pretty cute.  Easy to read out loud to the boys.  They liked it and laughed out loud in places.  The main character, Scrub, is a 12 year old boy staying at his grandmother’s bed and breakfast for the summer.  He finds out that her guests are all aliens.  He learns to work at the inn while at the same time making friends with a local girl.  The aliens are wonderfully wacky and Mr. Harnox who is stuck on earth is more human and caring than most of the real humans.
Scrub learns lessons in tolerance and responsibility.  He learns to stand up for himself and he learns to use his ingenuity and how to become more self reliant and how to trust himself.
This is a nice book for the 9 to 12 year old set.  It is funny and has some positive messages without preaching or talking down to the reader.  My boys didn’t even mind that there was a bit of kissing in it, even though my 11 year old did have to hide his head to listen to that bit.