Friday, February 8, 2013

Linnea Sinclair - Gabriel's Ghost

After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn't commit -- and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.
Gabriel Sullivan -- alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue -- is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz's past is offering her a ticket to freedom -- for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line -- but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

Comment: This is the second book by the author that I've tried. I'm quite happy to say I enjoyed this as much but I do admit it took me some time because I started it on a Friday and Fridays are days of house cleaning (arghh -but ha!, today I managed to find time to be on line), then Saturday I had to do the ironing and Sunday I had family visiting...a really poor weekend in terms of useful reading time.
But then I've read it all practically in 2 days, which only proves time is, indeed, everything.

So, this book is apparently one of the author's best, it won a prize and everything. It's the story of Chaz, she was wrongly accused of a crime and was sent to a planet prison and had to survive by herself. In comes Sully, a guy she felt attracted one time but things never progressed further than kissing, and he helps her out of the planet. While she feels doubtful as for the reason he got her out of there, she doesn't say no and from that moment on she sees herself in the middle of many new challenges like stopping an awful breeding program, a possible love life, the need to stop seeing things as she thought and actually as they are and how to convince herself her fears aren't stronger than love.

So, this book has several things to think about, mostly about character development, specially Chaz's but also in other characters.
But first of all I have to say I liked the romance a lot because it wasn't rushed and stupid. So many romances are, so this one has points for looking well structured. The main couple, Chaz and Sully, met before and they felt attracted to each other, but then they were different people and circumstances stopped them from taking things further. But stuff happened and Chaz thought Sully was dead. Now they have new experiences and time behind them and despite their differences, the attraction is still there. I liked how they both took baby steps to a relationship...I don't think to find someone and being with him would be that easy and in this book I liked the author made the characters take their time.

Now, onto the mentioned character of the things that happen  - I imagine that is, after only two books - a lot in these books is the talk about prejudice. It's sci-fi but like in everything, different races and beings and things make prejudice possible. It happens, even if not maliciously intended. It's the way you deal with it that matters. I thought Chaz felt very prejudiced towards some of the characters, namely one of them that ends up becoming her friend. I think it's quite humanely beautiful to see this in fiction, it's almost like we could see Chaz realizing she's wrong and she treated someone in a way she wouldn't like to be treated herself and despite her fears of being close to the other person, she learned things about him and started to see him differently. Wouldn't it be awesome if in real life it could be that simple? I liked this part, where I can relate to a character by liking how she dealt with her prejudice and embraced a new friendship because of that.

The book has a lot of action and good scenes. I especially liked the ones about emotions, where characters had to deal with what the others meant and their reactions afterwards. I won0t forget the scene where Chaz risks her heart by going to Sully after discovering something she thought impossible about him, it's such a tender moment, loved it.
In the end, I really liked the book not only for it's great pace and action and scenes but also for the emotional parts that seemed very well placed.
I recommend it!


  1. I have this one in the TBR pile. I loved Games of Command by her...

  2. Well you are very convincing, Sonia! I'm tickled by the fact that you just read this recently at the time it popped up on my personal radar to pull it off my TBR shelf from more than six years ago and maybe read it this month. That's one crazy coincidence if you ask me!

    I tell you what--even if this doesn't win my TBR Challenge poll, I will make it fit into another month this year! I'm so intrigued now. I think I'd really like it, too.

  3. Sonia, I'm SO glad you enjoyed this book, not only for the sic fi action and adventure, but for the romance, characterization and subtle messages. The series gets better... I love the first 3 books of this series.

    You mention that Sinclair deals with "prejudice" and "racism" through Chaz's character. Well, this is not unusual for science fiction at all. Science fiction (and well-written science fiction romance) is known for dealing with contemporary political and sociological issues in a futuristic setting. Those are usually referred to as "social sci fi." Good sci fi is usually ahead of its time with social statements. For example, the "gender" issues, or "same sex love" issues have been a part of mainstream sci fi/fantasy books well-before it became popularized in m/m romance and lgbt circles. ;D

    So yeah... racism, prejudice, corporate takeovers, you will find all types of contemporary societal issues in science fiction. One of the reasons I LOVE reading it, besides the adventure and romance of it all!

  4. Ana, you should try it make a change from all that histprical romance... ;)

    Christine, ha ha there are no coincidences, it's destiny lol
    Well, it seems another book is going to win your poll, but I hope you can read this one soon and I swear I didn't read this on purpose it just happened to be in my february list!

    Hilcia...your mind is so perceptive it's amazing. Yes, there's lots of prejudice and social issues in these types of books...and I love them for that as well because I'm always hoping the heroes can overcome that and be wonderful.