Wednesday, February 19, 2014

TBR Challenge: Linnea Sinclair - Shades of Dark

Before her court-martial, Captain Chasidah "Chaz" Bergren was the pride of the Sixth Fleet. Now she's a fugitive from the justice of a corrupt Empire. Along with her lover, the former monk, mercenary, and telepath Gabriel Ross Sullivan, Chaz hoped to leave the past light-years behind until the news of her brother Thad's arrest and upcoming execution for treason. It's a ploy by Sully's cousin Hayden Burke to force them out of hiding, and it works.
With a killer targeting human females and a renegade gen lab breeding jukor war machines, Chaz and Sully already had their hands full of treachery, betrayal not to mention each other. Throw in Chaz's Imperial ex-husband, Admiral Philip Guthrie, and a Kyi-Ragkiril mentor out to seduce Sully, and not just loyalties but lives are at stake. For when Sully makes a fateful choice, changing their relationship forever, Chaz must also choose between what duty demands and what her heart tells her she must do.

Comment: For this month, the challenges' theme is series catch up. I have tons of these so to pick one wouldn't be hard. When I was fixing the challenge page my eyes went to one of my shelves and the first boo part of a series I saw was this one, so this was pretty much my reason to pick sci fi romance, just a random look.
Linnea Sinclair writes sci fi romances of course, and this book is the second in her Dock Five series. So far the series has 4 books, I have no idea if more are to come, but obviously I'm late on this one, so another good - secondary though - reason to read this for the challenge.

This book follows the things that happened in the first book, Gabriel's Ghost. In that book, Gabriel rescued Chaz from prison and asked her help to destroy a common enemy, while they dealt with possibilities in their relationship and consequently, fell in love. Gabriel, or Sully, had a secret he shared with Chaz and she not only didn't push him away, she welcomed him and proved she loved him; it was a romantic story indeed.
Now, their mission goes on but things get more complicated when other people's ideas get in the way, especially people they trust at first. Help isn't always welcome when it comes to hidden agendas neither Sully nor Chaz know about and perhaps when they do it's already too late to solve things...

I was very eager when I started the book because I knew it would feature two people in love and I couldn't wait to see their relationship solid and true. One of the best things about series is to see the confirmation of everything the characters have worked for settled and strong and even hopeful.
This subject actually left a certain negative impression in my mind, though. The way the story ends isn't very clear on how things stand in reality for them. We know they are together but what happened during the book shaped them differently...I have to confess I finished the book a bit worried about them, it's almost like something was left untold, unsolved, in the air... the following books in the series will have different protagonists, so I worry about the relationship between Sully and Chaz. This left a worrying note for me...I hope it can be explained or solved in a future boo, but the way it ended wasn't good enough for my taste.

As for the plot, once more we see the author's talent with imagination and description of situations and characters not easy to portray so readers can fully understand the author's vision. I'm still amazed by how easy it seems to see what the author pictured in her own head...I guess it's a matter of talent because many authors write sci fi and honestly many are boring but m Sinclair does a great job in describing all the machines, beings and even weapons in a completely made up world. Very interesting.

Also interesting is the emotions played here. After reading the first book the idea of prejudice seemed a key stone in the plot and once more, a feeling, an emotion, sort of, seems to play a good role in this novel as well. I'm talking about expectations. 
Perhaps it was me, after all every reader sees things from their own POV so, every comment is personal and different... Well, in this story both Sully and Chaz have expectations about their relationship, and I think this was played well by the author. But then a new character showed up and created situations where everyone had their own expectations about behavior, opinions...attitudes. People are just wired to expect something, whether feelings or actions. I think in this novel expectations proved too much for some things...I think the fact Sully expected something and trusted what those expectations meant was one of the reasons things went wrong at some point. I'm not talking about him and Chaz but it got to them too. If people wouldn't have to follow expectations and the consequences of failed actions...I mean, in this case, Sully trusted someone and expected a certain result but things got really complicated and something bad happened. I don't know if those are expectations one can live with in the end... Expectations can shape out ideas and our actions but after the dust settles, can we really say it was a god thing to follow them?
Something to really think about...

In the end, a good story where one can see the writing skills and technical talents of the author. As for the content, some troubles for me there but I can' say it was bad, just too much in the air, in my opinion. Let's see the next book - when I read it - and if it's as good as people say it is.
Grade: 7/10


  1. Oh boy! The ending of this book was quite controversial when it was first released. Some people loved it and others did not. However, please, please, read the third book Sonia. :) If you don't, you'll miss a fantastic installment in this series.

    I'm also wondering if Sinclair will EVER continue with the Dock Five series? The 4th installment was my least favorite (graded B), but still . . . I want more from Sinclair.

    1. This book is exactly like its title, many shades of dark in there...
      I was told we know what happens with Sully in the next book...yes, I will read it, I'm buying it next week!