Saturday, June 20, 2015

Linnea Sinclair - The Down Home Zombie Blues

In this steamy, suspenseful new novel from RITA Award-winning author Linnea Sinclair, a dangerously sexy space commander and an irresistibly earthy Florida police detective pair up to save the civilized galaxy . . . but can they save themselves from each other?
Bahia Vista homicide detective Theo Petrakos thought he'd seen it all. Then a mummified corpse and a room full of futuristic hardware sends Guardian Force commander Jorie Mikkalah into his life. Before the night's through, he's become her unofficial partner--and official prisoner--in a race to save the earth. And that's only the start of his troubles.
Jorie's mission is to stop a deadly infestation of biomechanical organisms from using Earth as its breeding ground. If she succeeds, she could save a world and win a captaincy. But she'll need Theo's help, even if their unlikely partnership does threaten to set off an intergalactic incident.
Because if she fails, she'll lose not just a planet and a promotion, but a man who's become far more important to her than she cares to admit.

Comment: I've enjoyed the sci-fi books I've read by this author previously. Like always, some were better than others, but I've come to accept I'm a fan of this author.
This book has been in the pile for months and I've scheduled it for this month at last.

This is the story of Jorie, a commander in a ship that comes to Earth to investigate what one of her undercover officers and a friend has discovered about their enemy's plans about zombies. However, things aren't good when she finds him and there's a crime scene in his house. She not only finds out he was murdered but humans have taken the case and are in possession of a special computer she needs to retrieve.
Theo Petrakos should be on vacation but he does his partner a favor and carries the computer to his house to hand in the next morning before leaving for his holidays. Jorie follows him and while trying to take the computer, a zombie attacks and Jorie reveals herself, they kill the zombie and Theo is taken to the ship. But the zombies are out there...can it be a random attack or something more?

This may sound confusing, but let it be told that the author writes sci-fi with romance and a lot of imagination. Usually her books feature space worlds and action and never set on Earth although most characters are of human genesis or descendent's and have human appearances.
Of all the books I've read, this is the first where the action happens mostly on Earth and features human interactions and situations.
I can't say it's a bad thing - it's not - but it does give a different vibe which is unlike the feel of the other books and most of all, changes from what I've come to think as the author's trademark settings.
I guess I was used to things very far from human/Earth-like.
I mean, characters have human traits and looks but aren't human and in this case many were and had to interact with those who weren't. I understand the interest in the comparison and clash but I confess I missed the different rules that happen in the other books.

I liked the main characters. Both Jorie and Theo have honor and are good people. They take their duty seriously and this is one of the things that puts them together and fighting to save humans from zombies while it would be easier to let people die and remove the zombie's threat later on.
Some things put Jorie and Theo's differences in evidence while little details bring them together. I liked things weren't easy breezy but not impossible to the point of sacrifices or permanent changes. The HEA is convincing and handy.

Theo and Jorie together are funny at times. The cultural and language differences make for some good scenes and help the romance feel better because they didn't have any way of dealing with each other unless they trusted each other way before they acted on their feelings. So, in a way, the love story was cute and believable for this setting.
Their personalities are well explored and I think any reader would appreciate the effort to know about them through their actions and thoughts and will to do the right thing.

The zombie part is imaginative although I admit sometimes I wish things were done faster. There are some plot segments I found a bit boring and hard to follow, not that the sci-fi parts were hard to imagine, but the way the author wrote made that more difficult than it had to, in my opinion. This happened randomly and not often so I think it's a matter of personal taste, other readers might not see it like that.

All in all, an imaginative book, very strong and recognizable plot points that allow the reader to enjoy but be wary of things happening. I don't think it's as engaging and alluring as other titles, not sure if it's because of the Earth environment or not, but it didn't wow me as much as one or two other titles.
Nevertheless, a good story and I'll be eager to finish the author's blacklist too.
Grade: 7/10

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