I received an advanced review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Escapee : Repelling the Invasion
by Edward Hoornaert | 2016 | 262 Pages
A Disillusioned Soldier
Hector Dukelsky, an upper-class career officer, yearns to fight a righteous war instead of defending corporate interests on Banff, an isolated mining moon. That dream seems dead when his entire command is slaughtered while he’s away, leaving him alone in smouldering rubble with no chance to survive, let alone strike back at the enemy.
A Pilot with a Chip on Her Shoulder
Catt Sayer, a working-class fugitive from the law, earns a meager income carrying supplies on a decrepit airship, but her hard-won life vanishes when invaders capture Banff. While searching for survivors, she rescues Hector and flies him to safety. But he doesn’t want safety. He wants her to risk her life on a hopeless journey to attack the enemy headquarters.
A Dying Moon
Catt is sure Banff will kill them long before the enemy can … yet she agree s to Hector’s scheme, certain he’ll quit after experiencing one of the moon’s eruptions or ferocious storms. But he doesn’t quit, and slowly his noble dream—and his love—conquer her heart. She pits her life and love against Banff’s lethal environment, even though the only reward for success will be the opportunity to face ten thousand enemy warriors.
Escapee can sort of be summed up as The African Queen, but in the future, on a moon that is falling apart, and with far more sex than the character of the source film or novel ever had. Unless I’m completely mis-remembering the Hepburn & Bogart film.
It was actually that very same sexual component which weakened this book for me. The relationship between two characters who start out hating each other seemed especially rushed in its progression.
Yes, life or death situations do funny things to hormones, but the relationship wasn’t helped by the fact that sexual scenes often happened during events or moments of crises that seemed totally outlandish timing-wise. I do admit I read very little romance, but the believably could’ve been better. The love story wasn’t as impactful as it could’ve been.
However, romance aside, this book was entertaining and I did end up enjoying a great many things within it. The characters were well realized in their personalities and motivations. The world itself, complete with a war, the technology of busted airships, and alien creatures, was wonderfully inventive and well described, and the plot (despite being loosely based on a decades-old source) was twisty and exciting and left me wondering where things would end up.
In short, it was a fun read, albeit one with a few flaws that perhaps more hard-core romance fans would be less bothered by.
(This is technically the second book in the series, based on my internet-pecking, though the first was about characters related to the protagonist’s here. Aside from a scene early on where I felt like I was missing some back ground information, this book can be read as a standalone.)