Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just Finished Reading... A Hero for the Empire by Christina Wescott

After hardly doing any reading all year because I'd been so busy, in the last few weeks I've built up quite a nice TBR (to-be-read) pile between e-books on my iPad mini and a stack of good old fashioned paperbacks, which I'll admit, I get more enjoyment out of. I think its something to do with the fact that when I'm looking at a screen, I'm usually working, so I can't relax the same way reading an e-book as I do when I've got the printed version in my hand.
Anyway, enough psycho-analysis, I'm here to talk about the latest book I finished!
Now, I'm actually pretty picky about my sci-fi romance, which is why I don't read as much as I either should (to keep up with what's going on in the market, etc) or would like. However, both the blurb and extract I found of A Hero for the Empire online sounded pretty good, so I went ahead and got an e-book copy from iTunes, which is where I get a majority of my e-books these days.
I found this book to be quite well written, the action scenes and description done very well, though I felt it was a bit rough and ready to start with. We're tossed into this world with little reference, and some of the terms weren't really explained, so it took me until well into the book to fully understand the political and military side of it. However, I can't talk, because I know how hard opening chapters are, and the same problem -- rough opening chapters where the story struggles to get going -- is a flaw of my own that I'm constantly struggling with.
Anyway, the other thing was that the romance side of things also started off a bit rough. The two main characters were instantly attracted to each other, and were thinking about sleeping together within like a few hours of meeting. We've all read books where this works, but in this case, it was a little jarring. I actually think it would have worked better if the author had said they were attracted to one another, and left it at that, because following shortly after, the romance got pushed back in favor of the story, which felt more natural and allowed the characters to come together more organically.
This was one of those books that starts off good, but ends up being great. The further I got into the story, the more addicted I was, the more on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what was going to happen and how in the heck the author was going to pull together a convincing happily-ever-after with all the things going wrong all over the place. But she did it, and she did it really well, with plenty of action and the exact right amount of romance to round things out.
I'm really looking forward to seeing where the author goes with the series next, as I think (I hope) it will only continue to get better from here.
All in all, this was a great sci-fi romance read, one I think is a good representation of the genre we're all hoping will gain ground and popularity. Oh, I also have to say that even though I'm not a cat person, I really loved the psychic cat. He had his own great personality and called the hero his "person" which was just adorable! Anyone on the look out for good sci-fi romance should check this book out.

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