Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Endeavor #1
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Dates Read: January 20-21, 2019
Synopsis: Tess Bailey: the galaxy’s Most Wanted.
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear…
Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm…and that special something that makes you want to kick him.
With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it’s too late.
I read this for the third challenge for Romanceopoly. Kickass Lane: Read an urban fantasy with a picture of a kickass heroine on the cover.
As a someday librarian, a couple of things appealed to me in this book: Shade’s searching skills, which tells me that either Bouchet or someone in her circle knows how to search for information effectively, and Shade, Tess, and Susan’s dicussions of books and the power of imagination and words. I don’t plan to be an archivist, but the preservation of books is also a soft spot for me. It’s very reminiscent of Fahrenheit 451. That kind of stuff will win me over every time.
The worldbuilding in this novel is slow and steady, with Bouchet dropping in little but significant details here and there as the reader gradually gains an understanding of how the societies operate on the different planets under the rule of the Overseer, along with the workings of certain dissenting groups of which our heroine is a member. I was worried about this going into the book, but I was happy to discover that Bouchet does a wonderful job letting the reader into this world she has created. I’m normally not into sci-fi — I’m more of a fantasy girl — but I was pleasantly surprised.
I found Bouchet’s use of relgion interesting. Along with creating the Sky Mother, which could just about be a caricature of any of our world’s religions, she created devout and zealous followers, along with agnostics and non-believers. Those four groups are what make it a credible religion within her fictional world. I’m interested to see what role it will play in subsequent books.
Tess’s meeting and then owning Bonk was a definite highlight for me. I love it when animals are characters in books with personalities almost as strong as the people’s. How Shade treated him was also a treat.
I hope to get to know Jax and Fiona a lot more in the next book. They have stories that need to be told, and I’m looking forward to learning about them.
The one area which brings this book down from a full 5-star read for me is unfortunately the romance. It was fine, but I just wish it had gone a bit deeper. I can even get behind their week-long relationship, but I wanted to feel the pull between Tess and Shade a bit more strongly than I did. I hope their connection will be deepened in subsequent books.
- Truly scary and adversarial situations were the sieve through which real friendships were formed, where the watery and weak washed through and away and those left standing beside you were the solid units a person could count on for life. (45)
- “Just novels?” Something wry colored his tone. “What’s more seditious than imagination, Tess Bailey?” (87)
- Not everyone needed bars to be locked up, and what I saw around me was evidence of entire populations falling into complacency for the sake of personal peace. (159)
- “Is it wrong to try? Maybe what’s wrong is never putting yourself out there for fear of losing things you don’t even have.” (292)
- “You are alive now, and this is your time to influence events and outcomes.” (319)
- “The day you decide to lift your voice, don’t be surprised when people listen.” (319)