Being an inveterate Star Wars fan, I couldn’t help noting the numerous reference points between Nighthawk and the Star Wars canon. Picture the Rebellion against the tyrannical Dynast, how a cynical smuggler tries to stay neutral while being drawn to the side of friends and justice. Toss in the Dynast’s arrogant daughter, whom the ruffian smuggler calls Princess, and watch the situation sizzle.
Talon is an intrepid smuggler who is trying to protect his brother Rand Markos, the leader of the Rebel forces. During a Lochnar raid, Talon takes the Dynast’s daughter, Kari Solis, hostage and makes off with her. The warrior-trained Kari defies him at every opportunity, until the tables are turned and they have to strike a wary alliance against Kari’s brother. The cruel Naill’s plan threatens to upset the delicate balance between Dynast and Rebels. Eventually, Kari must decide on which side she belongs and pay the price for her choice.
Talon is loyal and noble under his rugged exterior. He is a man of secrets, some of which are fairly obvious, others are more surprising and add vulnerability to his character. Both he and Kari are trained warriors, but being a warrior is more important to Kari than to Talon. She is troubled by her double heritage, trying to live up to her father’s expectations while mourning the death of her gentle mother. In coming to terms with whom she truly is, she frees herself from the constraints of forced filial duty.
Nighthawk is a futuristic romance that, from a science fiction perspective could be called a space opera. This implies that the plot and the characters are larger than life, and that the reader shouldn’t question the setting too closely. While the reason for the use of edged weapons instead of phasers is more or less believable, the scientific grounds for the universe of Nighthawk remain sketchy.
I found this read charming at face value and reasonably free of annoying details that would have jarred me out of reading mode. All my customary but-hows? showed up only after closing the book. Nighthawk is a good choice for a few hours of light entertainment among the stars.