Today, Maggie and Alexandra tackle the second book in the Class 5 Series by Michelle Diener, Dark Deeds. The first book in the series, Dark Horse, made both of their Top Ten Lists for 2015. Does the second book live up to their expectations? We’ll find out! Here is Maggie’s summary of the novel:
Abducted from Earth and then used for slave labor, Fiona Russell has not had the best introduction to the wider universe. When her ship is boarded by a new alien species, she begs to go with them. She gets a concussion for her trouble. Proving third time lucky she is rescued by the Grih, humanlike aliens determined to get justice for everything from her concussed head to her abduction. But even while she deeply appreciates the rescue, she holds some secrets back. For Fiona has come to suspect that there’s something much bigger than just her abduction and subsequent abuse driving the Grih’s lust for justice – and whatever is happening, she has landed right in the thick of it.
Captain Hal Vakeri thought things were complicated enough when he was hunting the dangerous thieves who had wounded some of his crew. When his battleship chases them to a commercial vessel he finds not the pirates he was looking for but a woman abducted from Earth. Finding a new advanced sentient would be a big enough issue but this is the second human they’ve found in just a few short months. Discovering her has tons of political implications but it is the personal ramifications that concern Hal. For this lovely, brave woman captures more and more of his attention with every encounter they have – and unless he is very much mistaken, he has captured her interest as well. But a galaxy on the brink of war hardly seems like the best time and place to fall in love.
Maggie: I really love this series. I don’t know that I have ever read science fiction romance quite this good, especially of the space opera variety. What are your thoughts?
Alexandra: To be honest, I hadn’t read too many science fiction romances before this. Although I’d watch things like Star Trek, most romances either had too much sci-fi detail for me, or made out the hero to be too alien for me to contemplate. Dark Horse was the first I’d read in a while, and I’d really recommend it to anyone thinking about dipping their toes into science fiction romance. It actually got me going on a bit of a sci-fi romance binge for a while.
Maggie: Yes, it inspired me to look for other sci-fi romance too. It’s sad that there isn’t a whole lot going on in this market.
One of the few quibbles I had with the book actually came at the beginning. I understood Rose (the heroine of Dark Horse) learning the alien languages well and quickly since she was a linguist but Fiona seemed to learn at the same pace and she was an architect. I liked the character but that was a bit of a jolt. What did you think of Fiona? How did she compare to Rose in your opinion?
Alexandra: My first opinion of Fiona was that she was fierce. I actually didn’t think much about the language issue–I focused more on how articulate she was when confronting her abusers