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Monday, October 25, 2010

Space Fever by Kate Donovan

Space Fever by Kate Donovan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short (99 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Eglantine

He can save her planet, but only if she saves him first.

Cabrielle is glad her father never lived to see his defraction technology in the hands of the rebels. Now the only hope for her planet’s survival is Torr, the Zentarin who’s training Cortierra’s pilots.

Except Torr is suffering from an untimely case of lust fever—two years ahead of schedule. He must return home to mate with a Zentarin female, or die… Unless by some miracle a Cortierran female exists who might satisfy him.

Sleeping with the hunky offworlder isn’t exactly the way Cabbie planned to redeem the family name, but she’ll do anything to defend her home. Even use her body rather than her crack sharp-shooting skills. One feverish night later, Torr has his cure, and Cabbie finds herself lust-bonded for life. She willingly gives him her heart—until the truth behind his motives flings it back at her in pieces.

As Torr’s lust-mate, Cabbie makes an irresistible target for the rebels. When they kidnap her, intent on using her as a pawn, one thing is certain. Her frayed bond with Torr is Cortierra’s only hope.

Science Fiction is difficult to write in, and romantic SF is even more of a challenge. It’s good to find a story that performs adequately with this combination of genres. The plot of this story was interesting, and the characters were unique and likeable. The writing itself was also very easy to read, polished and professional.  The editing is faultless, so no frustrations for those who are somewhat finicky with spelling, grammar and typos.

Yet there are several issues I had with Space Fever which shaved the rating down to three and a half books.

My first problem is the basic premise. The author makes the mistake of dividing people into planets, and having planets interact like countries. It was a constant niggle for me as I read: planets are huge things. I suppose it’s possible, if you have numerous planets with sentient life on them, to have a few which are populated by a united people with one government. However, I can’t convince myself those would be anything but the exception to the rule.  Perhaps this story is was simply too short to delve into such details, but I felt it was still too devoid of any sense of diversity that should exist on any planet (just look at our own!).

Secondly, I kept feeling there was a kind of distance between me and the characters.  I never felt deeply involved in what was happening, more that it was playing out in front of me than I was really inside them. In fact, I was left with a kind of smooth impression of the whole environment as well - smooth in terms of not having much texture and detail to it. Again this can perhaps be explained by the shortness of the story.

In spite of all this, Space Fever is an entertaining read. The plot is great, sexy and interesting with unexpected twists and turns.  If you can put aside your inner nerd and just enjoy a good story, it’s definitely worth a look.