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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Star Raiders by Elysa Hendricks

Star Raiders by Elysa Hendricks
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full (290 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Like two ill-aligned stars, Shyanne Kedar and Greyson Dane were destined to collide. She was a smuggler’s daughter, and he, an interstellar lawman. Their affair was scorching, dazzling…and ended like a supernova, in a blaze of betrayal.

Ten years later, the flames haven’t cooled. Shyanne’s lush body, the twist of her lips and the fire in her eyes—all radiate the same magnetism that ensnared Greyson before, and now he’s truly her prisoner. But as much as things have changed, they remain exactly the same. Danger threatens. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance. And though his tempting captor doesn’t know it, if Greyson’s plan succeeds, it will save mankind…and lose him the only woman he ever loved. This time, forever.

Star Raiders is a sci-fi fantasy that takes a reader on a twisted roller coaster ride of intrigue, shattered dreams, a romance that gives Karma a headache and an exciting climax with a sweet and satisfying ending.

Shyanne’s dad is a villain. And she’s got a chip on her shoulder about that. Despite it all, she still loves him and that’s clear throughout the book. Her emotions regarding her relationship with her father are varied and complex. In fact, I found Shyanne to be a very complicated character. She’s got a tough outer shell from the experiences that life has thrown her way. Yet inside, she’s the woman everyone remembers her to be. And that’s the intrigue – part of it anyway. What do people remember about their pasts? The mind is a powerful force. Shyanne is capable of unflappable loyalty, prickly anger and passionate about her beliefs. It’s the woman she is that captures completely the man sent to betray her, Greyson.

Greyson is a man who also has passion. Passion for what he believes is right and will do anything to pursue justice. He’s thwarted by the realization that justice should not be nor cannot be blind and he has to face what his decisions in the past have wrought. His character is burdened with knowledge too paradoxical to reveal in this review. His being privy to certain information provides the conflict and impetus for most, if not all his actions throughout the book. Even in space, politics is a pain in the nether regions. The strength of his personality comes through when he doesn’t run or hide when things get sticky, either in his job or his love life. For love does come knocking on his door but he gets a whopping big shock before things settle down. Poor guy -- that situation would have felled a lesser man.

The twists, turns and surprises come from secondary characters that have direct and lasting effects on both Shyanne and Greyson. I sort of figured out one but the other totally blind-sided me. This author sure knows how to throw a reader for an unsuspected loop. I was pretty impressed with the ramifications such a revelation caused. Delighted too. I mean, without such a bizarre twist the happy ending wouldn’t have been so sweet. It was a great idea.

The villain was a demented bad guy. In fact, I’d say he was the ultimate stalker – scary, genius and hiding in plain sight for decades. He was a very creepy character.

Star Raiders is a classic sci-fi romance with all of its fantastic ships, planets and their issues, and unusual beings. The heart of the book is the romance between Shyanne and Greyson. They are thwarted soul mates that even the coldness of space could not separate forever. I found this book to be a fascinating journey and Ms. Hendricks has a knack for surprise twists. It’s well worth reading.