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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Borealis: A Space Anthology, Book 2 by Stephanie Burkhart, Esther Mitchell, Shea McMaster

Borealis: A Space Anthology, Book 2 by Stephanie Burkhart, Esther Mitchell, Shea McMaster
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

In orbit over a deserted outpost at the edge of conquered space sits an aging space station under the control of the Trans Planetary Protectorate. The Borealis is slowly falling apart as the Protectorate funnels its massive resources into the border wars and keeping the outlaying systems in line, as insurrections break out.

Shadows and Light by Stephanie Burkhart

Although used as a controlled -- and controlling -- substance in the Borealis prisons, Uudon is a powerfully addictive drug. Abuse runts rampant, and the violence that has been directly linked to Uudon use is staggering. Nowhere is this more true than on Borealis, where the poor and forgotten will do nearly anything for this drug that will take away the sharp edge of their pain and supposedly make life a little easier to live... until they need their next fix. If they can't get it, their hazed world turns into hell... and depending on their degree of addition -- death may follow.

Over the years, the Rebellion has successfully infiltrated every level of the TPP and has slowly been chipping away at their power from their very foundations. Elijah Kess has been aboard Borealis for nearly half a cycle, working as a lieutenant on the Enforcer squad, and gathering information.
B So, when he starts suspecting someone is poking around about the Uudon trade on the ship, he has no idea that person has been sent by the Rebellion and his own family. Elijah and Persephone are both strong willed people, and both think they know the best way to handle things... as they trip over each other at every turn, they have to decide to either work together -- or shoot each other -- whichever comes first.

Liberty's Flight by Esther Mitchell

B Libby ended up on the Borealis after her attempt to escape her brutal and domineering husband was thwarted by a freighter captain with ice-blue eyes and a dangerous energy. Desperate to find something better for her young daughter, Nala, she thought she was doing the right thing. Now, she's stuck in hell.

She works as a bar wench in one of the many bars on the station, but if she can't find another way to live, she may have to give in to the demands of Jake "Skins" Ruby and join his working girls. When Sam, the mysterious freighter captain from her past, rescues her from a bar brawl and offers to help rescue her daughter from her ex-husband's plots to use the girl to his own ends, Libby finds the 'something better' she always wanted. Purpose. Now, the three of them just need to get off the Borealis alive.

Bleu Lies by Shea McMaster

Commander Kal Raines began questioning the wisdom and guidance of the TPP when they exiled him to the Borealis. But, he's loyal if nothing else. Since then, he's questioned every choice he's made in the name of the TPP. Summer Merriweather has worked for the Rebellion under many names and in many situations, and now she's on Borealis. When Summer crosses his path, she brings even more choices into question and Kal sees his loyalties have been thrown to the feet of swine. When he realizes he has the chance to help in the ultimate overthrow of the TPP¿ he stands and the precipice and must either step back or jump. Step back, and let the Rebellion die¿ Jump¿ and join Summer in an ongoing, stealthy battle to strengthen the rebellion and perhaps someday overthrow the TPP.

In orbit around Sestus-3 sits an aging space station under the control of the Trans Planetary Protectorate. The Borealis is slowly falling apart as the Protectorate funnels its massive resources into the border wars and keeping the outlaying systems in line. The Borealis is a hive of villainy where anything can be bought or sold -- anything or anyone -if the price is right. These are the stories of the people on both sides of the law, the beings who inhabit the Borealis.

Shadows of Light by Stephanie Burkhart

What begins as a routine chase through the corridors of the Borealis, quickly becomes an investigation of sinister events on Borealis by undercover agent Elijah Kess. Persephone Talon, owner of Korn, the most popular bar on Borealis, has no love for the TPP, and is also working undercover, although she sees Elijah as one of the enemy. So how can she be attracted to him so strongly, and why does she instinctively trust him with her very life?

Liberty’s Flight by Ester Mitchell

Liberty “Libby” Ardine arrived on Borealis as a stowaway on Samuel Hanniford’s ship. Running from an abusive husband, she needs to protect her daughter Nala at all costs. When she crosses paths with Sam after two long years, she fears that all she has fought for will be ripped away. Then, when Nala is kidnapped, the only hope for her safe return is to trust Sam and the protection that he offers, even if she is afraid she could lose her heart to the captain. Can she trust this man to bring her daughter back, and save her as well?

Bleu Lies by Shea McMaster

Summer Merriweather is just one of her many names, and she is one of the best at what she does for the rebellion. That is, until she runs up against Kal Raines, commander of the Borealis. That makes her job there a whole lot more difficult, and the arrival of her teenaged brother throws a big monkey wrench into the plans as well. Its hard to stay below the radar when everything seems to be going against her-especially her very traitorous heart telling her that Kal is the one for her. Can she manage to carry out her mission under the commander’s very watchful eye?

This second installment of the Borealis anthology is every bit as entertaining as the first. I was delighted to see old friends back in this book, and I love that some characters carry over from story to story. I enjoyed catching up on the happenings of those from book one, and the characters in book two are all intriguing and well crafted. I also loved the surprises in each story, making reading this an enjoyable experience.

The unique atmosphere of the Borealis is refreshing, as it is not the bright and shiny perfect example of technology that so many “space operas” depict, but rather a view of the decrepit and seedy side that is always so much more interesting to delve into.

This is highly recommended for those who like equal doses of romance, science fiction and danger, with some humor thrown in to ease the tension.