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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blink by Sandra Sookoo

Blink by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Eirelander Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Which man is her destiny? Charlotte Jackson knows everything about her small portion of the galaxy but nothing about the secrets of her heart.

Her life is as unstable as a supernova when her ship—the Copernicus—is visited by a blue-haired alien who calls himself Garreth. He tells her he’d like to build an alliance with Earth to improve the dire problems of both their planets. As if intergalactic space negotiations weren’t complicated enough, Charlotte finds herself more than a little attracted to the man who she should be thinking about in only the most professional terms. This does nothing to make her second-in-command—and would-be lover Jax—any more relaxed about the whole cooperation.

When her ship is attacked by the very beings Garreth wants to save them from, Charlotte and Jax will have to put their feelings for the blue-haired alien aside and focus on saving not only themselves but the entire galaxy. What the three find at the end could be the most valuable commodity of all.

Jax has patiently tried to win Charlotte’s affection for years. Will his efforts be rewarded or will Garreth sweep Charlotte off her feet?

Charlotte was a very well developed character. She was a blend of strength and vulnerability, and I found it very easy to like her. Charlotte has found herself in command of the Copernicus, but it isn’t a life she has chosen. Her father has pushed her into a career that she feels ill-suited for. Charlotte is constantly haunted by the thought that her best might not be good enough. Despite being uncomfortable with her command, she genuinely cares about her ship, the crew, and their mission. I admired her determination. However, in her determination to prove that she’s a capable leader, she has closed off her personal life completely. She knows that Jax has feelings for her, but she keeps him at arm’s length and buries her own feelings for him. Watching Charlotte struggle with her feelings was frustrating at times. One minute she and Jax would be on the verge of a breakthrough in their relationship and the next minute Charlotte would be pushing him away insisting that she was in command of the ship. Then Garreth entered the picture.

Ms. Sookoo did an excellent job of presenting both Jax and Garreth as love interests for Charlotte. Jax has been in love with Charlotte almost from the moment he first saw her. However, he respects her feelings and hesitation to become involved with him. His patience was very admirable and made him a very likable character. I was secretly hoping Charlotte would choose him. However, I also thought Garreth was appealing in his own way. Garreth is a Daridian. Daridians are a highly intelligent race that repress emotions. They reminded me of the Vulcan race in Star Trek.

When Garreth meets Charlotte he is immediately taken with her. It was very interesting watching him learn to cope with the variety of new emotions that Charlotte inspired in him. However, Garreth isn’t nearly as patient as Jax. Garreth offers Charlotte the chance to leave her former life behind and start a new one with him. Garreth’s offer is made even more tempting because it presents Charlotte with the opportunity to escape the pressure of her currently situation. I have often read stories in which the heroine was presented with two men to choose from. Usually it is pretty clear early on in the story who the heroine will choose. However, Ms. Sookoo kept things interesting throughout the story by presenting the benefits of choosing either man. I really didn’t know who Charlotte would choose until the story was nearly over.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about Blink was that I felt it was very accessible even to people who don’t normally read science fiction. Even though there were two different alien species contained in the story, Ms. Sookoo described them and their society’s so well that it was easy to picture them. This is not a small feat, especially since she accomplished this within the limited space of a shorter story.

I really enjoyed reading Blink. The characters were interesting, and the romantic dilemma Charlotte faced was compelling. I recommend it to fans of romantic science fiction, or anyone looking to try out the genre for the first time.