By. CJ Cade
The Blurb: This Tygress is in a race for her life… in more ways than one.
Tygean Mia Jag has grown up in the shadow of her famous older brother. But in Octiron's Great Space Race, she sees a chance to prove herself a space navigator as talented as he.
Partnered with a stranger to make the difficult and dangerous race in an unknown star system? No problem--she'll simply use her Tyger charm to beguile her partner into doing things her way, and her Tyger senses to guide them to a sure win.
But when her partner for the race is announced, her plans are sucked into a black hole.
Instead of one of the more easily managed races, her partner is from one of the most feared and little known--an Aurelian. Ferocious and warlike, they rule their isolated quadrant of the stars without mercy, refusing to join the InterGalactic Alliance or allow diplomatic missions to cross their borders.
And Aurelian Prince D’Arek A’Renoq looks like he could give lessons in laying waste to opponents--starting with her.
Worst of all, she'd probably enjoy it.
First off, I just loved the concept. Different species of aliens volunteering to take part in a Great Space Race where your partner is chosen for you. The setting is perfect for fantastic action scenes, clever problem solving, and delicious sexual tension.
Ms. Cade does a fantastic job delving right into our main character's personalities, motivations and prejudices. Mia and Arek have volunteered for this game for completely different reasons and in the beginning, neither are happy with who've they been partnered with.
But soon enough, as they move from one challenge to the next, they begin to see how their strengths complement one another perfectly and eventually, they couldn't imagine be partnered with anyone else.
In the book Arek says, "One would think that as an Aurelian I would be wary of judging a people by rumor, I won't do so again". This is definitely one of the most prominent themes throughout the book; to not judge people solely based on hearsay and gossip.
The imagery is fantastic and minor characters are developed just enough to add several layers to the plot. As we meet the different players and are pulled into the pageantry of the contest, I couldn't help but think of The Hunger Games (without children fighting to the death, of course). Although, there is some nefarious activity in play that adds even more excitement to the story.
It was fun to watch Mia and Arek's feelings grow for one another and the "interview" episodes were a nice touch to help develop the characters. Overall, the story has a good pace and there's enough twists and turns to keep you on edge. Having said that, I did think the ending was a little rushed.
Ms. Cade has created an intriguing world and has written this story beautifully. I make a habit of collecting "new" words from the books I read and this story is packed with fantastic vocabulary.
This is a great start to an exciting series and I will absolutely be reading the rest.
What did you think?