Note from Lilyn: This review should have been done months ago. However, the former crew member who said she would do it even though she was leaving the crew never followed through. Tracy didn’t like the idea of a book left in the ether that we said we were going to review, so she took one for the team since no one else was particularly inclined to read a sci-fi romance at the time.
Rediscovering love at the worst possible time
Sienna Dukelsky had been the most promising student pilot at Keening AstroSpace Academy. She inexplicably settles for a routine, unglamorous job guiding incoming spaceships to safe berths at Farflung Space Station. Rumors, never verified, blamed her surprising decision on a boyfriend who got expelled from Keening.
Crispin Hunt, fleeing enemy forces, is greeted by a tugship captained by Sienna, his former girlfriend. Love rekindles–until an old betrayal boils up. Her ship loses power while aimed dead on at the space station, forcing Sienna to confront the terrifying truth about Crispin and his cargo. Her routine job suddenly becomes the most important in the entire galaxy.
Title: Constellation XXI (Repelling the Invasion #3) | Author: Edward Hoornaert
Publisher: Self-published |Pub. Date: 14 February 2019 | Pages: 167
ASIN:B07MT5VZ4W | Genre: Sci Fi/Romance | Language: English | Triggers: None
Rating: 2 out 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration
Constellation XXI (Repelling the Invasion #3) Review
“…at the instant all the ship’s systems died, she was indulging in an erotic daydream of the glorious affair she’d had with Crispin Hunt while at Keening AstroSpace Academy.”
Well folks, I branched out a little to help Lilyn out with a review. While I sometimes read and enjoy some romance and sci-fi, a combination of the two is not something I normally gravitate towards. With romance, I like strong female leads with believable actions, and I like character driven sci-fi for the most part.
I pretty much ran into issues with this read from the first chapter. On the first page in the ship the MC is captain of suddenly becomes “dead in the water”. Or deep space, rather. Instead of immediately jumping to action, the MC states the above as her first thought. Then she thinks its a prank by someone who wants to pick on her. Finally, she’s worried that others will deride and belittle her for her errors. Come on. Right away this was missing the strong lead I look for, and honestly, I didn’t find those actions believable. Dead ship in space? Get your butt in gear, girl! I know I would.
There is a stronger female side character that comes in a bit later. Vallant is pretty cool and I liked her well enough despite the “strong women must be brutes” stereotype she is designed with. I got definite Private Vasquez vibes, but not close enough. A combination of the two ladies as the MC would have been amazing.
As far as the plot goes, I wanted more of the sci-fi side to things. There is some cool technology here including a ship that can receive commands from the captain’s thoughts, without the need for verbal commands. Once the MC’s love interest arrived, the neat stuff took a backseat to all of that. Add in the fact that a lot of the later action also plays sidecar to a romance that just didn’t work for me, and I was left wanting.
This book is #3 in a series, but it reads well as a stand alone book. I probably won’t seek out the other books in the series, but perhaps one day I’ll try another of the author’s works. I had real issues with this one.
Note: Lilyn has reviewed works from Ed Hoornaert before, including one she particularly loved: Alien Contact for Kid Sisters. Check her review out here.
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Tracy joined Sc-Fi and Scary in September 2018. She reviews horror books for the site and bemoans our general lack of grammar, but puts up with us because she loves us anyway. Feel free to reach out on Twitter and Instagram at @tracy_reads79, or on Goodreads as well!
Tracy is also part of the Ladies of Horror Fiction crew.