Series: The Sectors #11.5
on November 4, 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
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arissa Channer, a tough no-nonsense mercenary in the Sectors, is celebrating success on her last job and a big bonus, with no slightest thought of taking on another assignment anytime soon. Out for a night of carousing with her friends at a third rate carnival on a backwater planet, she walks into the tent of a fake fortune teller and finds herself confronting the most intriguing man she’s ever seen. But something’s wrong, ominous currents lie beneath the surface of their encounter and Larissa can’t leave well enough alone.
Samell, a powerful, high born empathic priest, has been kidnapped from his own primitive planet along with a number of his people, and sold to the shady operator of an interstellar carnival. Kept enslaved, pretending to be a fortune teller while forced by his captor to steal information from the minds of all who come before him, Samell despairs of every breaking free.
Until Larissa walks into his tent and he recognizes the warrior who might mean the difference between life and death.
The situation becomes dire when Larissa and Samell come to the attention of the Shemdylann pirates who kidnapped him in the first place and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors.
While this story returns to a fourth tale about a one of the enslaved psychic aliens sold to a human, there is a twist. This alien is a priest and his ‘warrior’ is a tough female ex special forces now turned mercenary. I was all for the change and seeing a tough female warrior in action.
The Fated Stars is #11.5 in The Sectors series and can be read standalone, but personally I thought getting the earlier books about members of Samell’s race and their adventures starting with #8.5 Star Cruise: Stowaway, then Danger in the Stars and Two Against the Stars filled in some back story for this one.
The Fated Stars opens with Larissa Channer, a successful merc, just finished up a job and got a bonus with her payout. A little R&R at a scrubby carnival has her suspicious about the way the fortune teller is restrained and seems under duress. But, then he sends telepathic thoughts of needing help to escape. Larissa thinks it will be a simple rescue attempt because she doesn’t realize who and what the fortune teller is beyond a telepath. But, she relishes a challenge and doesn’t let a fail thwart her or even the guy’s fatalistic attitude about his dreary slavery. Samell seems way out of her starlane, but he doesn’t seem to think so.
The Fated Stars has an interesting dynamic in that the tough military type doing the rescue and protecting is a woman and the helpless alien in need of rescue is a male priest. Even in his own culture, Samell is aware that the legend is more apt about priestess and warrior. Samell is a powerful psychic, but his power has been kept as imprisoned as his physical body by an alien tech and he is forced to use his telepathy to read thoughts for his masters. He’s resigned to his fate and needs Larissa’s combat boot up the butt to believe that she can get him free and safe, even if the situation is a bit tricky. They both think they are undeserving of the other and I loved that Samell did step up and make it clear to Larissa that he finds her beautiful and attractive and he can respect her skill and see her worth so that she eventually starts to believe him and believe in that side of herself.
I love some good alien action especially against the formidable types in this series so I was glad to see the big climax action scene and a nice developed denouement after spiced up with a bit of political intrigue.
This series has offered up so many wonderful settings, situations, and characters that I am in high anticipation for what comes next. Sci-Fi romance fans who like far future space, aliens, and a touch of fantasy along with a swift and spicy romance for an engaging pair should definitely give the book/series a go.
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