Series: The Sectors #14.25
on June 2, 2020
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
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Newly graduated from a prestigious interstellar medical school, Dr. Saffia Mandell has been assigned to the Haven Two colony on the galaxy’s outer rim as the only doctor for some 2000 human residents. She’s counting the days until her five years there is up, trying to adjust to rural living after life in the crowded Inner Sectors and fighting her attraction to Chief Ranger Micah Navonn. She’s dreading the upcoming tourist season when the rich and pampered will descend on the planet for the scenic wonders and novel sports opportunities and no doubt inundate her little clinic but the colony depends on the seasonal income to survive.
As the senior official for his people, the Calinurra, the indigenous inhabitants of Haven Two, Micah enforces the treaty, regulates the tourist permits, patrols the forests and resists his fascination with Dr. Mandell. He never expected to be involved with a human woman and doesn’t want to believe in the concept of a fated mate. He wants to keep his life simple and isn’t ready for any long term commitment. Besides Saffia keeps proclaiming she’ll be leaving when her appointment is up in four and a half years so why should he risk his heart?
Then a ship arrives unexpectedly carrying a very ill little girl and soon the deadly virus is spreading through Haven Two. The colony authorities are desperate to cover up the problem to preserve the all-important tourist season and Saffia and Micah have to work together to battle the outbreak, the local administration and their undeniable feelings for each other.
A rookie Sectors doctor is tested when an alien plague is unleashed on the remote human colony on Haven Two and her strongest alley is an attractive male from the enigmatic native Calinurran race. With each book in the series, the far future space and alien adventures are a sure bet when it comes to reader satisfaction.
Interstellar Plague is entry #14.25 in The Sectors series and one of a duo that focuses on Haven Colony. It can standalone easily.
Dr. Saffia Mandell agreed to be sent wherever the Sectors Medical Service required her for a five year stint in exchange for help with her student medical loans. Her goal is the work her five at the Haven Two colony clinic for the local colonists and the big tourist seasons and then high tail it back to the Inner Sectors to work on a city hospital in one of the poorer districts. She will do her best job possible and then get back to the Inner Sectors. But, a mysterious plague disrupts her quiet, controlled life.
Micah Navonn is Calinurran and retired Special Forces. He has returned to his homeworld after ten years away. He is the Ranger who polices the wild territory around the human colony and keeps people safe who are permitted to do outdoor activities in the nature preserve. His people have a strong spiritual connection and some psychic gifts so he is well aware his soul is being tugged toward the new human doctor. He has no intention of acting on it because Dr. Mandell has made it clear she isn’t sticking around. Too bad fate keeps throwing her in his path and he doesn’t really want to resist her after spending time together. Besides, Saffia needs all the help she can get when the colony is overrun with a deadly contagion.
Interstellar Plague felt a little too close to home after the year or so when the Covid 19 pandemic first hit with a vengeance, but that experience definitely made me see quickly that the author took the time to build an authentic situation when the colonists and the doctor were dealing with the alien plague that was brought to their world. From how the governing body to individual colonists handled themselves, to how Saffia faced the biggest challenge of her short career, this rang true to the plot of the story.
I enjoyed the intro to this new alien world and the Calinurra people as well as the human small resort town that made up the backdrop. Saffia was the focal character with Micah getting a few moments of narration. Saffia and Micah were great together and I could appreciate the romance development between them. I was glad the author let them have their time before the dire situation of the plague took front and center. Micah was a capable leader, but I appreciated how he respected Saffia as a medical leader and as a bright, intelligent woman and she learned to open herself up to appreciating new experiences and finding appreciation for something outside her previous long range plan. I really appreciated the epilogue and the story ended in a good place. I was glad to see there is at least one other book that returns to Haven Two and Saffia and Micah.
All in all, another abso-fab entry in the series. The balance of action and romance plot was done well. The sci-fi element was mostly futuristic med tech since this world is kept deliberately rustic, but there was some interesting alien moments, too. Those who enjoy slightly spice romance and a strong action plot should definitely check out this book and the whole series.
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