Author: Erin Kellison
Series: Red Rock Alien Mail Order Brides #2
He’s there to court a bride on behalf of his captain; she needs to start over, preferably as far from Earth as possible…
The last unregulated vortex in the galaxy is located in the Red Rock mountains of an out-of-the-way world called Earth. Refuge to outlaws, space pirates, and deserters from the Light Wars, Red Rock is the place where a captain of an interstellar vessel can warp through the vortex to go back in time. Some do so to right a wrong, some for vengeance, and some to thwart death…chrono-repercussions be damned.
After a long and intense book, the quick snack that is Axion is more than welcome. I was pleasantly surprsied with the first book of this saga and its continuation doesn’t disappoint, either. Yes, it’s a bit weaker than the previous book, but it still delivers what I was looking for. Who could have guessed something so entertaining could be hidden behind such hunky covers? I’ll try to keep this review simple.
The story continues several weeks after the events of the first book. This time we follow Nina as she is chosen to become the new wife ouf a Counselor of the Light. Her whole life she has been dreaming about jumping in a ship (sorry, vessel) and go to space, so she doesn’t want to miss this oportunity. That was her plan until a Cowboy from the future with a familiar and unexpeced face warns Nina against the many dangers of accepting the offer. In order to unveil the mystery, she has to team up with Leif, a former Pact soldier and a thorn in her life. Will the running from danger get them closer or farther apart?
As in the previous book, we are in front of a pretty entertaining adventure with aliens, space conspiracies and time travel. A crazy mix that is displayed with an easiness for which I must congratulate the author most sincerely. Pulling something like this off without butchering any of the aspects of the book is what I like most of this saga. The story, the characters, the worldbuilding and the romance are rather simple, but pretty well linked together. It may look like a bulky machinery, but it runs much more smoothly than some elegant models. But if I compare this book to the first part of the saga, the shadows of Axion get more definition. There is not as much action as in the first one. I missed a good skirmish or two as the cherry on top. I don’t want to say this time the story is boring. Not at all. The first one was more “all fists on deck” and this is more like “all brains on deck“. For this kind of book I usually prefer the first option, but the second one can still delivers a nice story.
The characters are not very complicated and they don’t endure much development, but that wasn’t needed for what the author wanted to tell. We met Nina in the first book and I must admit I got a bad first impression of her. With the focus on her, I have got to like the woman. She lives in a peculiar place and now I’m able to understand her daydreaming about aliens. Her best quality is her eagerness to help. But let’s be honest, that would be all. She is no fighter, no mastermind, no tech savvy… I don’t want to call her useless, but I can’t think of anything that she can bring to the Pact table. So is pretty remarkable the fact that she is usually the first to volunteer for dangerous situations. I applaud her bravery. Leif has also suprised me. He is not just the stiff soldier with the personality of a stone. He is a survivor that has adapted to the new environment, creating a hard shell to protect him. One of the best parts of this book is when that shell is broken and the real Leif emerges.
I do love a good enemies-to-lovers romance! At first, Leif and Nina tolerate each other if the situation demanded it, but they could barely behave like polite beings the rest of the time. The former soldier is a grumpy bastard that considers the humans, and Nina in particular, waaay below his paygrade. But Nina doesn’t take any of his bullshit and she is not even a bit afraid of telling him so. That makes for a very amusing dynamics that, as an avid Romance reader, I already knew was going to end in something else. What is rather disappointing is the transtion between one state to the other. When does it really happen? I think I missed it between the plenty of meetings to plan about the plans…
The third book is the last one of this saga, but the Intergalactic Dating Agency universe has plenty more to choose from. I only hope all of them are as satisfying as this one.
I was able to find a couple of new words in English. The one that caught my eye is:
carom: to hit and rebound (off something)
I don’t play billiard, so I guess I’m not using this verb (also a noun) any time soon.