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About Across the Stars by Lauren Smith and Noah Chinn

“We wait, we hide, and watch Earth burn across the stars…”
– From the lost pages of the ARK Diary

She’s one of the last free humans. On the run… And running out of time.

Laina Roberts has been on the run for ten years, a freeborn human hiding from the cyborgs of the Silver Legion who now controls what’s left of humanity. Moving secretly from planet to planet and space station to space station makes for a damn lonely life—and don’t even get her started on how long it’s been since she last had sex. Sometimes she thinks it might be worth turning herself in to the cyborgs just to end the loneliness. That is, until she’s caught!

Captured by a hot-as-hell Legion officer, the cyborg Ronan makes her think being probed by him might not be so bad. But becoming a cyborg’s slave—sex or otherwise—isn’t high on her to-do list. She doesn’t trust him and doesn’t understand his constant questions about Earth—especially those about her long-dead relatives. Ronan can just kiss her ass—oh yes, please—because she is not going to let her desires or his incredibly perfect body weaken her resolve. She now has a new mission, to convince the cyborgs and the rest of the galaxy that all Terrans, humans and synthetic humans like cyborgs, have the right to be free.

If only he didn’t make her feel like melting into his arms and never leaving. Being captured by a cyborg might not be so bad after all…

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Review of Across the Stars

Loved it! Across the Stars is a great scifi story that takes place in a future where Earth has been practically destroyed and the majority survivors are cyborgs. Oh, there are humans out there, but the political environment that existed when the Earth survivors joined the rest of the galaxy made humans personae non gratae and, in effect, the slaves of the cyborgs. They are hunted all over the galaxy.

In fact, Terrans in general (which are mostly comprised of cyborgs and synths) are second class species, not considered sapient because they are not able to naturally procreate. However, they are admired for the mercenary and/or peacekeeping services they provide to many of the other races. This galaxy, in which Earthlings are no big deal, is going to be a fun place to set this series.

As the creators of the cyborgs, humans are critical to the survival of all Terrans, even if not everyone realizes that. There is going to be a bit of a public relations issue when they discover that Laina is the most critical part of the survival puzzle. When the cyborgs figure this out, Laina goes from being a prisoner/slave to precious cargo. And the Cyborgs are not the only ones that want her.  Just to make things more interesting…

Despite being constantly hunted Laina, does give the cyborgs the benefit of the doubt. However, some cyborgs hold grudges, even though the events that caused the destruction of their beloved Earth (that they blame on humans) happened centuries ago. I think all humans should hate cyborgs just as much, but that would make Laina less of a heroine.

The romance between Laina and Ronan is a little bit of instant attraction and a little getting to know each other’s differences.  The romance intertwines nicely with the rest of the story and just as much as I want to see Laina get justice, I also want to see Laina and Ronan get together.

This is a nice move into SciFi for Ms. Smith. Along with Mr. Chinn, the authors have created strong scifi concepts and an interesting vision of the future. My only complaint was that the space battle scene was sketchy. There was an awkward segue from just after the beginning of the battle to the end when the good guys won. If this series is to continue, the authors may need to work on their space battle scenes, as there could very well be more in the future of this series.

I would not normally look too closely at a book with naked man chest. But Lauren Smith’s name was also on the cover, and she can tell a story. Her books (the ones I’ve read) are mostly romance with a strong secondary non-romance plot to support the romance. I usually like it the other way around. But I admire Ms. Smith’s ability to grab my attention. And this is SciFi. So I had to read it. Good idea!

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