5 stars, Alexis Glynn Latner, Anna Hackett, anthology, Book Review, Cassandra Chandler, cats, chameleons, dogs, Donna McDonald, E D Walker, J.C. Hay, Kyndra Hatch, Laurie A. Green, other worldly creatures, Pauline Baird Jones, pets, Pets in Space, Regine Abel, S.E. Smith, scifi romance, snakes, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott
You have arrived at day 3 of Furry Friends Week. I don’t mean to leave out the non-furry friends out there, but Furry and Non-So-Furry Friends Week does not have that ring to it. Today’s review of Pets in Space 4 will reveal that furred and non-furred creatures can be equally endearing. Today’s post also features the art of Adrian, who created the drawings of each of the pet characters in Pets in Space 4.
Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Combining science fiction and romance with cats, dogs and otherworldly creaters, Pets in Space® proudly supports Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology.
Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders.
Review of Pets in Space 4
Let me tell you about a few of my favorites from Pets in Space 4.
About Madas’s Falling Star by S.E. Smith
Gril was supposed to be on a routine training exercise, but his flight goes horribly wrong.
When Madas spies an unusual object streaking across the sky before crashing near her location, she believes it is a good omen.
Her hopes of finding something valuable are dashed when instead she sees a big, and rather ugly, Tearnat warrior. It’s his spaceship that she really wants.
The giant warrior pilot of the spaceship isn’t going to give it up easily. Danger surrounds Madas and Gril— both from Madas’s clan and from the saboteur who is determined to see Gril dead.
Review of Madas’s Falling Star
Madas’s Falling Star is affiliated with a series, but truly stands alone. I did not feel I was missing anything despite not having read any of the Lords of Kassis books. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of cat and mouse. And no, the pet in this story is neither cat nor mouse. L’eon is Chameleon Lightning Lizard. Just now, typing that, I figured out where L’eon gets his name.
L’eon is more than a pet. He is also a devious little matchmaker. Intelligent, with a ironic definition of the word ‘pet’, he had a pretty major role in this story. Madas and Gril are also intelligent, strong characters, each with their own motivations. If only they knew they wanted the same thing. Fun story!
About Entwined Fates (Infinite City) by Tiffany Roberts
Bold, kind, and adventurous, Kiara was everything Volcair needed in his stiff, formal life. Along with his pet inux, Cypher, the three were inseparable during Volcair’s years on Earth.
When chance brings them together again nearly two decades later, Volcair finds that his feelings for Kiara have only grown— he needs her. Have they been granted a second chance, or has time opened a rift between them that cannot be crossed?
Review of Entwined Fates
Entwined Fates is a refreshing standalone story in the Infinite City series. I relished the first half of the story told from the viewpoint of a child just as he meets the girl who will become so important in his life. A bored son of a diplomat gets dragged to an adult party and meets the surprise of his life. But diplomatic life separated young Volcair and Kiara, perhaps never to be together again. When they part, Volcair gives Kiara his companion Cypher.
But the title, Entwined Fates, is a dead giveaway. Of course they are going to meet again. This time as stubborn, mule-headed adults who refuse to recognize the truths of their long separation. Cypher plays a role in keeping Kiara safe and maybe even a bit of a matchmaker role. I enjoyed the mixing in of the pirates into the plot, to add a spice of danger.
About Cyborg’s Revenge (Project Enterprise) by Pauline Baird Jones
Rap solves problems large and small. He is currently working on his biggest threat— his old Master. He’ll need all the help he can get from his pet, Snake.
Ale’s new body has made her human again— mostly— and her new beating heart is pounding for Rap. It’s a pity that Rap is inscrutable and she’s got a huge secret that she can’t share.
Rap and Ale must face their greatest enemy if they hope to defeat him, but can they find love and a happy ever after while they do it?
Review of Cyborg’s Revenge
While Cyborg’s Revenge can be enjoyed as a standalone (sufficient background supplied), having read Maestra Rising did give me a boost up into the story line.
Rap and Ale are two newly created cyborgs. Sort of new. They were once fully human. Then their consciousness was transferred to robots by an evil genius. Then the good guys helped them transfer back to human bodies. Finally, they were enhanced with AI’s and robotic extensions and that made them cyborgs. Now all they want is to live in peace. So, they go after the evil genius that turned them into robots. Hence the word ‘Revenge’ in the title.
It is during this mission that Rap first finds out that Ale is female. That must have been a fun surprise! It is also during this mission that Rap and Ale figure out how much they mean to each other. The former robots trying to figure out their very non-robotic emotions makes for a cute g-rated romance.
The pet in this story is not one most of us would consider to be pet. Snake is handy when you need to transport something into tight places. And makes a good spy when hanging out in those tight places. Snake is loving in a way that only snakes can be.
I like how the author pulled a few characters from a favorite series (Project Enterprise) and gave them their own satisfying happily ever after.
About SpyDog (Inherited Stars) by Laurie A. Green
When his transport is destroyed before his eyes, agent Rigel Blackline and his bio-engineered StarDog partner wind up marooned on a planet buzzing with enemy patrols.
Things get complicated when they cross paths with Sona, a savvy warrior-class Rathskian female.
Rigel decides “capturing” Sona as an enemy asset and delivering her to his superiors may be his best option, but Sona has secrets. Her knowledge of Network dealings are on a level even he isn’t privy to. Is she truly an ally, or is he playing directly into the hands of a dangerous double-agent… in more ways than one?
Review of Spydog
Spydog could be called a prequel to Inherit the Stars. It is a standalone, but of all my favorites in this book, it is the one that may need the benefit of having read other books in the series. Mention of secondary characters and also the term ‘Operation Reset’ may have the reader wondering.
Having said that, I will say that Rigel and Sona are absolutely my favorite couple from the book. Totally untrusting of each other from the beginning, but needing to work together to get out of their sticky situation, makes for a lovely enemies to lovers romance, with plenty of danger and even a little humor along the way.
There seems to be all sorts of issues to prevent the Rigel’s and Sona’s HEA, starting with the fact that Rigel is human and Sona is Rathskian and ending with Sona’s own mission. How will it all end?
The title Spydog is Maura, a genetically engineered StarDog who partners with Rigel. She carries information critical to the Network’s efforts to thwart the Alliance. She also likes Sona, which really irritates Rigel. As with many of the animals we all know, Maura is intuitive and knows a good gal when she meets one. Or a bad guy if that happens…..
There is not much contact with bad guys outright. Just a sense of the fact that they are out there. We don’t want to be caught by them. And in the grand scheme, something’s got to give. Hence the missions, spying and the eventual Operation Reset. There are a few run ins with people who should be Rigel’s ally – they are all on the same side. But trust no one seem to be the phrase of the day – just to make completing the mission more challenging, separating Rigel from both Maura and Sona and making it difficult to get to the happily ever after when they meet up again. Don’t worry about that HEA though…..
I’d also like to mention and commend The Prince and Her Bodyguard by E.D. Walker, which has not one, but two romances to recommend it! And Interrupting Starlight by Kyndra Hatch, which is tied to her After the Fall which I enjoyed so much last year’s Pets in Space 3. Stran from Doom by Regine Abel gets the award for the scariest endearing pet. Charrli from Idol’s Curse by Veronica Scott wins the prize for the pet I most want sitting on my lap.
Two things I don’t care for in Pets in Space 4:
1) Multiple characters from existing series without much of their associated background. The great authors can do this and still call the story a standalone. Although, with short stories, I prefer the number of characters be limited. To be fair, fans of those series may actually like the familiar feel this method provides. However, I found two stories that I lost interest in because I do not read the series. There may be other readers that feel the same way about the series authors I read and enjoyed. For that reason, I always try to point out if ‘standalone’ applies to the story.
2) The cover. Bare-chested men are way overdone in SFR. Plus, they do not usually attract me to a book, unless I already know the author’s work. But the style seems to attract other readers, so who am I to judge? Oh yes. I am the reviewer. 🙂
My 5-star rating does not reflect these criticisms, as I have rated only on those stories I am actually reviewing (enjoyed the most!). No two stories are alike! There is enough variety, with 13 original stories, everyone that reads Pets in Space 4 is sure to find their own 5-star story. Probably several stories!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Furry Friends Week continues tomorrow with a review of another SFR that prominently features a Furry Friend. Then on Friday, a look at the art of Tracy Lovett, friend to animals everywhere, but especially to pets!
If you missed this week’s earlier Furry Friends Week posts, check out my review of the hilarious urban fantasy, No Kitten Around (Monday) and Laurie A. Green’s guest post about Pets in Space 4 (Tuesday).
See you tomorrow!