Title: Sky Riders (Skybound #1)
Author: Fae Sutherland
Publisher: Carina Press
Amazon: Buy Link Sky Riders
Length: 54000 words
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius:
Summary: This was a fun space opera with likeable characters, where the scifi settings mostly served as a window dressing for the romance.
Mercenary Captain Torin Covell needs a man who knows his way around a cockpit. Ace pilot Rain needs to get the hell off-planet. Thrown together by chance, the two men form a wary partnership.
Torin has every intention of dumping Rain at the next moon, despite his intense attraction to the hotshot. In his line of work he can’t afford to trust anyone, especially someone as infuriatingly charming and naïve as Rain. But first, he’s got a mission to complete.
What Rain wants, Rain gets. And what he wants is Torin, any way he can get him. The gorgeous captain isn’t making it easy, and the two are quickly embroiled in an erotic battle for supremacy. But when Rain discovers that he’s not the only one in pursuit of Torin, he demands to know exactly what sort of “job” he’s signed on for…
I want to be very clear that despite what you may infer from my summary, this story had a plot, and as a space opera it worked for me quite well. You have your standard merry band of space pirates (mostly noble ones despite pretending otherwise) and you get to read about their adventures and the romance plays a first violine when those adventures are taking place.
I did enjoy the development of the romance. Torin reminded me to a degree of Han Solo, and hopefully that can tell you a lot about his character (no, there are no Star Wars in this book 🙂 ). Now, Rain on the other hand was much more interesting to me. I liked the combination of arrogance and good heart and naivete and somehow he still came out as likeable to me. Of course I am aware that half of the reason I enjoyed the development of their romance was because it started as bickering and I eat it up with a spoon. I thought it was well done and abandoned too fast for my taste. Do not look for a full blown “from enemies to lovers” trope in this one, they just start mistrustful of each other. The only thing which annoyed me in their interactions was Torin constantly calling Rain hotshot. At the end it started to grate on my nerves — it just happened one time too many.
I liked the action scenes and I thought it was mixed up really well with the romance. As I said I thought the romance was front and center very often, but I liked how when I needed the change of scenery, it did happen at the exact time I felt that way and more than once. Something tells me that this is one of the signs of the good editing too. 🙂
Torin’s crew consisted of likeable characters, but I wished I could get to know both of them more, as I just did not feel that they were too well developed.
What I had an issue with was the verysparse world building IMO. I think I mostly had a problem with the scifi part of the genre description that the publisher put on it. I guess space ships and other inhabited planets are the reason it could be called scifi, but besides that, I am not sure what else. The world building is not very detailed and that would be putting it mildly, I am not sure about other new and amazing technology either, as I do not remember any from this story (besides space ships of course).
I also wanted to add that unfortunately a couple weeks after I read the story and couple days before this review went live I do not feel that the story left a lasting impression on me. It was decent entertainment while it lasted but not a memorable one and because of that it loses another 0.25 points.