Title: Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield #1)
Author: Anna Butler
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 18, 2015
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 317
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—or with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.
I am a scifi nut.
Now add in a super cool cover,
and bit of hot man-love…
…and I was a very happy girl.
So let me break this down a bit: I thought the plot was solid and believable for a space opera. Earth is gone, humanity has settled at Albion and inadvertently kicked a hornets nest when they stumbled upon the Maess. The Maess are determined to wipe humans off the solar system map. It’s been generations since Albion has been at peace.
Our dashing protagonist, Bennett, is firmly entrenched in the organization Shield, much to his Father’s dismay. The Patriarch wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and join the Admiralty. But when Bennet chose a different path – and a male lover – he was on his own.
Seven years have passed and Bennet has proven himself to be worthy of the Shield insignia. An opportunity arises to do some deep infiltration far inside the Maess borders, but his ship Hyperion is needed elsewhere as the Maess assemble for attack on the nearby planet Cetes. Shield routes a Fleet ship – the Gryfalcon – to aid in the mission. The same ship as commanded by Bennet’s father. Old grievances are difficult to let go.
As Bennet prepares for this mission, he’s introduced to the green eyed and golden skinned pilot Flynn. There’s mutual interest, but the mission comes first.
Which is what I really liked about the book. This was a slow burning romance, set against the backdrop of a military mission with a nicely executed dance between a Shield Captain and a flight Lieutenant. I really applaud how well the author executed the romance aspect, it suited me perfectly.
I thought the author did a fantastic job moving the characters into place by using the whole story, subtly switching POV’s between our protagonist and our pilot Flynn to give us a well-rounded view of how emotions were developing. Plus it was interesting to see the same scene from both perspectives.
I appreciated that neither character was perfect – we see Flynn’s issues through his military file and from his interactions with his fellow crew mates, some of them former lovers. We see Bennet’s faults through his interactions with his father. Both Bennet and Flynn have things to hide, and it’s a matter of how long they can hide them from each other.
The ending? …Left me wanting more.