Title: Raider Captured
Authors: J.J. Lore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 11, 2015
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 90
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Is love possible between sworn enemies when the universe seems determined to tear them apart?
Sagiv, a genetically modified Atavaq fighter, is captured when his master’s raid on a Domidian ship goes wrong. Daran, a young Domidian science officer, claims the warrior for ransom and as a subject for study. As they spend time together in the close confines of the shipboard cabin, both learn more about the other’s culture, and against all odds, a fragile trust begins to form. But the ship is approaching a frontier outpost, where Daran will be expected to ransom Sagiv—even though it means condemning Sagiv to die for the dishonor of his defeat or suffer in the fighting pits. That’s if bounty hunters don’t find them first. Daran’s risen up the ranks through hard work and always following protocol, but he sees something in Sagiv that might be worth breaking the rules for the first time in his life—maybe even something worth sacrificing everything to keep.
Just an idle observation: In backdrops that are set in space, where space battles are the norm, where genetically modified organisms of all kinds are prevalent, and food is vat grown, I’m always a bit leery when the characters are running around in leather garments.
So I was a bit dubious when I started this book.
And became pleasantly surprised. I quite enjoyed the exchange between Sagiv and Daren, the curiosity between the two men about their backgrounds, and the sexual exploration and respite from loneliness. The reader could see the growing attraction between the two men even while they themselves couldn’t.
This isn’t to say the plot was perfect. I had to set aside my disbelief that a genetically altered post-earth human, who was raised to fight and submit to his masters, was considered among the strongest of the Atavaq’s, would be quite so willing to be a captive in a science officers shipboard cabin. While it kinda worked as a plot device, I had to suspend my disbelief a wee bit.
I also think this would have been a stronger book if it had been longer – what was Daran dealing with when he left his quarters? How were his shipmates treating him? The jacket blurb said Daran decided to get Sagiv for study, but it never really came up again. Why didn’t Sagiv attempt to over-take Daran and try at least once to kill as many of the sworn enemy as possible? Was this not his duty? Why not keep the ship on the frontier outpost longer and allow the reader to see more of the bond, and the inner emotional struggles, growing between the two men off-ship. Let the reader see Daran’s decision and struggles at the end rather than a paragraph summation.
Ultimately, at the end of the evening, it was still an enjoyable and satisfying read that had one very cool alien bug thing. An extra half star for the cool alien bug thing because I’m geeky that way.Author Link GoodReads