Title: Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5)
Author: Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 2, 2016
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 207
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Zander and Felix’s relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander’s ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he’s interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.
Neither man could have expected the enormity of what’s discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander’s life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix’s new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.
With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.
Phase Shift hits the ship deck running and doesn’t slow down until the final chapter. Wheee! What a ride!
During what Zed had hoped to be a romantic interlude between him and Felix, the Chaos is hacked along with their homebase asteroid. I did get a small chuckle that even in the far future, people haven’t learned to put sensitive data on external drives and unplug.
Our crew of the Chaos divides to conquer. Qek, Elias and Nessa head off to chase the hackers. Zander and Felix follow the transmission route and find themselves stranded on a planet with what, to all outward appearances, is an illegal colony. What they find is right out of Zed’s nightmares.
I enjoyed many aspects of this latest installment. I liked the tie-in to Project Dreamweaver. While not an uncommon plot devise, it totally worked and it worked because it showed Zed and Felix working together to solve a problem. It wasn’t Zed chasing Fixer, or Fixer running after Zed. Both of them had to put their heads together and handle the situation before them.
I loved seeing this aspect of the partnership. Unlike many m/m romances where it’s a lot of toppling into bed with one and two word sentences, here, we get to see how much each man means to the other as they navigate the colony of Paradise and the ilk it contains.
I enjoyed the character building through moral conundrum facing Zed when given his orders to eradicate the colony by the Guardians, and how he stood up for what he thought was right thing to do outside of a war-time situation.
And I liked how Felix came into his own, rather than railing against the unfairness of the universe. He chose to stand-up and in doing so, we got to see someone beyond the mechanic of the Chaos.
There was only one small quirk that niggled at me and that was once Nessa, Qek, and Elias were rejoined with Zander and Felix, Nessa was once again whipping out her medical wallet and set about scanning our protagonists. Put the wallet away and just ask “how are you?” already! There isn’t anything she could do anyway san’s supplies and that Felix and Zed didn’t already know. That might make a good scenario in another book, what would happen if nobody’s wallets worked? Anyway, a peeve of mine.
Otherwise, a great installment that starts off intense and doesn’t let up until the end. Felix and Zed really meshed as a couple as they worked together to get out of a bad situation, and it was so sweet to see a romance based on adoration and love after so much trial and tribulation.