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Chilling Effect

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A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure. Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sis A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure. Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom. But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family. To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.


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A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure. Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sis A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure. Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom. But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family. To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

30 review for Chilling Effect

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The book is a mix of Becky Chambers style small stories and gung-ho space opera. It’s a difficult one to love, with shallow characterisations and a plot that’s all surface. Captain Eva Innocente has a strong voice but the wrong kind— she’s an attitudey failure that seems to think that accepting her own mistakes makes everything ok. It might do for you, lady, but all the people who died might have preferred you weren’t such a dick. There are a few good moments, but they’re tenuously linked and ov The book is a mix of Becky Chambers style small stories and gung-ho space opera. It’s a difficult one to love, with shallow characterisations and a plot that’s all surface. Captain Eva Innocente has a strong voice but the wrong kind— she’s an attitudey failure that seems to think that accepting her own mistakes makes everything ok. It might do for you, lady, but all the people who died might have preferred you weren’t such a dick. There are a few good moments, but they’re tenuously linked and overall it felt like individual scenes were more important than the plot. More than once I had to wonder why something was there at all, especially when it was flat out weird. I’m not even going into the bizarre romance/sex thing because I just don’t get what was supposed to be appealing about it at all. Even with tall that, my main issue is this: if you’re going to put AWESOME psychic cats in a book, why wouldn’t you actually USE them? Now I’m a bit of a cat person and psychic cats were one of the main reasons I decided to give this a go. But, and this is a bit of a spoiler, the cat leader goes from nearly taking over the bridge of the ship in the opening scene to essentially being a lap cat for the rest of the book. I know cats are lazy but that’s such a waste. Maybe they’re in for more adventures in the future but for now it was genuinely dissatisfying. It’s Chekvok’s gun, but with psychic cats. The problem with expectations are that they ruin enjoyment. I was constantly waiting for them to come in to their own, distracted from what was actually happening by my vigilance and resulting disappointment. All I’ll remember is that the author left the psychic cats in the corner. Nobody leaves psychic cats in the corner!! This is one of those books were the ideas were good in principle but the execution failed to deliver. ARC via Netgalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Kidnappers Alien Emperors Psychic Cats And she's out of coffee Me: *SPITS OUT WATER* Also me: OKAY, OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE WAS DIGGING INSIDE MY HEAD. WHO WAS IT | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Kidnappers Alien Emperors Psychic Cats And she's out of coffee Me: *SPITS OUT WATER* Also me: OKAY, OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE WAS DIGGING INSIDE MY HEAD. WHO WAS IT | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/30/... Chilling Effect turned out to be a bit of a fun surprise, considering my initial concerns over it being too silly and offbeat for my tastes. But in the end, I think author Valerie Valdes struck the perfect town, finding that perfect balance between adventure and humor in her debut space opera. Readers will be treated to a fun romp between the stars in this science fiction tale featuring exotic far-flung planets, fascinat 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/30/... Chilling Effect turned out to be a bit of a fun surprise, considering my initial concerns over it being too silly and offbeat for my tastes. But in the end, I think author Valerie Valdes struck the perfect town, finding that perfect balance between adventure and humor in her debut space opera. Readers will be treated to a fun romp between the stars in this science fiction tale featuring exotic far-flung planets, fascinating aliens, shadowy crime syndicates, and oh, psychic cats. Captain Eva Innocente is the protagonist of this story, heading up the crew of the Sirena Negra, a small cargo ship used to run shipping jobs for clients. After being stiffed on her last gig, Eva doesn’t think her day can get any worse, but of course the universe has a way of proving her wrong. Receiving a mysterious call on her private com link, she finds out that an interstellar crime organization known as The Fridge has kidnapped her sister Mari, and they’re demanding an exorbitant ransom for her release. If Eva can’t pay, Mari will be cryogenically frozen and shipped off to a mining planet where she will live out the rest of her days in misery performing hard, brutal labor. But of course, our protagonist doesn’t have that of kind of money, so she’s forced to make a deal with The Fridge, providing her services to complete a series of missions in exchange for her sister’s release. However, if she tells anyone, all bets are off. Unfortunately, while trying to figure out how to keep the kidnapping a secret from her crew, Eva has a run-in with the lustful emperor of a fish-faced alien race who takes the spurning of his advances much too personally. Now he’ll do anything to have her, even if it means killing an entire space station, and that’s not the kind of attention Eva can afford to have while trying to make clandestine runs for Mari’s kidnappers. So all in all, I had a good time with this book, and felt that everything from the action to the comedy was on point. I felt it delivered everything a good space opera should, including a heavy dose of intrigue and adventure mixed in with plenty of space faring and exploration. I also loved that the narrative tone was on the lighter side, as this genre tends to get too bogged down by the minutiae of planetary politics, incomprehensible technobabble and too much trivial detail. Happily, none of these are problems in Chilling Effect, making it a good choice for anyone seeking a more accessible or beginner-friendly sci-fi novel to sink their teeth into. It also moves at a good pace and features a charming cast of characters, which helped increase the story’s appeal. But there’s a downside to having all these elements compete for your attention, especially in the first half of the book. Granted, I never lost interest in the plot, but it did sometimes feel a bit scattered, and more than once I stopped to wonder just when we’ll get to see progress on the main conflict. In that sense, the overall story did take its time to solidify, and at times a lot of the earlier events that took place felt too episodic which tried my patience. This book threw a ton of action in my face, which I appreciated, but it’s not always a good thing. After all, you’re still essentially spinning your wheels if none of it is contributing in a major way to the overall plot. In general, this novel was also a very shallow experience, but as it is intended to be light and fluffy fare, this wasn’t surprising. Still, I had hoped for a bit more oomph, if nothing else in the comedic side of things because this one was marketed as “hilarious” and “offbeat.” Ultimately, I can’t say I found much of it to be laugh-worthy, as we’re mostly dealing with countless pop culture references and a boatload of other throwaway gags. But while I am glad that the story wasn’t over-the-top in its silliness, a part of me still wishes it had been more memorable. You’re not going to get a whole lot of world-building, character development, or to be honest, any kind of explanation for what’s going on. Still, nothing wrong with this one being a pure escapism read, so long as you go in knowing what to expect. All told, I found Chilling Effect to be a decent and fun-filled space opera that doesn’t take itself too seriously. By the time the sequel comes out, if I still remember most of the story and the characters, I just might check it out for another feel-good pick-me-up read! Audiobook Comments: Almarie Guerra was a good choice for narrator, giving life to Eva’s multilayered personality. Whether our protagonist is being thoughtful and prudent, or snarky and impulsive, Guerra did a great job portraying Eva in all of her moods.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    3.5 stars. A fun space opera that took a little while to get going, with a wide variety of planets and aliens, a dark setup to Captain Eva Innocente's story, and some thankfully emotional growth on the part of the main character by the end of this book. There was humour and its overall tone is light, which was a little off at times considering just how dark some of the situations are. However, the plot moves fairly quickly, and though not a deep story, was pleasant enough for me to consider chec 3.5 stars. A fun space opera that took a little while to get going, with a wide variety of planets and aliens, a dark setup to Captain Eva Innocente's story, and some thankfully emotional growth on the part of the main character by the end of this book. There was humour and its overall tone is light, which was a little off at times considering just how dark some of the situations are. However, the plot moves fairly quickly, and though not a deep story, was pleasant enough for me to consider checking out the next installment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    I received a copy from HarperCollins Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Captain Eva Innocente is living her best life working with a crew of friends that have become family on her spaceship as they pick up odd delivery jobs that take them all over space. Just when she thinks that a job requiring her to drop off a litter of psychic cats falls through is the worst part of her week, she finds out her sister has been abducted by a deep space criminal group that manipulates I received a copy from HarperCollins Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Captain Eva Innocente is living her best life working with a crew of friends that have become family on her spaceship as they pick up odd delivery jobs that take them all over space. Just when she thinks that a job requiring her to drop off a litter of psychic cats falls through is the worst part of her week, she finds out her sister has been abducted by a deep space criminal group that manipulates people by threatening the lives of their abductees. Unable to tell a single soul that she’s now working for this criminal group, she takes her crew on a new dangerous ride so that she can save her sister. I wish I could say that I enjoyed this book, but then I’d be lying. While a hilarious space opera with strong family ties and psychic cats sounds fun, I spent a good portion of the book asking questions instead of enjoying the story. I think it would’ve been far more enjoyable if it had a good amount of world building early on. Instead, I was confused about the world Eva and company lived in and spent some time confusing the cast of characters for one another. It was hard to visualize this world when the scenery was constantly changing before there was enough time spent to explain where they even were. I wish that some basics were explained early on and that there was time spent on world building before the story kicked off. I also didn’t care for majority of the characters once I got a hold on them. Much of Eva’s crew was one dimensional and I wish that more time was spent on getting to know the core cast of characters. The only one we really get to know is Eva, who also narrates the story. Eva is extremely selfish, short tempered, and hypocritical. I didn’t really care for her, but I do love that she is willing to jump through hoops for her family even if they aren’t on talking terms. There are some good and funny moments, but sadly, this was a miss for me. While it’s fast paced, there isn’t enough world building to stabilize the story. I think there is some potential here, but it needs more world building, more character growth, and a slower pace.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This is actually 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I loved the premise and I REALLY loved the heroine. Captain Eva Innocente of the spaceship La Sirena Negra has fallen on hard times. She walked away from doing business with her father because she hated how shady it was, and she hated the person she was when she was with him. But that's had financial repercussions for her and her beloved crew. They transport cargo from place to plac ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This is actually 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I loved the premise and I REALLY loved the heroine. Captain Eva Innocente of the spaceship La Sirena Negra has fallen on hard times. She walked away from doing business with her father because she hated how shady it was, and she hated the person she was when she was with him. But that's had financial repercussions for her and her beloved crew. They transport cargo from place to place (their latest: a batch of twenty psychic cats) and basically live hand-to-mouth. Here's a rundown of everyone on board La Sirena Negra: ➽ Eva, who is BRILLIANT. She's a foulmouthed Latina who's streetwise, aggressive, and incredibly loyal. She also has a definite streak of 'grey morality.' While she doesn't actively try to hurt innocents - especially after some of the mistakes she's made in her past - she's definitely a pragmatic woman, not a naïve do-gooder. ➽ Pink (aka Dr Rebecca Jones) is the closest thing Eva has to a best friend. Snarky and clear-sighted, Pink is 100% loyal to her captain - but that doesn't translate to being blindly loyal. I appreciated that she called Eva out on her bullshit when she felt it was needed, and I wish we'd gotten to see more of her character, plus more of the backstory she has with Eva. ➽ Min is their pilot. Although she does also have a human body, she prefers to spend most of her time with her consciousness tethered to the ship. I'd have liked more of an explanation of how this works - like, does her human body still need sleep? - and she didn't say an awful lot, but I could feel how much Eva cared for her. ➽ Leroy handles their cargo. He used to be an expendable soldier in the corporate space wars, so he has bad PTSD which makes him avoid his two mums, out of a fear he'll hurt them. But he's also loyal, friendly, and dedicated to online gaming. ➽ Vakar is their engineer. He's a quennian, a type of alien described as having a face like a pangolin, facial palps, and emitting scents depending on which emotion he's experiencing. His personality was definitely sweet and slightly submissive. So this book is a space opera in the truest sense of the word: we hop with Eva from planet to planet as she carries out assignments for The Fridge, an intergalactic crime syndicate who are holding her sister Mari hostage. Unfortunately, Eva isn't great at completing the assignments properly. Time is running out - she needs to find a way to free Mari, get money to pay her crew, and somehow smash The Fridge while she's at it. To make matters worse, an emperor known as the Glorious Apotheosis has taken offence at her refusal to join his harem, and has placed a bounty (dead or alive) on her head. What I liked: ✔️ This was diverse AS F*CK. Eva is Hispanic, Pink is black, and obviously there are a ton of aliens like Vakar thrown into the mix. There are also loads of nonbinary characters (and not just aliens). ✔️ Zero sexism. Males, females, and nonbinary people were all captains or mercenaries or planet rulers or hunters. ✔️ Funny in unexpected places. It wasn't laugh-out-loud, but there was a gentle Douglas-Adams-style humour underlying the whole book. ✔️ It was well-written and engaging. The quick pace got me hooked straightaway. A Note on Classification It is EXTRAORDINARILY hard to classify this book, age-wise. I wouldn't call it YA: Eva is over thirty, and it doesn't have that vaguely coming-of-age sense YA novels tend to exude. But I'm also struggling to label it as 'adult' for one key reason: there is absolutely nothing sexual in this book. Even kisses are disposed of with brutal speed, and the love scenes are fade-to-black. I won't lie, I was disappointed . Not even out of prurience or anything, just because the book kept dropping intriguing hints about Vakar's anatomy. He seems to have genitals which are retracted inside his body? And near his abdomen? Plus he's covered in scales? Even a little bit more elaboration would have helped. I get that this book isn't focusing on the romance, and that's why there are no sex scenes, but if you're going to have alien-human sex at least tell us how it's physically going to happen! Which leads me on to: What I didn't like: ❌ Vakar was described very poorly. Beyond him having blue eyes and facial palps (which I'm struggling to picture) NOTHING WAS DESCRIBED. Like, does he have hair? What colour? What colour is his skin? What colour are his scales? ❌ The nonstop action got a bit exhausting after a while. It's a long book, and in the first half I appreciated the rapid pace, because it eliminated any drag or boredom. But it felt like there wasn't a single moment where we could take a breath and pause. Partially that's Eva's character: she's totally non-introspective, which is alright, but that also meant we didn't really see any character growth in her. All her character growth seems to have happened in the backstory. ❌ Beyond a few ominous hints, this backstory is never explained. There's no time to: like I said, the constant fighting wasn't conducive to long chats. But I wanted to know stuff like how Eva met Pink and the others. Hopefully that'll be explained in the sequel... ❌ For a science fiction book, there was astoundingly little science. No technology is explained; we just accept that it's there, and that humans and aliens have somehow learned how to use it. I needed to know more history. Is this a world in which humans have always known that aliens existed? When did humans discover them, if not? Infodumps are obviously bad things, but the issue here was the opposite - an info-lack, if you will. Overall It was a good debut and I liked many of its elements, but I'm hopeful that the sequel (which I will be keeping an eye out for) will expand on some of the issues I mentioned. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  7. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Space opera with all the trappings--vaguely piratical captain with bad past but sense of responsibility, motley crew, threat to galaxy, cool alien tech. The cover also advertises psychic cats but they don't play a plot role, sadly. It's got loads of potential--good dialogue, fun characters, lots of ingenuity and unusual touches, and a nice romance. But it's severely in need of a structural edit to make the plot hang together and keep it driving forward--as it is, the book devolves into a series Space opera with all the trappings--vaguely piratical captain with bad past but sense of responsibility, motley crew, threat to galaxy, cool alien tech. The cover also advertises psychic cats but they don't play a plot role, sadly. It's got loads of potential--good dialogue, fun characters, lots of ingenuity and unusual touches, and a nice romance. But it's severely in need of a structural edit to make the plot hang together and keep it driving forward--as it is, the book devolves into a series of events rather than a story for a long period, and there's a recurring...uh, whatever you call the villain equivalent of a deus ex machina, which really didn't work for me. I'm sad it didn't get a structural edit because there's so much to like here. (And of course if you like picaresque plots, this wouldn't be an issue at all. I just don't.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I am sorry to say that yet another book has been abandoned.  I really, really wanted to like this one.  It has an awesome cover. The cover says "Kidnappers.  Alien emperors. Psychic cats. And she's out of coffee."  The psychic cats were of course what led me to pick up the book.  It certainly started out strong.  The first chapter was perfect.  I liked the crew.  I liked the premise of bad girl gone good only to have to go bad again to try and save her kidnapped sister.  I Ahoy there me mateys!  I am sorry to say that yet another book has been abandoned.  I really, really wanted to like this one.  It has an awesome cover. The cover says "Kidnappers.  Alien emperors. Psychic cats. And she's out of coffee."  The psychic cats were of course what led me to pick up the book.  It certainly started out strong.  The first chapter was perfect.  I liked the crew.  I liked the premise of bad girl gone good only to have to go bad again to try and save her kidnapped sister.  I enjoyed the silly tone at first.  So the problem? The first problem is that the main character, Eva, spends the entire book going from one bad situation to another and getting out of them seemingly based purely on luck and shooting her way out.  It was fun at first but never seemed to progress towards the stated purpose of getting her sister back.  For someone who is supposed to have all these "bad guy times" in her past, Eva came across as being naive and lacking common sense.  Where was the cunning and logic?  Where was the planning?  This continued for the almost two-thirds of the book and the hopping around with no real purpose annoyed me.  Also I am not down with so much lying to herself and her crew. The second problem was the flatness of the book.  There was too much focus on the supposed humor of the characters and their improbable situations.  From of the cover blurb, I expected fluffy lightness but the humor fell flat most of the time.  The character development, world building, and politics seemed practically nonexistent and the little there was made no sense.  The Fridge and BOFA seemed to operate with no real method to the madness.  Ye really didn't get enough of the other crew member's personalities either.  I don't always want other POVs but in this case I did want them.  I wanted to know more about the cool, quirky crew who lived on the ship. The third problem that is not the book's fault was the Spanish.  The author is Cuban-American and I am all for diversity in books.  I am not saying it shouldn't be there cause it should.  I just found meself getting more upset that I knew I was missing jokes and nuance because I didn't know the words.  I wondered if the book would have been funnier if I spoke Spanish.  If the book's language has made up words then I assign them meanings and move on.  Because it is actually in another real language, in this instance I tried to Google translate and used slang dictionaries to try to remedy me lack of understanding.  Not much could be directly translated by me (probably cause I suck).  I wanted to know what the chapter titles, bickering, and endearments meant! The fourth problem with this book was the plot twist.  I didn't like it at all.  I think others totally would but I just wanted something different.  By page 286, I was just not feeling it and getting completely frustrated with Eva. But the real problem?  I know this is silly but I was promised psychic cats.  There are 20 of them.  And after the first chapter they do nothing.  Literally nothing.  The "leader" sits on some laps for scratches a couple times.  What?  I really wanted them to be part of the action, so I did something I don't normally do and skimmed to page 317 until the cats reappeared.  Again they do nothing and are just mentioned. Had I not had so many other issues with the book, I would have gotten over the lack of cat contributions.  But that was the final straw.  Do they ever get used as anything but a macguffin?  I couldn't bring meself to finish and find out.  I do think there be readers that would enjoy this.  I really am devastated that I didn't.  Arrr! Matey Mogsy's review shows that she liked this book better than I did: "But while I am glad that the story wasn’t over-the-top in its silliness, a part of me still wishes it had been more memorable. You’re not going to get a whole lot of world-building, character development, or to be honest, any kind of explanation for what’s going on. Still, nothing wrong with this one being a pure escapism read, so long as you go in knowing what to expect."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This is a case where I really wanted to like the book, really should have liked the book, but, unfortunately, could not. The worldbuilding is great. It's zany and a bit campy and fun all around, from psychic cats to mind-controlling parasites. Also, can you say alien romance? I loved that!! But the execution of the novel left something to be desired. The premise is okay but the pacing is not. I was either being whipped around at breakneck pace or making my way through entire chapters wondering w This is a case where I really wanted to like the book, really should have liked the book, but, unfortunately, could not. The worldbuilding is great. It's zany and a bit campy and fun all around, from psychic cats to mind-controlling parasites. Also, can you say alien romance? I loved that!! But the execution of the novel left something to be desired. The premise is okay but the pacing is not. I was either being whipped around at breakneck pace or making my way through entire chapters wondering what the point was. By the halfway point, I was constantly feeling like the climax should be right around the corner only. It made for a pretty jarring read. I did love the main character and all her flaws. But most of the side characters were hard to get a grasp of. I'm not sure I remember much at all of Pink and Min, and I cannot picture what Vakar looks like at all. It made certain scenes hard to envision. I think this book will work for a lot of people. There was a lot I appreciated about it, such as the complete lack of sexism, the great humor, and the inclusion of Spanish phrases and chapter titles. I really liked Eva as a main character and the world was great! The story and pacing just didn't cut it for me. Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins for the eArc to review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I received an advanced copy through NetGalley. Chilling Effect is a quirky space opera adventure reminiscent of Firefly, with an eclectic space crew captained by Eva. When Eva finds out her sister has been kidnapped by a nasty crime syndicate, she takes on a series of terrible jobs--all while keeping the truth secret from her crew. Of course, everything goes wrong, but does so in surprising ways. That's part of the fun of this book. It's a total screwball romp. You have no idea what's going to ha I received an advanced copy through NetGalley. Chilling Effect is a quirky space opera adventure reminiscent of Firefly, with an eclectic space crew captained by Eva. When Eva finds out her sister has been kidnapped by a nasty crime syndicate, she takes on a series of terrible jobs--all while keeping the truth secret from her crew. Of course, everything goes wrong, but does so in surprising ways. That's part of the fun of this book. It's a total screwball romp. You have no idea what's going to happen next. There are many little video game tributes throughout that made me grin, too. Eva's a fun heroine. Well-meaning, edgy, and competent at her job. Her voice, with Spanish sprinkled throughout, is wonderfully authentic. I've only seen this done by one other scifi book, Amber Royer's Free Chocolate, and here's hoping more such books are on the way. I'm betting the cover of this book alone will sell a bunch of books. It gets across the fun vibe quite well. I think about my only complaint is that I wanted more of the cats!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    This was an entertaining (if scattered) debut novel that I ended up liking pretty well. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but the found-family stuff is nice -- and there's plenty of action! I was looking for light reading and I got it. Not as much of the space cats as I'd hoped, but they are cute and cuddly. The Cuban Spanish bits got distracting, though I could figure out most of them from context. Less of them would have made the story flow better, I think. I'll consider reading the sequel. The r This was an entertaining (if scattered) debut novel that I ended up liking pretty well. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but the found-family stuff is nice -- and there's plenty of action! I was looking for light reading and I got it. Not as much of the space cats as I'd hoped, but they are cute and cuddly. The Cuban Spanish bits got distracting, though I could figure out most of them from context. Less of them would have made the story flow better, I think. I'll consider reading the sequel. The review to read here is Mogsys's, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ========== Earlier stuff =========== "Valerie Valdes is taking aim at lovers of space adventure with the crew of La Sirena Negra, and I absolutely got sucked into the action (and humor) that makes this one of the most fun debuts we have in 2019. Did I mention there are space cats?" – comment from Executive Editor David Pomerico "In space, no one can hear you cagando en la mierda. Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy agency that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva struggles through one unpleasant, dangerous mission after another to pay the ransom debt. To make things worse, she’s stuck with a hold full of psychic cats, a fish-faced emperor wants her dead for rejecting his advances, and her ship’s sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. Qué jodienda. Chilling Effect, humorous science fiction that parodies pop culture and video games, is complete at 115,000 words but has series potential. My fiction is published in Nightmare Magazine and She Walks in Shadows, and I am a graduate of the Viable Paradise workshop." -- the author's query letter. It worked. http://candleinsunshine.com/musings/m...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Eva Innocente is captain of the La Sirena Negra and with her small crew of friends they take on small mostly legal jobs to make a living. That didn't use to be the case, as Eva used to work with her father in various criminal schemes. When her sister Mari gets captured by a crime syndicate called the Fridge, she's blackmailed into working for them in a series of jobs that seem to imply progress on ancient alien technology. This is meant to be funny. I don't see it. It is light, and action-packed, Eva Innocente is captain of the La Sirena Negra and with her small crew of friends they take on small mostly legal jobs to make a living. That didn't use to be the case, as Eva used to work with her father in various criminal schemes. When her sister Mari gets captured by a crime syndicate called the Fridge, she's blackmailed into working for them in a series of jobs that seem to imply progress on ancient alien technology. This is meant to be funny. I don't see it. It is light, and action-packed, but the drama that Eva has going on with her family and the crime syndicate is a bit too heavy and imminent for humor. It also pretty much drowns in plot, particularly in the first half. It is worthwhile continuing through to the second half (when the title of the book eventually makes sense).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Sooooooo I'm a bit confused and surprised. I read this cause there were weird cats on the cover...but I ended up liking it in a non-gag way. The characters were enjoyable. I think the conflict was a little too simple but I can see why that would appeal to some readers when there's already so much to remember about the world. I want more of Eva's crew and more of the weird space cats. Eva's relationship with her sister and father are especially messy in this book and are very clearly going to be Sooooooo I'm a bit confused and surprised. I read this cause there were weird cats on the cover...but I ended up liking it in a non-gag way. The characters were enjoyable. I think the conflict was a little too simple but I can see why that would appeal to some readers when there's already so much to remember about the world. I want more of Eva's crew and more of the weird space cats. Eva's relationship with her sister and father are especially messy in this book and are very clearly going to be the focal point of the next book which I am absolutely going to read. My big beef with this book is the way so many chapters and scenes were ended. It was like the author wrote 25 different spots and was like "ha! This is where I'm going to end the book" but then she got another idea and added that on...and then did it again and again. It messed with my head quite a bit. I've got lots of questions and enjoyed a lot of the cast so I will definitely keep reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |

    Review to come.

  15. 5 out of 5

    keikii Eats Books

    To read more reviews from this author and others, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books! 67 points, 3 ½ stars Quote: {{You are very cynical.}} Eat a turd, she thought. {{You are also very rude.}} "And you're a parasite attached to my skull who can't seem to understand the meaning of the phrase 'Jódete, coño!'" Review: Chilling Effect is a weird book for me. In the beginning I was determined to love it, and then the honeymoon period wore off fast. By the midway point, I was certain I hated the boo To read more reviews from this author and others, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books! 67 points, 3 ½ stars Quote: {{You are very cynical.}} Eat a turd, she thought. {{You are also very rude.}} "And you're a parasite attached to my skull who can't seem to understand the meaning of the phrase 'Jódete, coño!'" Review: Chilling Effect is a weird book for me. In the beginning I was determined to love it, and then the honeymoon period wore off fast. By the midway point, I was certain I hated the book.  In the end, I loved the ending. And as much as I loved that ending and that it made me want to continue on with the series, I just don't know if I will yet. I also had to spend an unreal amount of time on Google Translate, and Urban Dictionary, and just plain googling around to figure out what, exactly, people were saying. There is so much Spanish sprinkled in throughout the book, at times I didn't even understand what was going on without looking things up. Hell, half the chapter titles are in Spanish! And it wasn't just words. No, it was phrases like "live by the sword, die by the sword." It was actually pretty frustrating because I had to stick to my computer to read this. (I'm still completely and totally lost at "Me Sube la Bilirrubina"...) Once Chilling Effect started it didn't really stop. It opens with a bunch of psychic kitties causing the main character, Captain Eva Innocente, and her crew a lot of trouble. Then drops into a kidnapping exploitation plot before swinging wildly into an attempted sexual slavery that is somehow not being vilified by everyone. The entire book, the characters are swinging from one task that goes wrong to the next task that goes wrong. Not exactly my favourite type of story. Then, within all those tasks that go wrong, there are a bunch of plotlines that are just there to make the readers go "hey I recognise that!". A LOT of pop culture, and some not, as well. There is an entire chapter of Pride and Prejudice in here, in the chapter titled "El Orgullo y el Prejuicio" (guess what that translates as?). Chilling Effect just liked to pull from popular things for inspiration and then recreate them in space for fun. I'm sure there were more in here that I missed than I got. Captain Eva Innocente, our main character, gets into a lot of trouble. She isn't the most competent person. She seems to be chronically incapable of controlling herself, her emotions, and most spectacularly her anger. Which gets her into more trouble than any other outside force. She also isn't really able to control her crew, either, which is a bad trait in a Captain, in my opinion. Eva is also in a really weird romance that I actually found really cute. And the romance was kind of the saving grace of the book in the end. As I already complained, I really didn't like the start of the book. It just wasn't for me. Once Chilling Effect got down to the point, in about the last 20% of the book, I actually really, really enjoyed it. And that is the worst thing about it. Because it was really good when it stopped playing around. I loved it in the end. And now I want to read the next book in the series, even though I wasn't going to bother before I got to the end. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Valerie Valdes, Harper Voyager, and Netgalley for providing the opportunity to review this copy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    Cute and fun, found family sci-fi with lots of action. There are psychic cats! Although I kept waiting for them to become a plot point (wouldn't it be amazing to hypnotize your enemies with your cat?!) and sadly it never happened. Captain Eva is on a mission to save her sister, who has been kidnapped by a crime syndicate, and she has to do it without alerting her (very perceptive) crewmates. That’s easier said than done, as Eva has to make up crazy excuses for visiting far-flung parts of the gal Cute and fun, found family sci-fi with lots of action. There are psychic cats! Although I kept waiting for them to become a plot point (wouldn't it be amazing to hypnotize your enemies with your cat?!) and sadly it never happened. Captain Eva is on a mission to save her sister, who has been kidnapped by a crime syndicate, and she has to do it without alerting her (very perceptive) crewmates. That’s easier said than done, as Eva has to make up crazy excuses for visiting far-flung parts of the galaxy, all while still taking care of their day job as a transport ship. Eventually the growing snowball of lies is going to roll all the way down the hill and crush her (or some other tortured metaphor). I loved the solid friendships between the captain and her loyal crew, and the sweet inter-species romance. I also learned lots of new ways to curse in Spanish. This might come close to filling a Becky Chambers-shaped hole in your heart, if by chance you have one of those.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽♔

    Is space opera its own mini-genre now? Because I feel like I've been seeing the term a lot more lately.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Originally posted to I Should Read That I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review. I’ll be honest, as soon as I heard ‘psychic cats’ I was all in on Chilling Effect. I love space opera, I love off-beat heroes, and I love cats. While banter-y ‘squad’ sci-fi books don’t tend to work for me (see my burning hatred of Aurora Rising), but there was something about Chilling Effect that just worked. While it wasn’t perfect, it was so much damn fun. Chill Originally posted to I Should Read That I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review. I’ll be honest, as soon as I heard ‘psychic cats’ I was all in on Chilling Effect. I love space opera, I love off-beat heroes, and I love cats. While banter-y ‘squad’ sci-fi books don’t tend to work for me (see my burning hatred of Aurora Rising), but there was something about Chilling Effect that just worked. While it wasn’t perfect, it was so much damn fun. Chilling Effect is a plot-driven book filled with pop culture references (I spotted Star Wars, Deep Space Nine, and Portal, among others) and loads of fun, snappy dialogue. It moves at breakneck speed and kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime. There is a lot of plot packed into this book -- I feel like it actually could have been teased out and made into two books with more in-depth characterisation (see below). However, this does mean that I tore through Chilling Effect quickly and I definitely enjoyed the ride. For me, a lot of the weaknesses of the book come from the characters. While I really liked Eva, she was the only POV character and therefore was the only one that felt fleshed-out. She is not your classic hero -- she's stubborn, foul mouthed, violent, and a bit mad. However, I really understood her, her absolutely frantic thought process, and the reasons she made certain decisions -- she's such an incredibly fun character and I enjoyed her immensely. However, the other characters did fall a little flat for me. I’d love to have seen some of the story through Vaskar, Min, or Pink’s eyes, especially as they were kept out of the loop of Eva’s situation and plans -- this would have given them more depth and added a new, interesting layer to the story. In fact, I really just felt like I didn’t know them at all and sort of forgot about them as soon as they were off the page (there's even another crew member, but I don't even remember his name because he's so far in the background for the majority of the book). I also didn’t get the sense of camaraderie that is the most joyful part of these 'squad' stories -- the chemistry just wasn't there. At one point, Pink mentions that Eva is her best friend and I thought ‘really? Is she?'. I hope we get to see more from the other characters in later books because they had so much potential to be awesome. Chilling Effect wasn’t the strongest science fiction book I’ve read, but damn was is fun! I really enjoyed the quirky world building, the fun writing, and the off-beat plot. If you’re looking for a fun book for the summer and love picking out pop culture references in books, you should definitely give Chilling Effect a try.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ✨ LADYCOMICBOOK ✨

    This is an #OwnVoices science fiction book based in space! I felt like the book was slow at first but it definitely picked up towards the middle. The Latinx protagonist is Eva Innocente who is captain of a space ship called the Sirena Negra. The book has romance, action, and family drama. Overall I loved this book and I'm excited to read the sequel!

  20. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: Cuban American pan mc, Black side character, side character with PTSD, nonbinary side character Galley provided by publisher Based on the reviews, this seems a bit of a hit or miss book, and for me it fell squarely into the latter category. It had all the ingredients for me to love it, and yet it fell flat. Chilling Effect follows Captain Eva Innocente who is forced to work for a crime syndicate after her sister is kidnapped. But she isn’t allowed to tell her crew, and must inst On my blog. Rep: Cuban American pan mc, Black side character, side character with PTSD, nonbinary side character Galley provided by publisher Based on the reviews, this seems a bit of a hit or miss book, and for me it fell squarely into the latter category. It had all the ingredients for me to love it, and yet it fell flat. Chilling Effect follows Captain Eva Innocente who is forced to work for a crime syndicate after her sister is kidnapped. But she isn’t allowed to tell her crew, and must instead complete the tasks in secrecy. And then obviously the truth comes out and, you know what, I sort of lost track of where the plot was supposed to be going at this point. I think my main problem with this book was that it was almost trying too hard to be a funny adventurous romp through space (a la Star Trek). Everything happened in a kind of bitty way, and didn’t always clearly connect together, most obviously at the point where everything is revealed and Eva decides that…she wants her ship back? She doesn’t care that this crime syndicate might destroy the galaxy, she just wants to steal her ship back. Which leads me to my second point. Eva is such a hypocritical and selfish character. Selfish, because she doesn’t tell her crew, but just gets them into increasingly dangerous situations for no apparent reason (from their POVs), and because she just wants her ship back when the rest of the galaxy is at stake. I read one review, about halfway through the book, which mentioned how she seemed to be aiming at “charmingly reckless” but veered more towards general disregard of crew’s safety while claiming to be all about keeping them safe. Hence the hypocrisy. (Not to mention that time she referred to a character as being self-centered when she herself had been so for the entire book. Not that I’m still frustrated by this.) Ultimately, I hadn’t disliked a main character as much as I did Eva in a long time. Also there was hints that she may have been complicit in the deaths of a bunch of people which is why she was out of the game (ha), but like. She didn’t really show much remorse for it. It was never going to be smooth sailing, me and her. The final thing I really didn’t like was the romance with an insect alien. Like, I do not want to read even the beginnings of potential sex with an insect alien, let alone the foreplay bit. I completely skipped those parts, I won’t lie. Also, I don’t mean to sound like I’m policing how you write sexualities, but Eva was meant to be pansexual and, unless I missed something, that didn’t seem obvious. Of course, the insect alien could have been what that was about. Maybe. But anyways. There are so many simple ways to establish that, and I never felt as though it was established. (Disclaimer: I was skimming after a bit so it’s entirely likely I just missed it.) So yeah. In the end, it was just another hit-or-miss book that completely missed me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    DNF at 4% Eh, just not feeling it. I don't know what it is, but it's not holding my attention. Maybe because in 4% I've already read three or four descriptions of Eva's tangled black hair? I dunno. I feel snarky tonight, and I'm just not feeling it. Maybe later, maybe never. Probably never. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I was promised Firefly meets Mass Effect, and that's exactly what I got. Valerie Valdes wears her influences pretty obviously, but those inspirations offer more complex casts of characters that interact realistically and never feel like simply complimentary pieces for the protagonist to use. That may be a bit too harsh, but Eva's crewmates were not really given moments to express themselves outside of Eva's needs or wants which boxes them into essential roles only to compliment her actions. The I was promised Firefly meets Mass Effect, and that's exactly what I got. Valerie Valdes wears her influences pretty obviously, but those inspirations offer more complex casts of characters that interact realistically and never feel like simply complimentary pieces for the protagonist to use. That may be a bit too harsh, but Eva's crewmates were not really given moments to express themselves outside of Eva's needs or wants which boxes them into essential roles only to compliment her actions. The book sets up a cast of complex, realistic figures who each have intriguing personalities and backgrounds, but the reader never gets to really become acquainted with them or their pasts. Hopefully, sequels can pull the author's foot off the gas and let the characters actually relate to one another and develop rather than rush to some anti-climatic final conflict with an unsatisfying resolution. Aside from those mild complaints, this book is a fun space adventure with plenty of ridiculous moments and great action that kept me entertained. It's Firefly meets Mass Effect. What's not to like?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rike @ RikeRandom

    Okay, there were a bunch of things I absolutely loved about this and some I really think could have been done better. But overall I very much enjoyed Chilling Effect. So, good things first: + The characters are great! They are super diverse and quite a few of them, including the protagonist, are in their late thirties + There is a lot of action but also so much humour in this! + While there is a central romance, it's not the focus of the story + A lot of the stuff going on here plays with what's rig Okay, there were a bunch of things I absolutely loved about this and some I really think could have been done better. But overall I very much enjoyed Chilling Effect. So, good things first: + The characters are great! They are super diverse and quite a few of them, including the protagonist, are in their late thirties + There is a lot of action but also so much humour in this! + While there is a central romance, it's not the focus of the story + A lot of the stuff going on here plays with what's right or wrong and the grey zones in between + The wirting was really good! There is a lot of cursing in Spanish though … And the bad things, which is really more like one big bad thing: - The lack of world building and detailed descriptions! I would have wished for a lot more background to almost every aspect of this story and I had a hard time picturing many of the aliens (especially the love interest)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    I really loved this novel! I'm a big Mass Effect fan and I appreciated all the references. Also, I love space adventures and this is the first one I've read that is unapologetically Latinx. I love how much Spanish was in it. This book is fun and has psychic cats and space dinosaurs! Love it! Full review: https://gabimorataya.wordpress.com/20... I really loved this novel! I'm a big Mass Effect fan and I appreciated all the references. Also, I love space adventures and this is the first one I've read that is unapologetically Latinx. I love how much Spanish was in it. This book is fun and has psychic cats and space dinosaurs! Love it! Full review: https://gabimorataya.wordpress.com/20...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lucille

    3,5/5 A really fun read! Before the confinement I couldn't get into it because I read bits of it here and there and couldn't concentrate in the tram and bus but now i was able to rush through it and enjoyed it a lot!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn Brett Lewis

    Did Not Finish. I really wanted to like this book, with its whacky style, pop-culture references, and diverse cast of characters. However, it reads, to me, like a first draft that was written to fill pages that didn't get properly edited into what could have been a good book. The tone shifts, the descriptions are sparce, and there are several unexplored ideas and characters that never reached their full potential.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality First of all, any story that begins with genius, psychic cats on a spaceship has me from jump. And that’s exactly the way that Chilling Effect starts, with Captain Eva Innocente running around La Sirena Negra trying to chase down her cargo; 20 genetically engineered, hyper-intelligent and hypnotic felines. And just when she thinks she’s finally corralled the last one – everything goes pear-shaped. Which turns out to be a metaphor for this entire space-romp o Originally published at Reading Reality First of all, any story that begins with genius, psychic cats on a spaceship has me from jump. And that’s exactly the way that Chilling Effect starts, with Captain Eva Innocente running around La Sirena Negra trying to chase down her cargo; 20 genetically engineered, hyper-intelligent and hypnotic felines. And just when she thinks she’s finally corralled the last one – everything goes pear-shaped. Which turns out to be a metaphor for this entire space-romp of a story, as Eva and her crew find themselves running a game both with and against the biggest criminal organization in the galaxy, trying to save Eva’s sister, their own hides, and one of the big secrets of their universe. It’s an edge of your seat ride through every jumpgate in the known universe to see if Eva can get her ship, her crew, her family and her soul through this adventure relatively unscathed. And that’s adventure in the sense of something terrible and/or frightening happening to someone else, either long ago, far away, or preferably both. Eva only wishes it were happening to someone else – frequently and often, while cursing in Spanish, English and possibly a few other languages along the way. But it’s happening to her, whether she wants it or not. And while she certainly doesn’t want that adventure, she does want to save her sister and the rest of her family. No matter who, or what, gets in her way. Escape Rating A+: There have been plenty of comparisons already between Firefly and Chilling Effect. I think the best one that I read said something about if Firefly and Mass Effect had a baby midwifed by Guillermo del Toro, that Chilling Effect would be the resulting book baby. I think there were more parents and grandparents involved, but I’ll still grant the idea of del Toro as the midwife because it’s just plain cool. The resemblance between La Sirena Negra and Serenity, the Firefly-class ship in the series, along with its motley, barely-on-the-edge-of-legality crew, is out and proud and adds to the long list of stories inspired by that series. Firefly casts a long shadow for such a short-lived show. There are also plenty of points where Eva reads a lot like the female Commander Shepherd in Mass Effect – just with an even looser relationship with the law and the truth. But it feels to me as if Chilling Effect also has at least two SFnal “fairy godmothers”, Kylara Vatta from the Vatta’s War series and Tess Bailey from Nightchaser. In both of those female-centric space operas, you get the same kind of leader who is on the run from deep, dark secrets that are buried, not at all deeply in the family tree, that the heroine must confront in order to be free. In addition to the terrific characterizations of Eva and her crew, part of what makes this story so good are its exploration – and eventual complete skewering, of a trope that normally makes readers cringe. I’m talking about the overused and now hated convention of putting female characters in literal or figurative refrigerators, in other words, freezing them out of the narrative, so that they become an object to motivate a hero into action to either rescue or avenge them. In Chilling Effect, Eva’s sister is put into cryo-sleep by a criminal organization known as “The Fridge”, moving Eva and her crew to great lengths in order to free her and ultimately discovering the secrets behind The Fridge and the ancient race who seeded the galaxy with jumpgates (and linking back to Mass Effect yet again.) But instead of motivating a man and leaving the female character offstage for the rest of the story, we have a woman moving the galaxy to rescue another woman, with a mixed-species and gender crew. The whole thing works as both impetus and send-up in one glorious smash! It’s pretty clear that I loved Chilling Effect from that opening scene, and that I can’t wait for the next book in the author’s Untitled Space Opera series. (That’s literally what the series is called, but the next book does have a title, and that’s Prime Deception.) But there’s one more thing I want to get into before I let you go off to read Chilling Effect. It’s an important part of Eva Innocente’s story that she and her family, and even the colony they came from, are, like the author, of Cuban descent. This isn’t just window-dressing, that origin story both underpins Eva’s actions and peppers her language with phrases from that heritage. I had to look up a lot of the idioms, and I highly recommend that you do. They are often hilarious, always informative, and add to the flavor and texture of the book and the characters in ways that just feel right. As someone who grew up in a household where another language was frequently sprinkled into the conversation, there are concepts that just don’t translate from one language to the next, in spite of the English language’s often-quoted propensity to not merely “borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” The way that Eva mixes the Cuban phrases that she learned as a child add to the depth and verisimilitude of her character – and I feel that adds to the story whether I initially understand what she’s saying or not. (After all, that’s what Google Translate is for.) And I want that representation for her because I also want to see it in other stories – and am – for myself. So I may have gotten into this story for those psychic cats, but I stayed for Captain Eva.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sam (she_who_reads_)

    This was certainly full of action- unfortunately by the halfway mark it was becoming a bit repetitive, and I found myself no longer invested in the action. I also needed a bit more character development- especially for the side characters, who were quite one dimensional. If a much more plot driven version of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet sounds appealing to you, then I think you will absolutely love this book! I’m disappointed I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ovvkCgR... https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ovvkCgR...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    I had a high hopes for this book, since it came recommended as a mash up of Firefly, Becky Chambers with the seemingly awesome addition of psychic cats. After all, who wouldn’t want to read a space pirate book that involves psychic cats? While there were parts that managed to be engaging and unique (scent feelings, a Latinx cultural and language backdrop, psychic cats), there were other parts that felt like a rehash of Firefly plot lines and themes or were just superfluous to the main plot. We g I had a high hopes for this book, since it came recommended as a mash up of Firefly, Becky Chambers with the seemingly awesome addition of psychic cats. After all, who wouldn’t want to read a space pirate book that involves psychic cats? While there were parts that managed to be engaging and unique (scent feelings, a Latinx cultural and language backdrop, psychic cats), there were other parts that felt like a rehash of Firefly plot lines and themes or were just superfluous to the main plot. We get to know the main character, Eva, pretty well, and though she professes to feel that her crew is like a family to her, this never manifest in a believable way, probably because we don’t really know anything about them. The biggest disappointment? The book is not about psychic cats at all. They’re one of the peripheral parts to the main story that just seems to get in the way of the plot. There were a lot of good threads in here and some promising world building, but overall, the story and characters were so busy running around trying to complete this mission or that mission or getting chased by random bad guys, they never found their true voice.

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