Monday 17 February 2020

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Chilling Effect (Chilling Effect, #1)Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 437

Publisher - Orbit books

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

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.

My Review

The book has an awesome opening, chapter title "Save the Cats" - the cover features cats in wee space helmets and every chapter has a wee hand drawn cat in a space helmet. They are sassy, trouble and did I mention psychic? What isn't to love, they were some of the things that made me want to read the book as I don't go in for a lot of fantasy/space type fiction. With a strong opening chapter I thought I was going to love this book, cats in space and psychic cats at that not to mention a whole whack of sassiness. However they feature very little after that and it really did have a huge impact because I thought with them being over so much of the cover/blurb/chapter headings they would have been integral.

The main character is Captain Eva Innocente and her crew on her ship, battering about in space and she ends up taking on a very unsafe mission to save her sister even though she is estranged from her family. She doesn't tell her crew, part of the agreement and she thinks in their best interest. What follows is a multitude of dangerous missions, being targetted by a sexist eejit, unbelieveable danger, a ton of swearing, attitude and more types of beings/creatures than I could keep count of. The main character also would have whole sentences of phrases that weren't english (the majority of the book is in english), I later picked up some of it was a type of spanish but mixed with something else. So I would stop to google the phrases which some would translate and others made no sense at all. I found it to be quite frustrating and I was possibly missing key information from those scenes.

Other times I have Guardians of the galaxy vibes and really enjoyed parts, space, action and even a wee bit of romance. I think if the book had a glossary to describe the different beings & maybe a wee explanation of the language used might have helped a wee bit as I did feel lost at times. I am hoping if this is a series then book two will embrace and include the space cats as I just feel there was so much they could have added and been part to. Who doesn't want more cats, psychic cats, cats, lol, 3/5 for me this time. It was nice to try a different author and it is no mean feat to create a whole different universe let alone beings but a wee space on a website or glossary in any following books to help the readers get to grips with all the new creations would be great, well I think so.

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