Remember when? Commander Rafian VCA, the most gifted Space Marine in the Anstractor Alliance, remembers nothing. Waking up with no recollection of his life before becoming a Jumper recruit, he falls in love, joins a rebellion, and focuses his efforts on overthrowing a government. But as his memory slowly returns, he recalls his original mission. Rafian now has a new goal: find his way home, make things right with the love of his life, and avenge the aliens who invaded his planet. But first, the Jumpers must pay - pay for ruining his life.
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I was given the Audible credit in return for an honest review, so here goes. To me, the story started out promising, with the main character living on the streets, having escaped the planet of his birth during an alien invasion, and escaping to a warship, where he is accepted into the academy which trains into future officers. Sounds like a rags to riches Ender's Game, and reads that way too, which isn't a bad thing. He becomes a successful pilot, and all around kick ass soldier. He does have a LOT of drama in his love life, more than I would have expected, but I was OK with it. Then the story takes a turn for the weird, when Rafian and his current Lady are recruited by the Network, which is a shadowy spy organization that is not mentioned once in the book until they got their invitations, which I thought was jarring. The training was reprehensible, where the students are basically forced to have sex with each other on pain of death, to learn not to form attachments of feeling with sex, and they are trained to kill, back stab and manipulate others. They are then sent on their first missions, to earn the right to gain the basic rank of Person. Before that, though, they are mindwiped to forget their memories of self, retaining only technical knowledge. Rafian is dumped in a universe where he is to join a rebellion and overthrow the government. He does this, while also falling for a Noble Lady Soldier, who he marries. He returns to the order after being gone for 3 years, only regaining his memories at the last minute. he then has to resolve the conflict between himself, his now wife, and the other woman he loves. Plus, all the other women he is going to keep having sex with. The last part of the book involved them taking back their home planet from the invading aliens. It felt rushed at the end, as if the storyline was jammed in place to fit regardless. Rafian's ability to rationalize having sex with all these different women, while his wife was raised to believe in a monogamous culture, was really jarring and really made me think of him as an unlikable jerk in that respect. It was overall an ok read, with some good bits in the combat scenes, buit the personal interactions and drama were offputting. I won't recommend against reading it, but it doesn't seem like a book that will be getting a re-read. The narrator was mediocre, being a bit monotoned, with a lot of background noise during her reading. She does not have much variety in her voice for different characters, so overall, 3 stars.
I enjoy a good sci-fi and a good romance, but I guess I don't like a romantic sci-fi. The story was pretty good and I liked the characters, especially the strong female characters. But the romantic scenes took me out of the sci-fi action. On the other hand, the sci-fi scenes seemed much too violent for a romance. I'm sure there are many people that would really enjoy this type of novel.
Anisha Dadia did an excellent job. Her soft voice and British accent fit well in both the sci-fi and romance genre. Her pacing was excellent.
An epic, romantic sci-fi.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**