This was so much fun. For the most part, the pacing was on point. The characters were a delight to read. I laughed so much reading this. It’s definitely my type of funny. I had a few issues with it. They were only annoying enough to lose one star. As a whole, this book wins.
Firstly the heroine, Juliette is awesome. In most of my reviews starring supposedly strong female leads, my complaint is always how they end up being a bit whiny and dependent on some other force, usually the male, to survive. What I like about Juliette is that she is set up to have war training and combat skills and this carries through. She doesn’t somehow magically after all this talk about what she can do, become useless and thus need the male or some other person to rescue her. She doesn’t make rash decisions and walk into things blindly which would be in direct contrast to how the author set up the lead and clearly just a plot device so that someone who is supposed to have the skills to avoid said situations somehow forgets their training and again, needing to be saved: non of this type of stuff happens in this book which makes it a delight to read.
Aeron also sticks to character. He’s a pilot thrown into a world that needs the skill-set Julliette has. He mentions this in his point of view often and respects her for it. He even has zero problems deferring to her when her skills are needed. It makes for a much better book that for the most part, it’s devoid of the man stepping in to be all heroic nonsense. Plus it allows the reader to focus more on what he actually can do, like fly and repair the plane and coordinate big intergalactic shows like intergalactic Idol.
One point that had me cheering was the section in the book where Aeron needs rescuing. I swear if it was Julliette that needed to be rescued it would’ve shot to a one-star review immediately and it would not have recovered. Both of these characters were written well and I enjoyed them. Even the side characters were written well. I had one issue with them though. Something about their timeline with Aeron seemed off. I couldn’t ever really tell if they were human or just looked human, something about the way they talked initially gave the impression they were then here and there the way they interacted with Julliette later on made it seem like they had been in space forever, almost too long to be human. It was probably mentioned but not clearly enough to alleviate my confusion.
Other little quirks like the Jimmie Hendrix joke. Aeron works for Samantha, an intergalactic celebrity. Entertainment is what he does, considering he is organising a galaxy and beyond wide Idol. Song and dance on a much more massive and political scale. Surely it would not be difficult to explain anything musical or entertainment and celebrity related to him. He’d understand that stuff easy. The disconnect in understanding human culture could’ve been easily navigated through his understanding of the entertainment industry. I felt this way about a few earth quirks that Aeron seemed more than capable of understanding with mild explanation but the author made it seem like it would be too difficult for him to grasp. Aeron was written smart enough to get it, and Julliette was written smart enough to understand this fact so it was one tiny thing that seemed out of character for both of them.
The laughing at fluffer seemed a bit much too. I find it really hard that Julliette would suddenly forget all her hard-learned training to laugh uncontrollably at what was, in my opinion, a really good joke. Later on, with the humans but not human side characters, it would’ve been stupid-funny if she and them went through all the adult images and jokes a Bunny named Fluffer could create. As it was her just laughing at the obvious like an eleven-year-old ruined the joke for me and it also took away from when the joke came back later on.
Samantha still makes no sense to me. Is the story implying that all earth chickens can talk and humans just can’t understand them? I was reading this entire book expecting a humanoid alien chicken appearance. When Aeron said she is an earth chicken Samantha’s awesomeness lost its value. She’s literally a chicken. As a human going into this book if there isn’t anything remotely alien about her she’s still just a chicken. And to add to that she still clucks. Julliette needs a device so she can hear her which again begs the question can all non-humans talk to all earth chickens and if chickens can be out there saving planets and running political schemes, why are they letting simple lifeforms like humans catch them and eat them. Samantha didn’t live up to her hype and was supposed to be weird quirky fun once she was revealed but came off as simply weird.
The fried chicken reveal at the end was like… why. A whole book read and now this information is dropped because it’s essential to the plot? Nope. It’s just an ending information drop that doesn’t change much of the story. Also, the before marriage are you sure about this speech, slowed the pace down. Just get married. Why are we stopping before the do for a private conversation? It should be all about the big moment at this point after a whole book. Why are we still on the idea of being sure thus taking up more page time after a fairly good ending? I honestly didn’t read a single bit of it.
All in all, none of the above took up enough page time to doom this story. Good leads. Well developed characters, a believable plot if you ignore the let-down of Samantha, and tons and tons of action and outright hilarity. I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for good action, clever and funny situations, and a good dose of steamy encounters. This story will deliver.
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