Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Collision Course

Zoë Archer
Sci Fi Romance
e-book novella
Carina Press
Available Now
Received from author for review

Not only is Mara Skiren a smuggler being blackmailed into a rescue mission for the prestigious 8th wing, a group of gifted pilots, she's also being given a partner. A partner in the form of gorgeous, confident Commander Kell Frayne.

As if the mission weren't dangerous enough–roaming unfriendly skies and worlds in search of a missing pilot and aircraft–she finds herself increasingly distracted by the new male addition to her small but resilient ship.

Mara doesn't do relationships. One night stands, yes. Committed relationships, no. But there's something about Kell that's making its way under her carefully maintained armor, and she's not sure she even wants to put up much of a fight to keep him at a distance. However, despite the fact that she's falling for him, the likelihood that he'll want a smuggler in his perfect 8th Wing life seems entirely too much to hope for.

Collision Course wastes little time introducing us to a world of space travel and fantastical environments, thrusting us right into the action and the tangible romantic tension between our two protagonists. Ms. Archer does a beautiful job of crafting a story lighter on the science fiction element, one that gives us just enough detail to jump start our imaginations into creating images of people and places without burdening us with so much information that we begin to lose interest. This world and its characters are perfect for those readers who are curious about Sci Fi but perhaps hesitant to give it a try. The flush-inducing sparks crackling between Kell and Mara instantly catch our full attention and hold it throughout, anchoring us in familiar emotion while we travel at unbelievable speeds, meet and hear about unusual creatures, and wander streets in worlds we can hardly fathom.

Kell and Mara are characters who feel fully developed and complex despite the short amount of page time we get to spend with them, brief flashes of their histories giving us just enough understanding to help us relate to the people they've become. Both are incredibly strong and independent, their difficult pasts making it clear to us why they've chosen the separate paths along which they tread, but in them we see enough similarities to be content with watching as their respective bumpy, winding roads begin to smooth and curve in a new direction where a blissful merge of flesh, emotion, and future awaits. Ms. Archer has created two dominant, strong-willed personalities who find themselves unexpectedly vulnerable in the hands of another person, and we as readers just flip the pages smiling as defenses are dropped and trust is given.

Overall, Collision Course is a very quick, easy, and entertaining read with strong leading characters and an intriguing intergalactic storyline. The romance flares bright and hot, the combustible pair of Kell and Mara heating the pages (or e-reader in this case) beneath our fingers, but also fully satisfying our need for an emotional connection to make the physical attraction all the more powerful. Ms. Archer has me positively hooked on this series and I'm counting the days until Chain Reaction is released in November.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Great review, Jenny! I tend to avoid sci-fi but the romance element in this one seems stronger than the sci-fi aspect. I also like that you get to know the characters well though it's a novella. I'll be adding this one to my wishlist.

  2. So nice when books don't waste our time getting into the plot and action. And even more that the characters are fully developed.
    BTW...what e-reader do you have?

  3. Sounds so exciting! The only book I've read with space travel is The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy, which is a completely different book to this one. I like that the main characters are strong and complex.

  4. Nothing wrong with a short book as long as the author does a great job! Great review Jenny! I added it to my TBR! :)

  5. I have this one on my radar! I am not a big fan of sci-fi but to be honest the overall story and romance are what appeal to me. I have heard nothing but good things about this book--so I am considering it another branch out of my realm book. Plus, I love Carina Press :)

  6. Hmmm, si-fi romance. I have yet to read a romance like that. I never heard of this book or author. I may have to pick up. Thanks for the review!

  7. See now by the synopsis I would never pick this one up... But now I totally need to read it!

  8. Zahida - I'm usually not a huge Sci Fi fan, but this one was really good:)

    Alison - I was surprised how developed the characters were and how involved I was in their story in only 200 pages. I have a Kindle and love it:)

    Misha - This is a really fun romance, I just blew through it and then stared at my Kindle hoping for more:)

    Krazzyme - It is:)

    Jacinda - Exactly! I really enjoy all Zoe Archer's books:)

    Felicia - It's really light on the Sci Fi, just mention of ships and worlds and things, but nothing overwhelming. The romance is really strong as is the story:)

    Savy - I know you like some romance along with all your YA, so this might be a fun one to read when you need a break from the teen angst:)

    Ashley - I probably wouldn't have picked it up either if I hadn't been asked to review it, but I would have been missing out. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

  9. Oh wow this sounds really good. Im kind of a Sci-fi junkie. I get in my moods and its a great genre for the weird...;)

    Super review, Im adding it to the TBR.

  10. Strong characters and interesting plot are must haves for reading a book. This one really looks interesting. Any idea if it will be in paperback format? I really need to start looking into getting an ereader!

  11. Tina - I'm starting to like it more and more with each book I try:) It's definitely a nice break from all the vamps and weres I normally read:)

    Rummanah - I just checked her site and it looks like it's just an e-book for now. You should definitely get an e-reader, I love mine! I still adore my paper books and prefer them when possible, it's just so easy to get books on the e-reader:)

  12. Great review! Somehow I over looked this book when I was shopping at Carina...lol...I'll have to add it to my list!

  13. Great review. The second I see today and yes it does seem to have something calling my name

  14. I love space books and this one sounds really interesting (thanks to your review). I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own. Definitely going on my TBR list. Great review!

  15. I have been reading some pretty hardcore Sci-Fis lately, so this being a lighter Sci-Fi? Well, sounds perfect to me! Thanks for the great review Jenny! I will have to check this out!

  16. I'm really always looking for more sci-fi, and this sounds right up my alley, especially if it's strongly character-driven! Fabulous review (as usual) Jenny! :)

  17. Maria - Yes, please go back and add it, it's great:)

    Blodeuedd - I just loved Mara and Kell both, usually in a romance I favor one character but I thought both of them were equally fantastic.

    Loren - So glad you're giving it a try, I hope you love it!

    Avery - It's just a quick, really entertaining read:)

    Melissa - I think you'll like this one, the characters are the most important part but it also has a really believable story that sucks you in:)

  18. I'm not a Sci-fi lover either but I noticed you said 'light on the sci-fi' and also used Fantastical which is one of the words I use when I really love a book, LOL, so it can't hurt to try new things.

    It sounds pretty good aside from the sci-fi but the new creatures and worlds sounds like some pretty awesome reading.

    I might give this one a try :o]

    Kristi-The Book Faery

  19. Strong characters and hot romance? Okay, I'm drooling. I want to read this one. *acts put out, but totally skips to the wishlist* ;)

  20. I was just commenting to a friend that I'm not a Sci-fi reader. I just can't get into it. But light on Sci-fi sounds okay. As long as I don't have to get bogged down by too many technical terms or new types of creatures that are almost but not quite like animals here on earth. And different levels and stars. I would have never loved Star Wars as a book!(The original)

    Good review, tempting as I don't have anything that's like this at all in my piles. And I love romance. Guess this one isn't YA. But they all can't be can they?


  21. "Curious about Sci Fi but perhaps hesitant to give it a try." Yes, this sounds like a good book for me. Perhaps if I started off with more of a Sci Fi-Lite read, I could eventually progress into heavier Sci Fi and come to appreciate it more.

  22. Kristi - It was very light on the Sci Fi, mostly focused on the relationship and I really liked that about it:)

    Melissa - I loved both Mara and Kell, they were oh-so sexy together:)

    Heather - I'm not either, but this one was great. Just a little terminology and some different creatures, but nothing that kicked me out of the story because I couldn't picture it.

    Aylee - If you like romance, then this is a great story regardless of whether your a fan of Sci Fi:) It would be a great intro to Sci Fi just to see if you like it:)

  23. Ooo! This sounds interesting -- especially the characters and setting. Usually don't read sci-fi, but this seems fun!

  24. Oh how I've missed your reviews!

    This sounds like something I would really like! I may have to wait until the first book is out though :)