Review: Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet (Endeavor #1)


Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet // VBCNightchaser (Endeavor #1)
Amanda Bouchet
Published: Jan. 1, 2019 (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Captain Tess Bailey and the crew of the Endeavor have just stolen a research lab—yes, the entire lab. It even had a man inside it at the time—from the Galactic Overlord, hoping to deliver the vaccines it held to sick children in an orphanage. But the lab turned out to be much more important than Tess thought since it was not developing vaccines, but super-soldier serum. Consequently, the authorities caught up with the Endeavor much sooner than expected. What’s a starship captain to do when she absolutely can’t go back to prison? Fly right into a black hole, of course.

Instead of being crushed to death, Tess and company find themselves on the other side of the galaxy with just enough power left to make it to Albion 5. There Tess meets self-proclaimed “Space Rogue” Shade Ganavan, who claims he can get the parts to fix her ship. He’s also easy on the eyes and quick with the flirtatious comments. But Shade is more than he seems and his secrets may come back to bite Tess and her crew. And it’s only a matter of time before the authorities figure out she’s not dead.

Nightchaser is a romance so Tess and Shade’s relationship is a major part of the story. I loved the banter and the tension between them from the very beginning. There’s also clear consent and none of the kidnapping stuff that bothered some readers about Bouchet’s Kingmaker series.

But I loved the sci-fi elements, too. It’s easy to see the Star Wars influences, though I kept thinking of The Hunger Games with the numbered sectors and their monochromatic ruler. And there are some interesting differences as well, like the fact that there are no “aliens” and all of the people are descended from Earth. The comparative literature part of my brain is having lots of fun with this book.

I felt like the story dragged a little bit while Tess and Shade were in their “getting to know you phase” and again at the end when getting them to their happily for now. And I would have liked to see the crew actually pull a heist instead of starting at the moment of their almost-capture. I feel like Tess is a competent captain and capable of defending herself, but I only know that because she says so. What she often shows is her reliance on Shade and her partner Jax when things get physical. I think seeing her cat burglar skills in action would have helped that. (Plus, heist scenes are just really cool.)

But overall Nightchaser was a lot of fun. If you like Star Wars, Dark Matter or Killjoys, youll want to check this one out.

Sexual content: graphic sex

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