Release date: 28th April 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: Endeavor #2
Blurb: THEY NEVER WANTED TO BE HEROES
Captain Tess Bailey and Shade Ganavan are still the galaxy’s Most Wanted, and with revolution in the wind and the universe on the brink of catastrophic war, the situation couldn’t be more desperate. Despite the Dark Watch scouring the known sectors for them, rebel leaders have handed the crew of the Endeavor a delicate and dangerous mission: break into Starbase 12 and free renowned scientist Reena Ahern. She’s the only one who stands a chance of tipping the odds in their favor for the first time in decades.
BUT PULLING OFF THE IMPOSSIBLE IS WHAT THEY DO BEST
The clock is ticking. But as their attraction builds and secrets are revealed, Tess and Shade must decide if they trust each other enough to execute this impossible prison break. They could change the course of history, but they’ll be risking everything… They’ll just have to tackle one crisis at a time.
To anyone out there who is planning on reading the first in this series, Nightchaser, I urge you to turn away now because this review will be a little spoilery.
Seriously, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you’re still here, that means you don’t mind spoilers then proceed.
Starbreaker starts out where its predecessor ended off. Shade and Tess are on the run from the Overseer, her uncle is keeping her nearest and dearest hostage while Shiori has been arrested and is currently imprisoned on one of the universe’s largest prison vessels. In an attempt to stave off ruin, Tess has promised 6 units of her blood in order to facilitate the continuation of the super soldier project after she stole the entire supply of serum and gave it to the Mornavail. Basically, stuff’s about to get hectic.
If you have been following me and my reviews for a while, you will know that I absolutely adored Nightchaser with its intricate storyline and beautifully flawed cast. In Starbreaker, Bouchet once again aims for the fences. Going in to this one, I had completely forgotten the events of the previous novel because that was over 200 books ago (don’t judge me, I read a lot and hardly ever reread). But this didn’t matter all that much because there were a ton of references to it which adequately jogged my memory as to where we were in the timeline of Tess Bailey.
Telling the tale from both the viewpoint of Mr Smooth, Shade, and Tess could have gone abysmally wrong but it perfectly fit in with the overall flow of the narrative, never rehashing the current events but seamlessly changing viewpoints at the best possible time to keep it flowing. Whether it be related to their torrid love affair, current adventure or simply about them lounging around the Endeavor with their friends, every scene has its place and is immaculately constructed so as to perfectly get across the tale of Tess and her merry band of thieves – yes, she’s basically a genderbent Robin Hood while he’s just Shade (no relation to the Shade that we all wanted to die for in the book about castes). Also Bonk is back with a vengeance, a grudge and his nasty claws of retribution while also being a furry little engine of fuzz that gives me all the happies when they’re around.
Now, there were definitely some twists throughout where I kind of guessed what was going on but not until fairly close to their reveal – they weren’t stale or thoroughly predictable, I am once again just ridiculously good at picking these things. One thing I do wish had have occurred is them re-entering The Fold. Although I kind of forgot about it, once references to this floating alternate universe started popping up, I sort of began to miss it. Also, things happen associated with it that made me simply stare at the wall in the early hours of the morning, contemplating my own mortality.
The Overseer has less of a starring role in this one but he still pulls the strings of the universe from the background. He’s still a jerk, I still love to hate him and honestly you won’t change my mind. Also he’s a bloodhungry asshole (if you know, you know) and I wouldn’t change anything about him. Including that he is clearly delusional about *events that are yet to occur*. I just really need him to be around more in the future, regardless of his role, age, or relationship with people who shall not be named here.
I appreciate this review is very rambly at this point because, well, if I gave my actual thoughts on everything, it would include so many spoilers and we don’t venture into that territory here. Basically, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It maintains a relatively fast pace and changes point of views frequently (although they are usually well timed changes). Tess and Shade continue to impress; whether it be their ingenious stealth manoeuvres to perform their various coups, their witty banter, or THOSE scenes, all their actions are relatively genius. Also, there is a seeming changing of alliances and I am al for it and their super soldiery goodness.
Until next time lovelies xo