Linnea Sinclair – "Finders Keepers"

14 Jan

GENRE: Romance / Science fiction
PUBLISHED: Bantam Books, 2005

WHY THIS NOVEL? I liked Sinclair’s Gabriel’s Ghost very much.

The back blurb:
“Independent trader Trilby Elliot is making some not-quite-legal modifications to her starfreighter, when an unexpected visitor falls out of space. Literally. He’s crashed onto the uninhabited planet of Avanar in a crippled ‘Sko fighter – the last place you’d expect to find Zafharin military officer because the ‘Sko and the Zafharin have been at war as long as Trilby can remember.
Rhis Vanur is your typically arrogant Zafharin. But to Trilby’s surprise, he doesn’t look down on her or her slapdash ship. Still, Trilby’s learned the hard way that even though she found Rhis, she can’t keep him. She’s just a low-budget jump jockey as far as men like him are concerned. She’s not falling for his offer to help … until Port Rumor reports her best friend missing and Trilby learns that the ‘Sko are hunting both her and Rhis. Now they’re in it together for better, for worse – or till death blasts them to oblivion …”

Images of Han Solo and his ship kept coming up while I read the beginning of Finders Keepers. Only thing different: in Finders Keepers, Han Solo is a woman named Trilby. The list of things Trilby needs to repair or replace is so long that what can be broken seems to be broken on her ship Careless Venture. She’s in the trade business and has a side-kick named Dezi that reminded me strongly of C-3PO.

There are only two complaints I have about Finders Keepers: one is (kind of) serious and one is on the silly side.

The silly one first.

Rhis has a moustache. Eeew! I know that’s sometimes the correct way to look for them (historicals?), but I don’t want to know about it. Facial hair tends to throw me out of the story and I always think “hope this is a mistake. He’ll shave it off.” Silly, I know, so on with the more serious one.

Rhis Vanur has something he does keep secret from Trilby. It’s revealed rather early in the story and beside that easy to guess. The problem is how this revelation comes about. It goes roughly something like: 1) Rhis thinking: “Oh. I’ve to tell Trilby this before …” 2) Then it’s “before” and some more thinking: “Oh. There’s something I forgot. But what is it?” 3) The secret comes out without his “help”. Then it’s: “Oh. Ups. That’s what I forgot to tell Trilby.” 4) Trilby is pissed off at Rhis.

So, you see it coming, you practically know this is going to happen and be a problem for their HEA, so it’s not out of the blue. But it’s just a second “reason” why Trilby can’t be with Rhis, because she can either see him:

“as a liar, who felt that his continued attentions would guarantee her continued cooperation. or as a lover, one so far above her station and social circle – like she really had one of those! – that they stood no chance of success in a relationship.” (p.257)

and therefore I thought the way this second complication (can’t trust him because he lied) was introduced was a bit clumsy.

For the second half of the novel,Trilby and Rhis have to work together to uncover what’s behind the ‘Sko’s attacks, so the more reasons Trilby has to be wary of Rhis the better it might be. Trilby is not happy about this situation. Rhis is. He wants Trilby back. As far as he sees, the only thing he has to do for their HEA is save the universe from the ‘Sko.

I liked how Sinclair wove small things from one point of the story into the story at a later point. For example, Trilby and Rhis work on her Zafharish vocabulary. They talk about adjectives – positive and negative. Later in the story, Sinclair picks these adjectives up. It fitted and made me smile. What can I say, I like these kind of things.

And apart from that moustache, I liked Finders Keepers.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 4 + / 5


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