Linnea Sinclair – “Games Of Command”

10 Mar

GENRE: Romance / Science Fiction
PUBLISHED: Bantam Spectra Books, 2007

WHY THIS NOVEL: It’s Linnea Sinclair.

The back blurb:
“The universe isn’t what it used to be. With the new Alliance between the Triad and the United Coalition, Captain Tasha ‘Sass’ Sebastian finds herself serving under her former nemesis, biocybe Admiral Branden Kel-Paten – and doing her best to hide a deadly past. But when an injured mercenary winds up in their ship’s sick bay – and in the hands of her best friend, Dr. Eden Fynn – Sass’s efforts may be wasted.
Wanted rebel Jace Serafino has information that could expose all of Sass’s secrets, tear the fragile Alliance apart – and end Sass’s career if Kel-Paten discovers them. But the biocybe has something to hide as well, something once thought impossible for his kind to possess: feelings … for Sass. Soon it’s clear that their prisoner could bring down everything they once believed was worth dying for – and everything they now have to live for.”

Linnea Sinclair calls Games of Command a “bit of space opera romance silliness” in the front of the novel. It’s a nice and fitting description. I also call Games of Command “a-really-good-time read.” I had great fun reading it. I enjoyed the well-plotted story and the mature characters, especially the strong and capable heroines.

Need I say more?

Probably yes, although that’s a daunting task because there’s so much going on.

Games of Command consists, roughly speaking, of two parts: the first part takes place on the Vaxxar, Admiral Kel-Paten’s ship; the other part takes place somewhere else. Whereas the focus of the first part is mostly on the characters and their relationships with a few hints of the trouble to come, the second part is more action-driven. Branden, Sass, Eden and Jace have to figure out what’s going on. But, and that’s what I like about Linnea Sinclair’s novels, the development of the characters is still important and not forgotten. Sinclair manages to do both.

You also get two, nearly equally fully developed love stories in one book. The first is between Tasha ‘Sass’ Sebastian and Brandon Kel-Paten. That’s the more prominent one. The second is between Jace Serafino and Eden Fynn but it’s so developed that one can’t call it just a ‘secondary romance.’

And you get two ‘furzels,’ cat-like pets, as important characters. Just look at the cover for confirmation. For some, the furzels might be bordering on ‘too cutesy.’ I didn’t mind them too much. They play an important role for the story itself and are not just there for comical relief and cuteness reasons.

Small quibbles: The romance between Jace and Eden didn’t pack the emotional punch it could have, IMO. I missed something, probably because I thought it developed too fast after a certain point (I like to go for the angst-y bits). I would have liked some more explanation in the latter part of the novel. It’s not that I didn’t understand what was going on. It’s just that I like to figure out characters behaviours more than I like to figure out how something is possible in story’s world. Overall, Games of Command was too short. I wanted to read more about this vivid and interesting world, damn it.

Big quibble: I understand that Games of Command is the combination of two novels (e-book). So the novel was much longer at some point, I think. Why didn’t they just publish the e-book versions?

Not that I complain. But still. It would have been more to read. And in the case of Linnea Sinclair, I think more is never a bad thing. Also, I’m pretty sure it would have gotten 5 dancing ants then.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

<Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 4,5 / 5


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