“Starheart” was published in 2014 and was written by Greta van der Rol (http://gretavanderrol.net). Ms. Van Der Rol has published more than a dozen novels and this is her third novel in the “Ptorix Empire” series.
I obtained a galley of this Science Fiction/Mystery/Romance novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there is Mature Language, Mature Situations and Violence. The novel is written in the third person and is set in a far future where space travel is common place. The primary characters are Jestinia ‘Jess’ Sondijk and Admiral Ullric Hudson.
Sondijk is a space freighter Captain, who stays mostly on the law abiding side, but has been know to smuggle things from time to time. Her husband had been ‘accidentally’ killed almost two years earlier in a search of the ship by planetary militia.
Sondijk’s ship is now stopped and searched at the direction of Star Fleet Admiral Hudson, though nothing is found. After they meet for the first time, Sondijk realizes she has stirred in the Admiral a more than professional interest in herself.
Sondijk and her First Officer Senth Dijkstra begin to look more closely at the death of her husband. Sondijk finds herself being the object of Admiral Hudson’s attention, and is suddenly thrown into deadly situations where she and the Admiral are fighting for their lives. Sondijk, Dijkstra, and Admiral Hudson all find themselves uncovering a large scale conspiracy, and find their lives in danger.
The Sondijk character is a little brash, tending to act before thinking things through. She is a strong female character though. Admiral Hudson is a strong male character who seems to take his command right to the edge of his authority, if not occasionally a little beyond.
I was a little leery of this novel at first due to it’s ‘Romance’ tag, but I found that it was only a small part of the story. The plot was not the most complex that I have read, but I did enjoy the 8 or so hours I spent reading the novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.
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