When Abigail wakes up aboard a spaceship she thinks she’s landed in a real nightmare and when the creepy slavers throw her in a cell with a beastly alien it seems like the horror has only just begun.
Ziame might have pretended to be a dumb monstrous beast but with Abigail to woo and protect he knows they need to breakout. With half their guards dead from a previous pirate attack, there has never been a better chance and with Abby’s help they form a plan and get Ziame’s fellow gladiators on board and manage to disable Ziame’s pain-collar.
They put their plan in motion, Abigail seeks shelter with her fellow human captive in the medical area while Ziame instigates the uprising. They are betrayed by one of the gladiators (Geramor) however and the uprising has to take place sooner than expected, which means the other human is still locked in the cellblock.
Thanks to Abigail disabling Ziame’s pain-collar he manages to get the upper hand and they sustain only minor losses as they take over the ship. The gladiator Geramor slips away in the chaos and heads for medbay where he takes Abigail hostage and gets the Doc to remove his pain-collar.
While Ziame takes over the bridge, Geramor drags Abigail off to the docking bay. Their pilot is gravely injured in the struggle and Ziame rushes him to the medbay where he discovers Abigail is missing and rushes to her aid.
Abigail fears she will be killed or eaten if Geramor manages to leave with her so with nothing to lose she fights for her life and succeeds in killing him. When Ziame comes to her aid shortly after she has already saved herself.
Once free they need to decide their best course of action as they are without money and their owner will do his damnedest to get them back. In the end, with their pilot too injured to fly the ship, they agree to resume autopilot and fly to Xio for the scheduled gladiatorial bouts. It’ll earn them money and give them a chance to find a navigator to help fly the ship.
Ziame and Abigail are separated once again when Ziame and some of the others fight in gladiatorial matches on planet Xio. Ziame agrees to fight two back-to-back matches, three-to-one, to up the stakes and cover for the dead or missing gladiators.
During Ziame’s second fight his win comes at a great cost and he his gravely injured. While they rush to collect their winnings and get back to their ship their ruse is discovered and they need to fight for their freedom again.
Meanwhile Abigail orders their spaceship to leave the planet, meaning to rendezvous with Ziame in the air. They are shot at and with some tense, difficult flying manage to escape at last into the vastness of space.
Safe, Abigal and Ziame finally have a moment to admit and explore their feelings for each other for their well deserved HFN.
I got sent an ARC of this book and not being a huge Sci-fi fan I didn’t know what to expect.
The fresh style and intriguing storylines of this debut novel had me on the edge of my seat till the very last page.
You will definitely empathize with most of the characters and probably find the protagonist likable.
It’s a good book to forget reality’s problems for a while and get immersed in a futuristic world where everything is so much more interesting.
An easy read that leaves you wanting to know more about the story’s world. Hopefully there are sequels to come. Don’t lose a chance to get to know Abigail and Ziame a bit better. Kudos to a very gifted writer, that has a lot more to show for her work!