Series: Atrophy #1
Published by Entangled: Select Otherworld on December 7th 2015
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No one on Erebus escapes alive...
Twelve years on the prison planet Erebus makes a man long for death. The worst part for Tannin Everette is that he was framed for murder. He's innocent. When the ship Imojenna lands for emergency repairs, Tannin risks everything to escape...only to find himself face to face with the captain's undeniably gorgeous sister.
Zahli Sherron isn't planning on turning Tannin in. In fact, she actually believes him. Sure, he's sexy as every kind of sin, but he's no criminal—so she hides him. But no one escapes from Erebus and lives to tell about it. With every day that passes, Zahli further risks the lives of the entire crew...even as she falls in love with a man she can never have for herself.
A malfunction gets an old, rickety ship onto a prison planet for emergency repairs, the last place any sane person wants to do. But Captain Rian Sherron isn’t the sanest person around, so he does it, setting a chain of events in motion that ends up with a stowaway on board who not only finds a place as a tech hacker on board but also some steamy times with Rian’s sister.
While Tannin and Zahli are well-conceived characters, I’m drawn to the compelling way Jess Anastasi portrays the hard, scarred and so-in-need-of-redemption Rian and the unwitting heat he generates with a priestess he tries to hard to keep away from.
But the book is so much more what than the blurb says; to say that it’s a story featuring an escaped convict and a woman on a ship would be to shortchange it totally, because the Atrophy actually reads like the season opener of a series that is getting me moist with excitement. There’s a motley crew to get to know, multiple conflicts waiting to unfold, shady & tortured pasts to uncover and loads of UST to strip away (Rian and Ella, please) – all of which remind me of Firefly on steroids set in the ever-faulty Millennium Falcon, full of cynical humour, spiffy dialogue and all kinds of made behaviour. The title of the book itself seems a fitting metaphor for the sheer amount of instability we’re thrust into, describing inexorable decline of Rian and of the crumbling galaxy he and his crew inhabit, until Ms. Anastasi (w)rites those wrongs away.