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Enemy Within Paperback – November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Political intrigue, titled aristocrats, duels, xenobiology, and starship captains feature in Burnard's over-the-top SF romance debut. Capt. Ari Idylle lost her command after being imprisoned, tortured, and inexplicably released by the alien Chekydran. When a small band of men seizes her father's ship while it's engaged in a scientific expedition, Ari butts heads with the band's captain, Cullin Seaghdh, who proves uncannily capable of manipulating her. Ari finds Cullin both arrogant and attractive as they work together to evade a Chekydran ship hot on their trail, but when Ari learns that her former commanders have placed a remote-controlled bomb in her head, she no longer knows who to trust. The ending is marred by a grotesque scene of sexualized violence, but readers will love the powerful emotion and futuristic costume-drama trappings. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
After her release from captivity under a ruthless alien race known for leaving no survivors, starship captain Ari is convinced she’s damaged beyond repair. Since she’s been stripped of her command, she’s been flying her father’s science ship. When it’s hijacked by pirates, Ari is startled to discover that their handsome leader might be after not the ship—but her! The bedrock of Burnard’s tale is a classic romance plot, complete with mistaken identity, love at first sight, and a smoldering slow-burn build to a lovely, if fluffy, ending. But it is buried within layers of far less cuddly sci-fi. Ari’s psychological and physical torment is brutal, and her involvement in the political intrigue between three warring factions grinds along at a jarring pace. Ari is a female protagonist in the mold of the foremost broken girl soldier, Battlestar Galactica’s Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. In fact, Burnard references iconic sci-fi fare throughout, making this a familiar but enjoyable ride for readers looking for a blend of sci-fi and romance. --Courtney Jones
Top customer reviews
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World-building, character development, plot, and romance are fantastic! I really felt for Ari, the heroine, and loved the sizzling chemistry between her and the hero. Their banter and dialogue were amazing.
The writing is high-level and well edited.
The science fiction facts are really detailed, sometimes even over the top and distracting, though still interesting.
The Sort-Of Con's:
The writing "style" is definitely unique enough to maybe be off-putting to some people. Other reviewers mentioned that sometimes the author will skip ahead thinking the reader has already caught on to whatever the character is thinking, but there were times when I really felt confused as to the direction the characters thoughts and dialogue were going. It wasn't off-putting enough to stop me from finishing the story because the plot mysteries and the character interactions and the romance were too enticing. But sometimes I just wanted the author to slow down and have the character ruminate a little more.
Also, as I mentioned, sometimes the amount of detail of science fiction facts could be a little distracting.
In the end, this is a very adult story, in that the writing is challenging enough to make me think instead of just mindlessly getting lost in the story (which can be a nice change once in a while from all the formulaic writing styles out there).
I'm definitely reading the next one in the series because all of the secondary characters were also extremely well developed and so intriguing!
The heroine is well-done, as is the hero. I was truly rooting for both of them. I enjoyed the twists and turns in their relationship. The plot is incredibly intricate, and the world is complex to the point I was lost several times, as the author assumed I knew things I didn't.
The heroine's recollections of past captivity by the enemy, and the last action scene were extremely graphic, so if you don't have a strong stomach, beware. If you do, you'll undoubtedly enjoy.
Ari not only comes to terms with her new self, she finds out how politics and a pending war make her a much sought-after ally, whether she wants to play or not.
The rest of the cast is loaded with characters very interesting in their own rights. Several of them complex enough to have their own stories.
Congratulations, Ms. Burnard. You have a winner.
I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. I thought is was more an Urban Fantasy then a SF Romance book. The first couple of chapters were a little to techie and I'm a lover of Spock "Live long and prosper" is my motto. The world building is not your average world building, the world MB built was Space, navigation and cool techie terms. My hat goes off to MB for detail for said navigation and flight operations! I don't know where she got such detailed information about flying a ship but it was amazing. If she made that up! Wow!
Chekydran were the perfect enemy and I loathed them. The secondary characters were well rounded and she put a lot of thought into each one. Why the three smiles you ask. I don't think I connected to the hero or the heroine. Good world building, I liked the characters, I think that it was a little to technical and not enough umphf from my main characters for me to love it. Will I read more by this author, yes it was a good and enjoyable book.
Flow of book - 3
Believable romance - 2
Overall Plot - 4
World building - 5
Most recent customer reviews
I've read it a few times over the years, and I'm sure I'll be reading it again.