Release date: September 16th 2011 (first published September 14th 2011)
Series: Kinsmen #2
Characters: Claire Shannon, Ventur
Received eArc from author for review
Claire Shannon is a Kinsman, a woman gifted with enhanced mental capabilities. Her skills and her life were taken over by the military to fight in war that has raged on her home planet for decades. But as the war ends, she is forced to hide her abilities in order to make a new life for herself as a civilian. It’s a new persona, a new planet and new job that has her crossing paths with the powerful and alluring Venturo Escana. Is she strong enough to hide her true nature from her perceptive new boss? And as they grow closer, will she even still want to try?
From the moment I read the first page Ilona Andrews pulled me into a world which was fascinating to say the least. The prologue introduces you to the society structure and the different humans inhabiting the worlds of Uley and Rada. The first chapter leads me into a war torn Uley where I met Claire Shannon. By the end of the first chapter I followed Claire on a trip to a new planet as she was exiled.
The first chapter gives rapid information as I quickly tumbled from one moment in to the next. I got the notion of a war going on for too long in a bleak and dreary world and as I got in to that setting the war was ended with the flip of a page. I understood that the initial chapter was there to introduce Claire in her world yet I could've used a battle of some form to give me a sense they were defeated. However, from the moment Claire got deported I practically inhaled this story!
Claire Shannon is a skilled warrior, trained to use the bionet as a grade A psycher. She knows how to kill but not how to cook. She is focused, empathetic but also very lonely and the city of New Delphi engages many of her senses that weren't used to such a lascivious world. Sight, smells, emotions. Life is lived different in New Delphi but I loved to see the adaptability of Claire!
The first time Claire meets Venture Escana the air is electric with the zing of attraction. Even though the story focuses on Claire's journey the mannerisms of Venture signaled he wasn't ignoring Claire! He is the kind of intense character who breaths leadership. Potent virility combined with a commanding presence and a fierce intellect made this man instantly on the receiving end of my unwavering attention.
The romance might have a minor role in Silver Shark but the attraction between Venturo and Claire is all the more palpable. Together they have incredible verbal and nonverbal communication which warned me passion could explode of the pages at any time. There were secrets to uncovers, battle skills and prowess to match which made there beginning relationship very combustible.
Even though Silver Shark is a sci-fi romance it wasn't bogged down with unnecessary information but rather flowed with an imaginative writing that appealed to the imagination. It resulted in a swift pace where all the story elements were given in the right dose but it is the writing style of Ilona Adrews that gave all those elements more depth. Settings became more lush, emotions more intense, dialogues more lively. I was trying to read slow and absorb every nuance of the storytelling but somehow I still was going to fast!
Sample of the imaginative writing style
Directly in front of them the ground dropped down. Far, far below silvery waters of an ocean lay placid, tinted light pink and the yellow to the left, where a golden globe of the sun set, cushioned in soft clouds. Above the clouds, the cosmos spread, vast and glorious, with bright stars melting into the glow of nebulas and distant galaxies.
To the right, past the gulf of the ocean, another cliff rose, naked rock wall topped by a lush jungle. Twin rivers spilled from the cliff, wrapped in feathery mist. Between them the massive tree waited. The purple lanterns glowed, beckoning her.
In the span of 96 pdf pages I was given vivacious major and minor characters. The secrecy plot created personal havoc where I got two of the best scenes in this story. One scene was rife with grace, fortitude and strength in combat and the other scene was one of smoldering passion erupting in a fierce need. Both scenes were so vivid, so intense and brimming with the spirit of both main characters I could only want more. This is why the ending felt abrupt. I was so in to Claire and Venturo to a point I was ready to go with them wherever they needed to go. The bluntness of the ending however was lessened by the epilogue and I felt very satisfied. It wasn’t picture perfect but that would not have been believable in the time span of the story, so the author does get kudos from me for doing that!
Ilona Andrews could write many more novella's or even novels set in the Kinsmen universe. The ground work is all there setting up a vastly interesting world with fascinating characters! All that is left to say is: The worlds Ilona Adrews writes are the ones I love walking in to and explore!
quotes for you to sample;
1: "Do you like it here?" he asked with genuine interest.
"It's very beautiful," she said. "Very bright." Too bright. Too vivid. Too many smiles. Men that were... that were...
"We try to live life to its fullest," he said.
He didn't intend anything sexual by it, but inside her shields, his words triggered an image of him naked. It flashed before her, stunning in its shamelessness. She wanted to touch him.
I'm losing my mind.
2: She looked at Venturo Escana on the screen. It was as if some vital part of her, the one that was female and craved male contact, sex, and love, had withered. Somehow this man managed to resuscitate it without doing anything at all. And he felt nothing except pity for her. The irony made her laugh.
3: Venturo leaned forward, the fire roaring around him.
If he was fire, she would be ice.
Glacial mist shot from her. Claire charged into the depth of the inferno. His fire licked her ice barrier.
Ilona Andrews on the www:
website | Excerpt Silver Shark | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Barnes & Noble