“How would I diagnose this? I would say that Nightchaser has a massive case of first-book-syndrome.”
~ Under the Covers

I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while. I really enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s debut series the Kingmaker Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy heavy on the romance. Now, she’s taking a stab at sci fi; I love a sci fi series. My expectation were high. Now I have finished the book it’s taken me some time to organise my thoughts around it. They are one big tumble of both the good and the bad so I am carefully de-tangling each thread so I can take a closer look.

I think best in list form, it makes me feel like I am being efficient!

This book was a slow starter. It’s not that I think a book should come in guns (or lasers) blazing and then just get more hectic as it goes on. But, this book was very static. To the point where I was carefully looking in the nooks and crannies wondering where the plot had gone. I understand that Bouchet was building up her world and some of the characters within it. The problem was, was that it just wasn’t a gripping read; it wasn’t compelling me to turn the pages.

Then it went at light speed. I like books to have a steady pace throughout, a good build up to an exciting conclusion. Nightchaser plodded along for 70% and then we had an exciting ride for the last 30%. I really enjoyed that last 30%. Finally! Stuff was happening. That last 30% is what has me eager to grab the next book. But it was like reading two different books.

I did like the characters. Despite whinging about the first 70% of the book, it did do a great job of building the main characters and showing you the crew dynamics. There are some interesting story threads and even a potential secondary romance that Bouchet has built. I look forward to seeing how Bouchet develops them further.

Speaking of romance. If the Kingmaker Chronicles was a fantasy with a large dose of romance, Nightchaser is a sci fi with a romance at its core. The problem was, I didn’t really enjoy the romance. I liked Shade and Tess separately, but I didn’t quite see the connection. If I am honest I preferred the tension between Fiona and Jaxon – two members of Tessa’s crew.

How would I diagnose this? I would say that Nightchaser has a massive case of first-book-syndrome. It has great potential and Bouchet was just capitalising on this towards the end of the book. I fully plan on reading the next book in this series as I can’t wait to see where the story goes.


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