Pretending to be a man isn’t easy. Finn Colville has pulled it off for years, but things get complicated when she falls for her new bounty hunting partner, Eamon Sullivan. On the planet New Sion, it’s against the law for a woman to wear pants and carry a gun, much less shoot people for a living. What will happen if Eamon discovers her secret?
On a backwater planet, at the edge of a galactic war, one man, one woman, and one desperate alien cross paths. Together they embark on the road trip of a lifetime, bound for revelation and redemption.
Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 stars
Compelling, page-turning read
NEW SION is a fascinating look at a futuristic world that is a dazzling combination of western and an imagined possible future.
New Sion is one of the habitable planets in outer space, and some humans had chosen to migrate there in our future. However, the planet disrupts Earth’s technological systems, hence, many of the advances that we now enjoy cannot be adapted in New Sion. Alien races have also been discovered, and there’s a league to govern all interplanetary and intergalactic relations.
On New Sion, Finn Colville disguised herself as a man in order to survive, and she’s done well for herself the past 9 years. But when she paired up with bounty hunter Eamon Sullivan, it gets harder to keep her secret, especially when she starts to have feelings for him.
Meanwhile, Jor, an alien, was on the run with the princess of their planet from enemy attackers when they crashlanded on New Sion. When the princess was kidnapped by raiders, Jor has to survive in the harsh, unfamiliar land and search for allies if he is to rescue her…
Diana Green hooks the reader in from the first page, and one can’t help but feel for Finn as she lost her family in such a brutal way. Yet, she remained strong, and did whatever she needed to in order to survive. She’s an admirable heroine, the way she adapts to situations and takes everything in stride.
There’s this wonderful feel of the Western setting in the way that the citizens have ranches, their homes are far apart with lots of barren land in between, where towns are composed of just the general store and the post office, the bounty hunting of hardened criminals, and especially the main usage of guns as a means to protect oneself and family from the bad guys. People there ride hill devils and dunebacks, instead of horses, which won’t adapt to the planet. And this Western feel is amazingly juxtaposed by the futuristic setting in the different alien races, spaceships and space stations, and the advanced technology of the Krell (Jor’s race).
The author’s writing style is easy to read and the story flowed well. The first few chapters were a compelling, page-turning read with the bad guys attacking a homestead, followed by Finn and Eamon’s bounty hunting adventures, as well as Jor’s predicament when their enemies attacked them and he had to flee with the princess to somewhere safe. However, the pace slowed somewhat in the middle, and I wish the story could’ve been tighter. Also, I wish there could’ve been more in terms of romantic development–more scenes of burgeoning feelings and interaction between Finn and Eamon before the moment of intimacy. Real rating is thus 3.5 stars.
Another good thing is that Ms. Green keeps me on my toes with the twists and turns her story took. I, for one, couldn’t have guessed the ending, though it was a fitting solution for the woman who couldn’t have fit in with the restrictive societal laws in New Sion.