By: Wendi Coffman-Porter
Content Warnings: Violence, blood, death, discrimination, language, sexual content
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! Many thanks to the author, Brown Books Publishing, and TheWriteReads for giving me the opportunity to review this book!
Bookish ones, meet the Aether Ones. This novel by Wendi Coffman-Porter is a delightful blend of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery with a vast setting to explore.
The story follows Leilani Falconi, an agent for the Imperial Investigative Service, as she tries to solve a case involving a chain of murders spanning over a decade. Time is of the essence if Leilani wants to protect lives and prevent the universe from erupting into chaos. There’s a continuous onslaught of problems that will leave all but top agents dizzy.
I enjoyed reading about the driven, quick-witted, and often short-tempered Leilani . She tolerates little nonsense and is willing to do just about anything to complete the task at hand. She also meets some interesting characters along the way. For instance, there’s a serpent-like creature that loves chess and a spunky young mechanic who can outshine any adult in her line of work.
As an avid fantasy reader, I also appreciated the presence of mythical races including ogres, imps, and dwarves. It was a delightful surprise coming across these characters in space. I think this story is accessible for people new to science fiction, because the author explains certain concepts as the reader progresses on their journey. There’s no colliding into planet-sized info dumps here!
Although the one thing that didn’t work for the story at times was the fast pacing, in my humble opinion. Sometimes it felt like we were blasting through the storyline just to solve the mystery. Hence it was difficult staying connected to Leilani’s mission. I would have enjoyed the story more if it transitioned between settings more smoothly and fleshed out some of the characters so that certain moments could have been more gripping. In other words, perhaps this novel might work best for those who have a better survival sense than me. You might enjoy the story’s focus if you are content with blasting threats to oblivion as opposed to exploring and filling out an observation journal.
The ending definitely caught my attention though! I can only hope Leilani stays sharp in the face of impending danger. I also hope she gets more than a coffee break in between missions (and potential sequels)!
More Musings & Magic
Are there any mythological creatures you’d like to see in space? I’m searching for space dragons myself!
Please keep the magic alive and share your comments below!