I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Rating: B, Liked It - Recommend
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by NetGalley
Dr. Eos Rai is chasing after the mythical “Star’s End,” an unknown location where a human expedition supposedly sent many of Earth’s (Terra) artistic treasures as the humans destroyed the planet hundreds of years earlier. It was her mother’s life’s ambition to find Star’s End, and Eos has picked up the cause, much to the dismay of her colleagues at the Galactic Institute for Historical Preservation. Without much hope, Eos turns to the Phoenix Brothers, a trio of known treasure hunters, for help.
The Phoenix Brothers enjoy their carefree life on Khan. They’ve made enemies in their line of work, but they feel their methods are justified since they sell the ancient Earth treasures they uncover to respectable collectors and institutions. Since Eos worked with Niklas Phoenix at the Institute, she trusts him and approaches the brothers with her plans. Yet it is Dathan, who is known for his uncanny ability to sniff out hidden treasures, that draws the attention of Eos.
Author Anna Hackett has created an interesting futuristic society in At Star’s End. Almost one hundred percent of Earth’s records were destroyed in the nuclear devastation of the Great Terran War. Humans have moved on, populating hundreds of other planets. These days, there is a lucrative market for ancient Terran artifacts, creating an immense black market, complete with unsavory characters who will stop at nothing to find a treasure. As the story unfolds, Ms. Hackett allows the reader to experience her world via detailed action scenes such as a fight in a market place and blasting out of a slave auction.
The story behind At Star’s End is enjoyable. Although the sentence structure and text is a bit more on the simplistic side, the story itself is compelling. The attraction between Eos and Dathan is palpable and sensual, but it did take some time for me to completely buy into their relationship. Each has skeletons in his/her past, which causes roadblocks along their journey. While this is to be expected, sometimes I wanted them to just open up about their issues, therefore allowing a deeper connection.
The dynamic between Eos and Dathan is a good one. They start out with preconceived notions about how the other believes and acts. I find that the slow unveiling of who the other “really is” is well-played. I like that Eos has her concerns based on her upbringing of right and wrong, but when it comes down to it, she is willing to look at the larger picture and realize what is truly important. Dathan - well, he was a little bit slower to come around, but he has a good heart and just does what he things is “best."
One thing that I really liked was how Ms. Hackett handled the conclusion of the story, both with the action and the romance. The search for Star’s End is thrilling and how the team makes sure that any discoveries don’t fall into the wrong hands is smart. I also loved the lessons both Eos and Dathan take away from their experiences - learning that the past can be a barricade to true happiness.
Overall, At Star’s End is an entertaining story. The flow of both the treasure hunting plot and the romance is fairly smooth, with a few bumps in the road, but nothing our heroes can’t overcome. The story felt simple, yet not simplistic. I found that once I started it, I didn’t want to put it down - wondering if/when the treasure hunters would find Star’s End. I liked the dynamics of the brothers - I can only imagine their eventual stories, most especially Nik… *evil grin* At Star’s End is a light, yet exciting and fun read.