‘Break Out’ of comfortable sub-genres

breakoutBreak Out by Nina Croft
St. Martin’s Press: September 30th, 2014 (Paranormal Romance / Space Opera)

My rating: The view was nice, but the food was bad (2/5)*

Break Out is a mash-up of paranormal (vampires), space opera (futuristic spaceships and travel), and thieving adventure (okay, I made that one up) sub-genres. A pretty odd mix, it works if you’re willing to roll with it. And if you’re not looking for anything serious or deep.

Rico, millennia-old vampire and owner of a pirate spaceship (but not captain, he leaves that to his compatriot), womanizer and reprobate, is intrigued when Skylar Rossaria, dressed up to appeal to his womanizing inclination, offers him and his crew a vast reward for breaking her younger brother out of the highest-security high security prison in the universe. In reality, she’s a young officer in the intelligence corps of the powerful Collective, a group of people who have been able to afford the “Meridian” treatment, which makes mortals immortal. While suspecting her story, Rico agrees to take on her job, and the plot revolves around their mutual attraction (and Skylar’s resistance to it – she is, after all, deceiving him and on a mission to boot) and the crew’s plans and efforts to complete the job.

Mostly, this book is a romance set in a really weird future where Earth has vanished, but some vampires have decided to continue to live forever, off-planet. Where genetically modified humans are common, but not accepted, and where human immortality can be bought for an immense price.

The plot developed logically, if conveniently. In a more serious book, this would have bothered me – that some circumstances are seemingly set up just to continue the storyline, to add tension to the romance, and to draw the plot to a close.

If you’re into romance novels, and you don’t mind strange, way-out-there settings, in which the plot is thin and convenient but not entirely unbelievable, you may like this one. I thought it was a fun, silly, quick, escapist read that combines romance and science fiction, for which I’m sometimes in the mood.

*Review e-copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley

Read-alikes

Gabriel’s Ghost is about a condemned military starship captain, Chasidah Bergren, and a rogue pirate, Gabriel Sullivan, as they try to prevent a conspiracy to breed viscious monsters that could tear the Empire apart. I thought this one had a little more substance to it than Break Out, but it, too, mixes romance and space opera.

Warlord’s Daughter is a fast-paced, light-on-plot romance that takes place in futuristic and far-off universes. If you’re looking for a quick science fiction romance, this one might be for you. Break Out reminded me of this one for its focus on the romance.

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