Where did you get the book: Bought
Publisher: Momentum Books
Release date: Out now
Carrie Thatcher is a tough Imperial counter-terrorism agent. Her mission: pose as a sexy cyber-thief to entrap the notorious rebel Dragonfly, who’s planning a heist on the space station Casa de Esperanza – an orbital casino on the fringe of Imperial space.
And this assignment’s personal: Dragonfly murdered her closest friend, and she’s in no mood to show him mercy. Even getting stuck with the partner from hell—Malachite, her sociopathic ex-lover and the Empire’s most dangerous agent—can’t dampen her relish for the kill.
With Carrie’s expert weapons skills and penchant for cracking codes, insinuating herself into Dragonfly’s confidence should be easy. But is he the ruthless killer she was led to believe? Or has her precious Empire deceived her? With Malachite watching her every move, the slightest flinch in loyalty means death.
Carrie is soon racing to uncover an audacious treachery that will shock the Empire to its core … if she can stay alive for long enough to expose it.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Carrie, who is also known under her codename as Aragon, is an Axis imperial agent. She’s been given the mission to hunt down a cyber-thief rebel who goes under the name, Dragonfly. She has been given crappy run-of-the-mill missions after her team and fiance were killed in action when their mission went wrong. But Carrie jumps at the chance to track down Dragonfly who is to blame for their deaths. However, complications occurs when the black ops arm of the Axis demand that she murders Dragonfly, opposite to her orders which was to capture him alive. She is torn between revenge, and to get back in the good graces of her superiors, but she did not encounter the fact that when she does track down her quarry, she would develop feelings for him and that her loyalties would be challenged to their limits.
I am so glad that I decided to pick up DRAGONFLY by Erica Hayes as part of our Sci Fi Romance theme month, because this is a book which definitely describes the perfect book for this sub-genre. I expected that it would be a fun adventure with good world-building, but I didn’t expect how much I really enjoyed the book because it was full of depth and great characterization, as well a fully realized universe which was brimming full of details that literally leapt off the page.
Carrie is given another identity to entrap Dragonfly. Her new name and identity is to be Lazuli, a sexy and brash thief which will help to attract his attention. The Axis finds out that Dragonfly is planning a heist to help fund the rebellion against the Imperial forces who have an oppressive presence in the galaxy, subduing planets and its population. But things get really complicated for Carrie when she becomes attracted to Dragonfly, and things are further murkier when she has to team up with a former lover of hers, Nikita. The last time she saw him he left her for dead.
I loved how how messy and intricate the emotional elements developed in the story. It really fleshed out Carrie’s character who faces realistic thoughts and feelings when dealing with Nikita who betrayed her so deeply in the past and Dragonfly who is not as the cold-blooded killer she thought he was. She is determined to succeed in her mission but the more she becomes ensconced into the labyrinthine plots, the more twists and turns emerge that have her questioning her orders and the organisation that she believes in. Especially in the context of her past, which is highlighted beautifully in the story, about her deprived beginnings which led her to do things she wanted to forget in order to survive.
The world that Erica Hayes sets out is stark, dark and very gritty which was contrasted sharply with the technological setting, and epic expanse of space travelling. I loved the Sci Fi overtones, which was well thought out and realistic but at the same time, it didn’t overpower the plot or the characters. But it was definitely one of the highlights of the book because so much detail and depth went into the world-building that it came alive for me.
The romance had a cat and mouse overtone, was just plain fun! There was no mooning, or insta-lust and the tension that builds up between Carrie and Dragonfly is just fantastic. It was sexy and flirty but realistic as they both have their own agendas, and seeing them play around that–along with their attraction–was seductive and steamy. Even Nikita’s involvement in the plot added a good old dose of complicated tension to the mix, even though Carrie doesn’t full fall for his old tricks. But he was such a charismatic character. I couldn’t not help fall for him a little bit, and could understand why he held such a huge attraction.
The book was filled with great characters who were lively and vivid, and it was a rich cast of personalities from Dragonfly’s cohorts and ex allies, who adds complications to his goals, to the murky black ops, and Axis agents, that surround Carrie. This was a wonderful world, and the action which was fast pace, had me glued to the pages. However, I did feel the ending with the climax was a bit rushed, and I wished it was expanded because it lost steam at the end with the huge build-up and revelations that came out. I liked how it ended, though.
I really hope there is more to come in this universe and characters because it seems that Erica Hayes has left a huge hint for more to come. I think fans of Ann Aguirre and Linnea Sinclair will lap this up, and I highly recommend this book because it had intrigue, spies and action. And if you’re in the mood for high octane action with multi-faceted characters and a very sexy romance in a real Sci Fi setting–this is the book for you because all these factors worked and created a fantastic and vibrant universe!
I give DRAGONFLY a B+