Review: Blue Shift by Jane O’Reilly

Publisher: Piatkus

Where did you get the book: Bought

Release Date: Out now

Reviewer: Has

The Earth is cold, dead and divided. The rich hide away from reality while the rest will do anything to survive. Humanity have only one hope: reaching a habitable planet. But getting there means travelling in large numbers through alien-held space, something that’s politically nearly impossible. Yet for some, fighting their way through space is just a way of life . . .

Jinnifer Blue is a rich girl on the run. An expert pilot, she apprehends criminals on behalf of the government and keeps her illegal genetic modifications a closely guarded secret. But when a particularly dangerous job goes south, leaving her stranded on a prison ship with one of the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy, Jinn realises that the rich and the powerful are hiding more than she’d ever guessed. Now she must decide if she can trust her co-prisoner – because once they discover what the prison ship is hiding, she definitely can’t trust anyone else . . . 

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

I had Blue Shift languishing in my TBR pile for awhile. The past year or so I’ve had a very bumpy ride with several major doses of reader funk. So one late summer evening I decided to try a SF romance in my TBR folder and BLUE SHIFT helped me get out of a major funk. This was a gloriously, exciting romp that involves government conspiracies, space pirates and illegal experiments with a hot romance that burns at the centre of the story. 

Jinn is an illegally genetically augmented pilot who is saving up the proceeds of  contracted bounty hunts so she can retire off-world away from her evil mother and a dying Earth. However, a standard mission goes wrong and she finds herself betrayed by her partner and is forced to work with an old adversary from her past called Dax. Dax, an infamous space pirate, has the ability of superhuman strength and a hidden history. Jinn and Dax find out that their capture was no coincidence and that there is an insidious reason why they were targeted. Factions of the Earth Government has an agenda that may change the fate of Earth in the galaxy. 

Jinn is a great character; she just wants to escape from her past and the clutches of her overbearing mother and make her own way. Although the genetic augments that help her to pilot ships is slowly killing her she is content that she has paved her own path in life. Dax’s reappearance in her life was a huge shock and there’s a feeling that history is repeating itself because like their first encounter when he robbed her old crew and ship, she was left to pick up the pieces. But now they’re forced to work together after discovering a horrible conspiracy involving illegal experiments. I have to say the romance between them was a true highlight in the book from adversaries, to reluctant allies, and finally to lovers. It was enjoyable and their tension sizzled on my screen. I especially loved their first kiss because that build-up of sexual frisson was fantastic and O’Reilly really balanced the romance along with the political intrigue and a vivid world.

I loved the world that Jane O’Reilly has created of an Earth that is dying and has a growing problem of inequality with the majority of the poor and unwanted living below the surface while those who have the means of power and money live on top in domed cities in a frozen planet. The Earth also faces dangers from one alien race, while others are ambivalent. Due to this factions in the government are taking advantage to grab power with evil plans for those who live underground. 

I was immersed in the world-building and O’Reilly made the different alien races that live in the galaxy feel unique and imaginative as well as the great cast of characters such as Dax’s crew that were literally colourful and vibrant. They also share a great chemistry and camaraderie with each other. When Jinn finds herself as part of the crew, there are a few uncomfortable moments but her growing relationship with Dax helps her to bond with his crew and their shared desire to find out the truth of the conspiracy that surrounds them. 

I do have to warn you for those cliffhangerphobes that there is a humdinger of one at the end of this book, but I am glad to state that the sequel is already out, so you don’t have to wait long for the next book. BLUE SHIFT is a fantastic start of a highly enjoyable trilogy which has space pirates, vibrant aliens, high octane action that never lets up and a smoking romance in a backdrop of a memorable world!

I give BLUE SHIFT a B!

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