Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: Close Encounters by Katherine Allred (Alien Affairs, Book 1)

Synopsis: Kiera Smith is not like ordinary Genetically Engineered Persons . . . The Bureau of Alien Affairs needed a special GEP agent with empathic abilities to handle their most extraordinary assignments—and a rogue geneticist saw to it that Kiera fit their specifications. But she turned out stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to harm than anyone anticipated. A reluctant "superhero," Kiera wishes she were normal, but it is not to be. On Orpheus Two, the indigenous Buri race faces extinction, a prospect the powerful Dynatec corporation welcomes and, in fact, may be actively hastening. It is Kiera's job to protect these beautiful, exotic aliens . . . and to discover what there is on Orpheus Two that Dynatec feels is worth killing for. But the magnetic allure of Thor, the breathtaking Buri leader, is proving a dangerous distraction. And now, to save Thor's people, Kiera will need a power she's never before possessed—something hidden in the unexplored recesses of her hear. (from the online description)

Review: I picked up the second in the series at a thrift store, and purchased this one because I like to read series in order. The premise seemed interesting - GEP are specially ordered humans. Meaning if you have a company or foundation that needs a particular type of person for a job, you can "special order" one. They are genetically engineered to perfect suit your requests.
But Kiera is even more special – because her maker messed with her DNA, making her far more than her owners ordered.
And that comes in handy when her employers send her on a mission to save a dying people on a world set to be plundered by a ruthless corporation.
This is where Allred’s story gets a little – cheesy. The people on planet are pre-technology, stone-age sort of society. With stronger than normal, unusually handsome and ….insert all the clich├ęd romance book descriptions. It like she tried to please both the neanderthal fetish and the sci-fi / fantasy fetish. It's too much and makes the story crowded. 
The hero and heroine fall in love so damn quick – it’s stupid. I get they have mind-melding or whatever, and they are magically destined to be together, but still. It detracted from the over-all story. Which is sad, because the plot was interested, the world-building intriguing, and the secondary characters, while a bit flat, had purpose. 
To conclude, this book isn’t going to win any awards, but overall, it was a great “beach” read: entertaining, mindless, and fun. Fine summer reading.

Prude Note: A few kisses, and one graphic sex scene, which can be skipped (I did) and you won't even miss it from the story. 

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: 2010 Prism Awards from the Fantasy,Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers of America Chapter (Best Futuristic Romance, Best of the Best)

ISBN: 978-0-06-167242-2
Year Published: 2009
Date Finished: 6-10-2016
Pages: 356

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