Sunday, December 30, 2018

Book Review: Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield #1) by Anna Butler

Earth's last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn't need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father-and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn't expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

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5 Stars!

More than a review, this is more like my thoughts on Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler. Honestly, RL has kind of kicked my butt during this last semester of the year and seeing that I'm generally signed up for anything between 30-40 books in the month, making the time to squeeze a book that was nearly 5000 locs in my kindle, seemed kind of daunting (I'm kind of bummed that I didn't read this before now, though, because I loved it, but maybe I wouldn't have had the time then to give it the proper attention).

The world building: One of my favorite things about Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy and Urban Fantasy is the world building. Of course, there's more of it in some of these genres than others, but it's nice seeing the author's vision and how it comes across to the reader. In this case, this is a Space opera, so there are drones, aliens, spaceships and the like and Anna Butler did an outstanding job at making it real enough for me. I had read the Lancaster Luck series by this author before, which is steampunk, so I knew I was in for a treat in this regard and I wasn't disappointed at all.

Re: Joss & Bennet: I don't particularly care for open relationships in books, it feels too much like cheating to me. That said, I could see that after 7 years together, there wasn't much between Joss and Bennet but the remnants of an ill-begotten attraction if that. Joss didn't have any qualms in letting Bennet know about his conquests or trying to manipulate or make Bennet feel guilty about his job. One would've thought Bennet was the older one of the two of them, where it was Joss who was nearly 20 years older. I liked that Bennet manipulated Joss in turn to calm his tantrums (because they were nothing more than that) in order to maintain the peace while he was on leave, but really? I didn't see much of a connection there, so I didn't feel bad about rooting for Bennet and Flynn.

Re: Bennet & Flynn: They were definitely better matched than Joss and Bennet ever were. They were more on more even ground, similar age, similar interests, not trying to manipulate the other into doing whatever suited them better and they were hot, hot, HOT together. I can't wait to see how their relationship will grow and evolve throughout the series. As it is, the small glimpse we got in this installment just made me crave more.

Re: Bennet & his dad: I liked to see Bennet's father (the Gyrfalcon's commander) doing so much of an effort to make things right with Bennet. I could understand why Bennet had put some distance between him and his family, but it was nice that they couldn't start mending fences.

While the first part of the book was a bit slow, seeing as it's mostly setting up things for Bennet's mission and introducing some of the main players in the story, the rest was very fast-paced and action-packed. I'm not always fond of reading different takes on the same scene, but it worked in this case, giving us two unique views (Bennet and Flynn's) into some of what was happening during the second half of the book.

And really, once the mission was set in motion, I couldn't put the book down because I needed to find out that things would actually work out okay for both Bennet and Flynn. It's been a while since I've pulled an all-nighter (or as close to one as I can manage nowadays) and I'm kind of wrecked after going to bed at 3am and then waking up at 9 today to finish the book and it was totally worth it! The book was fantastic! Masterfully written and detailed, with an engaging plotline and amazing, captivating characters (well, aside from Joss, although I guess he'll serve a purpose, if only to show how much better Flynn is for Bennet), I simply can't recommend this enough. This is not a romance, it's more a military Sci Fi with some romantic undertones, but so worth any time you devote to it. Gyrfalcon is just the start of the journey, but I simply can't wait to see what else Ms. Butler has in store for us!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

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