Paperback, 247 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
ISBN 13: 9781937044039
Source: Blog Tour, for the purpose of an honest review
Genre: Sci Fi
Series: A New Dawn #1
Paradise 21 is a sci fi that takes place in the 27th century. Earth is no more. The surviving Earthlings that fled the dying planet now live in space ships, roaming space looking for a paradise planet to colonize and begin new life on. These are the people known as Lifers. They are keeping their superior DNA spread through arranged marriages while living life as dictated by “The Guide.” The less fortunate those who were deemed to have inferior DNA and not selected to leave a rotting Earth rioted stole a few colony ships and over took a space station by force. Their survival instincts have kept them alive for several hundred years, but their resources are almost out.
In a desperate attempt to run from an arranged marriage and a life that has been prescribed to her Aries flees the ship, her only known home the New Dawn. The knowledge that the ship she was been born on, raised on, will likely die on pushes her to the decision to eject herself into space in an escape pod. This is the first of many decisions she makes benefiting herself with her own life choices.
Striker has been abandoned on a desert planet for the past five years after his crew mutinied and stole his ship. On the ship is a highly coded very hidden map to an uninhabited paradise. Little does Striker know that after 5 unsuccessful years of attempting to locate the map and then decode it his ex-lover along with the mutinous crew members are on their way to retrieve him.
Sahara 354 quickly becomes a very popular desert planet. Aries has safely landed her escape pod on this desert planet that has mildly hospitable conditions. New Dawn and Aries betrothed Barliss have arrived looking for her. The Morphic Marauder has arrived with its crew looking for Striker. Not to mention that the indigenous inhabitants are none too happy about all of the above.
Tiff and Barliss are seeking Striker and Aries for very selfish reasons. Barliss is the narcissistic power hungry fiancé that Aries fled from. She is his ultimate trophy wife. Barliss sees Aries as a means for his political gains and career advancements. Tiff is Striker’s ex-lover who assisted in the coup that left him alone in the desert for the past five years. Tiff and the rest of Striker’s previous crew know they need him to decode the map. They know that they can no longer live on the deteriorating space station.
I was amazed at the amount of action that was stuffed into this book. The readers also get into the minds of a number of characters including the villains. I liked the way this book lets the readers come to know the characters. The characters are fleshed out extremely well. Their pasts are shown, the reasons for some of the decisions that they have made along with some potential futures. The all of the various settings are exceptionally realistic. The realism of the whole book is actually amazing. Dionne has painted a very vivid picture for her readers.
I only have two very minor complaints. The first is mostly my own fault. It has nothing to do with the book, the writing, or the author. I was a little disappointed in the fact that I had thought this was a romance. It is not a romance. The hero and heroine form a loving bond, they become a couple, but there is no love story romance in this book. I also felt that two of the conflicts wrapped up a little too perfectly. Barliss and Tiff caused a great deal of drama. They also had very negative roles in Striker and Aries lives. For those conflicts to get the resolution that they did, it just seems too easily resolved in my opinion.
I saw on the Dionne’s website that she is currently working on a tie in novella for her New Dawn series called A Hero Rising. Book #2 Tundra 37 is currently going through edits. I enjoyed Paradise 21. I can easily see myself continuing reading this series. I am very curious as to where Dionne will take her Space Pirates and Lifers.