Sunday, April 18, 2010

REVIEW: An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair

Title: An Accidental Goddess
Author: Linnea Sinclair
ISBN-10: 0553587994
ISBN-13: 978-0553587999
Paperback: 434 pages
Publisher: Bantam (29 Aug 2008)
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
Series: Standalone
Reviewer: Cara
Copy: Bought myself

On the back cover: Gillaine Davre is wonderingwhere the last three hundred years have gone. Waking up in an unknown space station, the last thing the Special Forces captain remembers is her ship being attacked. Now it seems that while she was time-travelling, she was ordained a goddess. But if she’s to survive, she can only hope no one notices.

Admiral Mack Makarian suspects Gillaine may be a smuggler. But he can’t even begin to imagine the truth. For the ethereal beauty is now Lady Kiasidira, revered by countless believers, including Mack – an irresistibly commanding man who inspires feelings in her that are far from saintly… Feelings that are clearly mutual. But when a longtime enemy attacks the station – again – can Gillie stop the invasion without revealing her ture identity and losing the man she loves?

This book had been sitting on my TBR pile since last summer, so when I felt the need to read something light and frothy, An Accidental Goddess was an obvious choice. Billed as a romance, the relationship between Gillie and Mack grows as the threat of invasion by the old enemy, the Fav’lhir, becomes real.

An Accidental Goddess is set on a space station, Cirrus One, in the Khalaran sector. It has strategic importance in that it is due to serve as the primary terminus for the critical Rim Gate Project. We learn early on that Gillie was originally assigned to the Khalaran Confederation to help them develop the technology needed to build a space station, explore space and to resist the threat of the Fav’lhir, some 342 years previously. She is a Raheiran Special Forces captain, something we do not understand the significance of until later on in the book, but has to hide her true identity on finding that in the intervening years, she has been deified as the Lady Kiasidira by the Khalarans.

Gillaine Davre is a feisty and independent heroine, one who is strong enough to carry the book. She is helped by Simon [Sentient Integrated MObile Nanoessence], a kind of AI advisor and companion. The science elements felt real to me, and the addition of magic, as used by both the Fav’lhir and Gillie, was in keeping with the world created by Linnea Sinclair. One thing that amused me were the parrots in the main atrium of the space station, hundreds of them flying free, oblivious to the annoyance caused to Mack in particular. But parrots aside, the space station setting seemed familiar, reminding me of Star Trek DS9 in many ways. The friction between military and station personnel, security versus religious priorities, and a space station with key strategic importance… these themes are present throughout, and while being somewhat tired tropes, they work well in An Accidental Goddess as a setting for the romance between Gillie and Mack.

Luckily, the romance element of the book is not over done. The relationship progresses as expected – initial attraction tempered by suspicion on Mack’s part, and Gillie’s knowledge of who she really is adds tension to the developing attraction. There are no real surprises here, however, the Fav’lhir plotline balances out the romance story, and for me, was more interesting and engaging. Both Gillie, as a Raheiran, and the Fav’lhir character are sorcerors, their powers being determined by their mage bloodlines. I enjoyed the magic aspect, despite it being a clear good against evil battle. Telepathy is a gift enjoyed by both protagonists and the ethics surrounding it’s use are explored to good effect.

This is not a book to read if you want grand themes and deep philosophical thinking. It is basically a romance, but set in a well-developed science-fiction setting which adds something extra to the attraction between Mack and Gillie. Both plotlines have predictable outcomes, although this did not detract from my enjoyment of An Accidental Goddess. I wanted a light, entertaining read that did not require too much concentration on my part, and Linnea Sinclair delivered exactly that.

Rating: 6/10


Bookfool said...

I've got a copy of this one, somewhere -- can't remember which of her titles I've read. Linnea Sinclair is definitely a romance writer. When I was in a romance writers' group, she spoke at one of our conferences (in fact, I introduced her and pronounced her given name wrong -- sooo embarrassing).

Harry Markov said...

Oh that must have been embarrassing. I did a blooper with an author's gender. I call it, very very embarrassing.

Bookfool said...

It was a deeply humiliating moment, but she was very polite. She simply restated her name with the proper pronunciation and moved on. I learned my lesson. If you are asked to introduce someone, ask them to pronounce their name, even if it seems obvious. I have since met a woman named Tere (looks like Terry, but its pronounced tah-REE) and that reinforced the fact that names are unique and you just never know how they'll end up sounding. Oopsy on the gender switch. Glad I'm not the only one. :)

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