Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.
Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.
She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.
In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.
Dark horse is a light space opera read. I've enjoyed several of Michelle Diener's other books and was excited to see that she ventured into space opera territory. For the most part the main character Rose was very likable. She was smart and resourceful. I would have liked to have seen more PTSD as a result of her captivity and torture, which I might add was not discussed in any detail in this book. There were a few scenes where she became upset over things that had happened, but those seemed to be conveniently placed so that the potential love interest could get close to her and comfort her, which is fine to a point. The scene at the pool felt especially awkward and seemed a bit strange for two people who hardly knew each other. It was a little bit too insta-love for me. I would have liked to have seen them come together differently, but I did enjoy their romance and liked that it wasn't overdone.
There was still plenty of story that didn't involve the romance part. I loved Sazo and his relationship with Rose and I kept wondering if he could really be trusted for a good portion of the book. I really would like to read more about the other class 5s and also find out more about the other alien species that were mentioned in the book. A bit more action in future books would be nice a well. I'm looking forward to eventually reading the two companion books.
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