Title: Adrift (Staying Afloat: Book One)
Author: Isabelle Adler
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 184 Pages
At a Glance: A great story with consequences for all the characters, even if they were trying to do the right thing.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Some jobs are just too good to be true.
Captain Matt Spears learns this the hard way after a mysterious employer hires his ship to hunt down an ancient alien artifact but insists on providing his own pilot. Ryce Faine is handsome and smart, but Matt has rarely met anyone more obnoxious. With tensions running high, it isn’t until they are attacked by the hostile Alraki that Matt grudgingly begins to respect Ryce’s superior skills, respect that transforms into a tentative attraction.
Little did he know that their biggest challenge would be reaching their destination, an abandoned alien base located on a distant moon amid a dense asteroid field. But when Matt learns that Ryce isn’t completely who he says he is and the artifact is more than he bargained for, he is faced with a difficult choice. One that might change the balance of forces in the known galaxy.
Matt doesn’t take well to moral dilemmas; he prefers the easy way out. But that might not be possible anymore, when his past comes back to haunt him at the worst possible moment. When faced with a notorious pirate carrying a personal grudge, the fragile connection Matt has formed with Ryce might be the only thing that he can count on to save them both.
Review: Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways to bring people together who would normally never meet. And when it does, it’s often with awesome results. Isabelle Adler has done that in the first book in the Staying Afloat series.
Matt Spears is a captain of a small ship; with his crew of two, he takes jobs of questionable origin and legality to transport often illegal goods through space. Of course, his jobs are not without risk, but hey, that’s the price he has to pay to make money. When a job that seems too good to be true turns up, he knows he shouldn’t take it, but his crew needs the money—and it is a LOT of money. So, he takes it with some reservations. Especially when he discovers it comes with a pilot who will be commandeering his ship.
Ryce is perfect. He’s good looking, intelligent, and an expert pilot. Matt is not pleased with the cocky man on his vessel, but he doesn’t have a choice if he wants the money. Instead, he decides to do the best he can and just…sleep with him.
What should be a quick, fairly easy job turns out to be anything but. Danger is around every corner, from the modern space pirates to ancient alien weaponry. Who knows if they will even make it out alive for Matt to get a chance to sleep with Ryce.
I loved Matt. He’s such a great character. While he seems completely sure of himself, he does have a soft side for his ship and his crew. He also has a pretty complicated past that he tries to ignore, but cannot, and throughout the story it comes back to haunt and sometimes help him. Ryce is another fascinating character. I found his backstory to be intriguing, and although he pretty much is close to perfect, he makes some poor decisions and learns to care of the people around him.
Danger is pretty much everywhere in this book, and that made it exciting. I never knew what to expect. Just when things seemed to calm down, there it was again in a new form! However, it never felt forced. Everything that happened made sense in the context of the world and based on either events in the story or events prior to the story that are briefly mentioned throughout. From the Alraki to the pissed off black market dealer, from the space pirates with a personal vendetta against Matt to the ancient alien civilization, everything was crafted in a believable way. Not once did anything feel forced.
In the end, there were very real consequences for the men, and I truly worried about their safety. Knowing that there is a second book on the way makes me happy. The book is left wide open and I cannot wait to see what new shenanigans this crew gets up to!
Fans of sci-fi, space pirates, aliens, and cocky pilots should enjoy this new series. It makes for a fairly quick and enjoyable read.
You can buy Adrift here: