Title: Chaos Station
Author: Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
At a Glance: A fantastic start to a promising sci-fi series, with tortured heroes and awesome aliens.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: “You’re not real. Felix Ingesson is dead.”
The war with the alien stin is over, but Felix Ingesson has given up on seeing his lover, Zander Anatolius, ever again. Zander’s military file is sealed tighter than an airlock. A former prisoner of war, Felix is attempting a much quieter life keeping his ship, the Chaos, aloft. He almost succeeds, until Zander walks on board and insists that Felix isn’t real.
A retired, broken super soldier, Zander is reeling from the aftereffects of his experimental training and wants nothing more than to disappear and wait for insanity to claim him. Then he sees footage of a friend and ally—a super soldier like him—murdering an entire security squad with her bare hands and a cold, dead look in her eyes. He never expected to find Felix, the man he’d thought dead for years, on the ship he hired to track her down.
Working with Felix to rescue his teammate is a dream come true…and a nightmare. Zander has no exit strategy that will leave Felix unscathed—or his own heart unbroken.
Review: This series is going to be so epic, you don’t even understand. This first novel in the Chaos Station series was an excellent adventure, and I really hope the sequels can live up to this first one.
The novel is written by two authors, Burke and Jensen, and it’s impossible to tell. The editing is well done and the writing is a cohesive whole. I’ve read books before where I could tell when another author picked up the storytelling, and it ended up being a mess. That is not the case with Chaos Station. Yes, Felix and Zander are very different characters with different speech patterns and thoughts, but that’s just the mark of good writing. I cannot tell if one author wrote from Zander’s perspective and the other from Felix’s, or if one wrote the first half of the book and the other wrote the second half, or if they truly did work together every step of the way.
That said, the characters are awesome. Both men are broken by war, and it shows. Felix (AKA Fixer or Flick, depending on who is talking to him) is a former soldier who has been damaged by the stin, the aggressive aliens humans have been in contact with. Zander (AKA Loop or Zed, depending on who is talking to him) is also a former soldier—one who has been trained in a covert program to defeat the stin, and as a result, suffers from debilitating pain whenever he goes into the ultimate fight mode. It’s like the fight or flight response on steroids without the flight response. Because of this, and the fact they’ve been out of touch and believed each other dead for years, the two are hesitant to start a relationship again, especially with each other. Both men have “off switches” that remind them of their hard past which completely shut them down during physical intimacy.
My heart. It hurt so badly.
The secondary characters were also really strong. Elias is a great captain of his ship and genuinely cares for his crew. Nessa is a tough doctor who isn’t afraid of doing what has to be done as the ship’s doctor. And Qek. I love Qek! She is one of the ashushk, the other aliens humans have been in contact with. Unlike the stin, they are a peaceful species more focused on advancing technology. She struggles to understand human idioms and constantly tries to fit them into conversations, with Felix praising her or correcting her as she goes. Her facial expressions are great as well. Instead of smiling like humans do, her face wrinkles and her eyes disappear when she is amused or pleased. I adored her. Also, adding another interesting element to the ashushk, if what I remember is correct, they are able to change their biology based on the needs of the species, so Qek is female because she chooses to be. Pretty awesome.
If you’re looking for the start of an engaging sci-fi series, look no further. You will quickly be sucked into the world of Felix, Zander, and the rest of the crew of the Chaos. And I know I cannot wait to read book two!
You can buy Chaos Station here: