“Jam-packed with weird aliens, mysterious artifacts, and lovable characters... a tremendous good time and an impressive debut.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.
But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.
To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.
Valdes's space opera misadventure of deceit and family ties is full of heart but slow to develop. Capt. Eva Innocente, a reformed rogue, has gotten herself on the right track, cruising the galaxy with the crew of the La Sirena Negra and taking up small legal jobs even though that means smaller profit. But after receiving a message that her sister, Mari, has been kidnapped by an intergalactic syndicate called the Fridge, Eva has to wager her ship, her crew, and her better life to get Mari back. Soon she's lying to her crew, fending off an angry suitor, and wrangling a cargo hold full of psychic cats. The intrigue, deception, and action somehow never quite rev up, but spirited characters and absurd humor hold this novel together as the plot trudges forward. Readers who get through the smaller early mishaps and into the meat of the book will find it satisfying.
Not the best medium for this story.
It's definitely entertaining, unique, funny at times, and is certainly not bad by any means, but Chilling Effect seems to rely too much on situational comedy, where the characters find themselves in unusual situations and settings (which there's nothing wrong with). But books inherently take longer to setup and describe these situations and settings, often causing them to lose there impact. While this is a great form of comedy, I don’t think it works well in books. Witty banter and slapstick comedy is usually better for writing, but what little there was here seemed pretty stale.
Also not really of fan of it being, yet another, Firefly copycat. Many have tried to replicate the successful motley crew formula, and Chilling Effect is the latest in a long line of letdowns.
This was most likely better than I interpreted it as, but I'm just burnt out on sci-fi comedies lately, and this one's brand of comedy just wasn't up to par.