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Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews
Review by Paige Roberts
Date: 14 September 2011

Links: Author's Website / Read an excerpt / Show Official Info /

Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews is a tale of a very deadly fish out of water. Captain Claire Shannon has been raised to be a psychic soldier from childhood, a highly skilled killer in a drab gray concrete world where even smiling is considered a waste of energy. She must adapt fast when the war ends. She must hide her powerful mind behind a fašade of normality or be executed. It will take every ounce of will, resourcefulness, and just plain luck that Claire can pull together to survive in a strange new world filled with vivid flowers, bright false smiles, and psychers, soldiers of the bionet, who would kill her instantly if they knew what she was.

Her new boss, Venturo Escana, CEO of bionet security company Guardian, Inc., presents the ultimate challenge to Claire's ability to blend in. Only the boundaries of politeness restrain this first class psycher from reading her deepest thoughts. Claire must pass as a mere drone or she will die. Yet, in the presence of this golden god of a man, the last thing she wants to do is blend in.

When an old debt from her home planet comes due, Claire is obligated to use her hidden abilities to protect those who can turn to no one else. She faces her worst nightmare, going back into the bionet to kill again.

I've seen many attempts to mix science fiction and romance that failed miserably at one or the other, even when attempted by skilled authors. Silver Shark is a delightful surprise, a story where the future technology is truly integral to the romance, the heroine is sympathetic and interesting, not a cookie cutter stereotype, and the worlds are well-realized. It is both solid science fiction and a hot romance.

On the science fiction side, I particularly enjoyed the concepts and descriptions of the bionet, a sort of world wide web of virtual reality that becomes a battleground for a new kind of soldier. The people, themselves, are a product of their universe. The exceptional gifts of these Kinsmen have been bioengineered and bred into them. This is Book 2 in a new Kinsmen series. I look forward to reading more stories by Ilona Andrews that explore these gifted and cursed individuals in the wide universe she has created.

The unique abilities and stubbornly competent personalities of the main characters, and the inherent dangers of the world they live in, make their romantic entanglement nail-bitingly tense. The dance is so very careful, so fraught with restrained sexual tension, and when the gloves come off, so beautifully abandoned.

If you love both romance stories with strong heroines and science fiction stories that let you explore new worlds without leaving your chair, I highly recommend Silver Shark.

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