Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Quantum (Atrophy #2) by Jess Anastasi

Purchase: Amazon / B&N

Title: Quantum (Atrophy #2)
Author: Jess Anastasi
Publication Date: August 8, 2016
Genre: Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Someone wants Captain Admiral Zander Graydon dead. Like yesterday. Zander’s convinced his attractive assistant knows more than she’s willing to say, and if he can stop running long enough, he’ll find out exactly what she’s hiding. Lieutenant Marshal Mae Petros is determined to keep her CO safe. Before she tips her hand, however, Mae has to figure out if the alluring man she’s protecting is the real Captain Admiral Graydon. Or an alien shape-shifting imposter.

On the run and no one to trust…not even each other.

Captain Admiral Zander Graydon has seen a lot of action, but almost getting killed three times in one day is pushing it. Only the company of his new assistant, Lieutenant Marshal Mae Petros, makes things a little easier to swallow. Except the delectable Lieutenant Marshal Petros is hiding a number of secrets, and her presence might have something to do with the continued attempts on his life.

It’s no accident Lieutenant Marshal Mae Petros finds herself in the firing line alongside the charming but very off-limits Captain Admiral Graydon. She’s taken the job as the admiral’s assistant to determine if a shape-shifting alien has killed the CO and assumed his form. Whether the admiral is human or not, Mae finds herself getting way too close to him as they run for their lives.

Military to the core, Mae and Zander will have to overcome their suspicions of each other to work together, when they realize the fate of the entire universe is at stake.

 I don't normally gravitate towards sci-fi novels, but when the publisher sent me Quantum by Jess Anastasi, I figured it couldn't hurt to take a look. I am so glad I did because everything about this book blew me away!

Although the synopsis makes it sound like there are only two main characters, Zander Graydon and Mae Petros, there is actually a third. Rian Sherron is the one who sends Mae on her mission to determine if Zander is still himself or an alien doing a very convincing imitation. The point of view switches from Zander/Mae, who find themselves running from an unknown foe, to Rian, who is waging a very personal war against the alien race known as the Reidar. I really fell in love with all of these characters. I liked Zander's charm and the way he truly cared for all of the members of his crew. I admired Mae's tenacity and how calm, cool, and collected she remained in the face of danger. And Rian I just found overall intriguing. I did not read the first book in the Atrophy series beforehand; if I did, maybe some of the mystery surrounding Rian would be a little clearer. The author gave away as much as she needed to really hook me as a reader; Rian was tortured by the Reidar and he wanted to make them pay, as well as prevent them from completely taking over. I'm also eager to know more about his strained relationship with Ella, the Arynian priestess. They had a great chemistry, but whatever Rian went through made anger his predominant emotion.

Speaking of chemistry, there was an insane amount of it between Zander and Mae. It was complicated by the fact that Mae had to lie to him about why she was actually there, in case he was Reidar, and Zander thought she might have something to do with the attacks on his him and his crew. Even that wasn't enough to keep them from falling for each other. I found myself just a little more interested in what was happening between Rian and Ella though. While they were incredibly sexy together, it was fairly easy to see how Zander and Mae's relationship would play out. There was obvious sexual tension between Rian and Ella, but I wasn't sure how it would unfold; would they act on those feelings or was Rian still too angry, distracted, and emotionally damaged to enter any sort of relationship? 

Another character I just have to mention is Qaelen Forester, wanted marauder who happened to be even more charming than Zander. Plus he had the whole "bad boy" thing going for him, even though his intentions weren't quite as selfish as they might appear. What I loved best were the witty back-and-forths between him and Zander.

"...We're just a bunch of salvagers straddling the line of respectability, trying to get by in this stinking pig's ass of a universe."

Zander sent Forster a disbelieving look. "Straddling the line of respectability? I'm pretty sure you fell off that pony cart a long time ago."

Forster scowled. "Screw you upside down with something spiky, Graydon."

I thought maybe Rian would be next to get his own story, but according to Jess Anastasi's website it's not his turn yet. The next book in the Atrophy series, Diffraction, is going to center around a character who was just barely introduced towards the end of Quantum. I am very interested in learning more about this character, yet at the same time I was really hoping for Rian's story. All in good time, I'm sure.

I could really go on and on about this book, and I feel like this review isn't doing it justice. The author created a beautiful, intricate world with such compelling characters that once I started reading I didn't want to stop. I'm so glad to have been introduced to this series and I looking forward to reading more from Jess Anastasi.

If you would like to learn more about author Jess Anastasi, please visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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