Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.
Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.
No pressure or anything.
Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a fast paced space adventure with a fascinating alien culture, and a sassy heroine who manages to make the best of a really bad situation. And what a great cover!
Delaney knows that aliens walk among us. They have been for many centuries but it isn’t until recently that humans have found out about them. She doesn’t know very much about them except for the basics. They mostly look like humans except for their size and their eyes. She tried not to think about them at all. So when she is kidnapped by one of them, she has no clue how to act or even what to think. Then she is given the task of impersonating the princess, who it appears is not a very nice person, and maintain the pretense until the real princess is found. As you can imagine all sorts of things go wrong, not to mention that many factions are trying to kill the princess/Delaney. Delaney is a smart girl and can keep her cool under fire, but also has a smart comeback for every situation which sometimes gets her into trouble. She was a delightful character to spend some time with.
Ruckus was also fun. He is the alien that mistakenly kidnaps her. He is truly interested in her as much as she is with him. Trying to figure out human behavior as well as keep her out of trouble. I enjoyed watching him teach her about his world and all of the marvelous things they have, (except the food, ick!). You could also tell that even though he didn’t like the real princess he was devoted to protecting her as much as he was able.
Trystan, the prince that Lissa Olena is suppose to marry, was a nasty piece of work and you could tell that his dislike of Olena was paid back in spades from her. But as he got to know Delaney, he began to figure out that something wasn’t quite right with his betrothed. Something on Earth had changed her, but what? Even though he does have a very high creep factor, at times I sort of admired him and realized that he was just as trapped as Olena was in the arranged marriage.
The alien culture that the author has created was fascinating. Although they look very much like humans, their culture is very different. Delaney is the first human to visit their planet and so she gets to see things that no one else has. They have an interesting sport which is played on an emu like creature. She also learns a card game and is exposed to plants and animals unlike anything seen on earth. The food sounds horrible, but it is possible that our tastebuds are quite different, although the aliens seem to enjoy our food just fine. It was mostly this interesting culture that she has developed that really kept my interest in the story past the usual romance adventure story line.
A great summer read that was fast paced and keeps you riveted to the story. There were a few twists in the plot to keep you guessing as well. Looking forward to the next book and Delaney’s and Ruckus’s further adventures.