Release Date: Jun 28, 2020
Series: Mercenary Librarians
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Tor Books
An enticing dystopian ride that remind me of how much I love books with action!
It’s been years since I dug into a Rocha book. My mistake of course, but with so many stories and so little time I forgot how much I loved the world’s they create. That being said, I went into this book with A LOT of expectations. The story itself met most of them, but not all.
First up, characters. Rocha has always created fabulous characters and the first book in the Mercenary Librarians series is no exception. Our mainstays Nina and Knox are both a pair of battle-hardened soldiers, built and designed for battle. Both also have this internal moral code and desire to do good, but good is in the eye of the beholder. Because even as they want to do the right thing, both have different agendas that are conflicting against one another.
Besides these two, there’s a whole lineup of other equally interesting characters, which is where things derailed. The story gives at least one scene in each character’s point of view, every member of Nina’s crew and Knox’s. At first this confused me, but as the story continued, I appreciated the brief moments I got to spend in the other crew member’s heads as it helped deepen my connection to the other players.
This book also doesn’t follow typical romance formulas. Sure, there’s conflict, tension, a budding relationship, but there is more action and a bit of slow burn until Nina and Knox come together. Outside of the slowest burn in Rocha history, the resolution at the end of the story, the big conflict and grand gestures all kind of blend together. It’s definitely not the run of the mill romance story and even the blurb hints to romantic elements.
Now from an action standpoint, world building and execution all the pieces fit. Honestly, I can’t say it wasn’t done well or that I disliked any bit. There just wasn’t a WOW factor. Nothing screamed to me and said I have to re-read or gobble up again and again. Though I did pre-order the second book because… I still want to know what happens.
Overall, I found myself enjoying the story. It didn’t toss me over the moon and back, but it did the job and got me re-invested in action adventure with romance. I love books with crews, and even more, butt kicking.