4.5 star review

December TBR Challenge 2016 Sky Raiders by Michelle Diener

TBR Challenge 2016

Topic: Holiday Themes

Sky Raiders.jpg

If you are reading this, there will be no public shaming this month. But, because I am a Scrooge and tend to despise holiday stories, there will be NO holiday story. Bah-humbug! In fact I have completely gone off the map, this is a very new story, and it wasn’t even on my TBR because I didn’t even know it was coming out until it was released. SO I am reviewing it, because screw you 2016, you suck and I am going to do what I want.

Without further ado, here’s my pick for the final TBR challenge of 2016, Merry Christmas to ME!

First they flew their mysterious sky craft through the skies of Barit. Then they started attacking. Finally, they began to raid.

Garek’s one year of duty as a guard walking the walls of Garamundo was extended to two when the sky raiders appeared. Two long years away from home and his lover, Taya. When he finally returns, the town is empty. While Garek was protecting Garamundo, the sky raiders were taking their victims from his hometown.

Taya can’t bear looking into the night sky. All she can see is Barit, her home planet. Impossibly, the sky raiders have brought her and their other victims to Shadow, the planet that shadows her own, and looking up makes her aware of everything she’s lost. Garek is out there somewhere. She knows he’ll look, but he’ll never find her.

She and the other captives have to find a way to escape. Without the food and clothes the sky raiders bring them from their raids on Barit, they’ll starve on the almost barren wastes of Shadow. And when they’ve given the sky raiders enough of what they want, that’s exactly what the sky raiders will leave them to do.

She does have an idea of how she can break free–the sky raiders have brought them to Shadow to mine for ore. A very special ore which Taya has worked out is as dangerous to the sky raiders as it is valuable.

What she doesn’t realize is she’ll have some help with her plan. Because Garek isn’t giving up. And he’s even more resourceful than she could ever have imagined.

Nothing is going to keep him from Taya. Not even space itself.

I am not sure what I expected when I started this. I mean it was an autobuy because it is Michelle Diener and she hasn’t hit a wrong note with me yet. I didn’t even really read the blurb, I just one clicked when the release day email came. I’ll just start by saying I found myself raising my eyebrows a little once I started. Not what I was expecting after the previous books I’d read would be an understatement.

But here is what we have. On a foreign planet where there is significant civil discord, sky raiders have taken to, well…the raiding of both personnel and resources. We have two young lovers who have been parted first by the civil discord, and next by the raiders. As the story progresses we alternate between Taya, a forthright women who stands up for and to people, and her love-Garekek. They are a good match for one another, and you can see it by how they each respond to the events in their respective story lines, but I’ll admit I found it a little disconcerting for their stories to play out so much apart (almost half), no matter how each thought of the other, but because of their long-standing history, it did work for me.

But on the plus side we got to see a strong female friendship develop between Taya and a woman named Min (she seems like a sharp cookie, and a sweet lady), and that is always a favorite for me. And there was an almost as well-developed male friendship with young aristocrat Aidan. So yeah, the main characters developing relationships outside the one between them is almost always a winning combo for me and these were charming.

This book is the start of a series, so there is quite a bit of info woven into it to set it up for future stories. There are certain powers involved that I won’t disclose because I expect it might be considered spoilerish, and we start to see the clash of cultures and policies that field the civil discord. While there’s action and intrigue to go along with our love story, there is also a ton of politics that sets the stage for future books. Your mileage may vary, but I enjoy politics when it isn’t the near apocalyptic horror we have encroaching on our daily lives like current events, so we’ll just say I found it interesting and enough to hold the threads of future tales together.

As for this particular story, not just how I see the series going, I enjoyed it a lot and will probably re-read it. But, the ending felt a little rushed, and it wasn’t as tied up as I tend to prefer my love stories. But, I am avidly looking forward to future stories in the series and hope to see more of Min, Aidan, and a young man named Dom (a really interesting character but to tell more I would have to spoil things).

Sky Raiders (Sky Raiders, #1)


3 thoughts on “December TBR Challenge 2016 Sky Raiders by Michelle Diener

  1. Glad to see you found something satisfying. Sometimes we just have to make our own path when nothing else is working. Your choice is completely out of my normal reading pattern but it does sound fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read any book written by this author yet, but I’ve seen wonderful reviews of them. Next year I’ll finish (I hope) the Vorkosigan Saga and I’m looking for a good Sci-Fi author to follow afterwards. This could be a good option.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bona, I like this one and the other series very much. But they’re more along the lines of Cordelia’s Honor without the dark than they are the rest of the Vorkosigan saga. I think of Bujold-McMasters as SERIOUS sci-fi and this is not.


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