I, like other bibliophiles, have more books than we can count. It's even harder when you have friends who are authors because you know that you'll be taking home their books after hanging out with them at a convention. Such was the case when I met author Chris S. Hayes at Contraflow (a fantastic con in NOLA - check them out!) several years ago. I purchased a copy of her book Sikkiyn and it sat in my library for quite some time. However, I decided to read it several days ago . . . . WOW!!!
Sikkiyn is, at best, a perfect blend of sci-fi, romance, humour, and action that will have you turning the pages late into the night. You may even want to call in "sick" at work so you can read it in the privacy of your home. It kept me entertained and I'm eagerly awaiting the second book. The story is thus: Johan Larsen, captain of the space ship the Valkyrie, decides to take on the job of transporting a deadly assassin for some extra money to purchase another ship. However, what he didn't plan on was the fact that the deadly assassin is a woman, and a very attractive one at that. Lara, the sikkiyn (assassins who can tap into people's minds and emotions by touching their skin) from Alaran, wants nothing more than to get away from her past - mistakes made, lies told, and vengeance that continues to rear its ugly head. From the first moment that Larsen sees Lara half naked, he is consumed with a desire to be near the small woman with cat eyes. As much as he desires her, she can't figure out why she feels the way she does towards him . . . Add in mobsters with oceanic DNA, French diplomats with no emotions, and descendants of Vikings that look to be on super steroids, and you've got one amazing story to read.
One thing that I will say about Hayes' writing is that it's solid. She can both tell a story and write well, a foot in both realms that shows. She gives just enough description without overloading the readers, yet leaves out just enough so our imaginations can run wild. Her characters are full and rich against an outer space background that provides an interesting answer to the question of What If? What if humans are bred to have certain abilities, like breathing underwater, having giant like strength, or cat like reflexes? To be altered is the wave of the future - extend the life cycle and even be able to repeat it several times. Ah, the Future.
I really liked the romance between Johan and Lara - seeing it bloom from awkwardness and protection to gentle touches and declarations of calling each other elsekede and habibi while in the throes of passion. They belong together because they are alike in many ways (can't give it away - no spoilers!). Their passion and love for each other is real on the pages. When they finally do come together, you sigh because it was done well and at the right time.
Kudos to Hayes for writing such an awesome book! I hope we'll see each other at Contraflow this year! Maybe Farspeaker will be out by then!
Here are her social media links:
Facebook - Chris S. Hayes
Twitter - @chrishayesmd
Please follow her and purchase a copy of her book - well worth the money and time!