Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Crashing into an unknown planet was the last thing Corin expected. With only his friend, Lieutenant Commander Tate Riven, by his side, they face the unexplored world and new enemies bravely, leading them to the Derin Clan, where they’re welcomed by the leader’s son.
Kel isn’t sure about the strange men, but he isn’t about to send them away, especially when the bond between Corin and himself is something he can’t ignore.
When another clan wages an attack, Kel is forced to make some hard choices which nearly costs him everything he holds dear. Together, with their allies, Corin and Kel fight, focusing on the future they desire, knowing failure not only dooms their love, but also those around them. Side by side, they work to destroy the evil threatening to keep them apart and becoming the family both men desire.
I have to admit that when I was finally finished all 424 pages of Corin’s Chance (Avanti Chronicles #1) by Hannah Walker I was still wavering between 2 and 3 stars, depending upon what I was remembering about the story and how I felt about it. There are so many things to consider when writing a review about this novel, not the least of which is the ambitious plot and intentions of the author, who intends to carry on into another story and a series.
I have finally decided that, no matter its many (many, many) faults, I am rather fond of this story. For me it falls along the lines of a space bodice ripper, complete with purple prose, main characters who are at turn weepy, furious, torn, overprotective and yes, pregnant (still male), all while being warriors from space. You just got to roll with it, even while rolling your eyes.
Honestly, I think Hannah Walker is got a really good story here but everything around it needs work. The Avanti which are these mega space warriors from many galactic races.. a small group of them is aboard a space cruiser which is attacked. They all end up in separate space pods that crash land on a planet that seems to be inhabited by The Society for Creative Anachronism. Everyone on the planet is all big on kilt-like garb, swords (she uses the word claymore, a specific Scottish weapon), knives, and ride animals that seem to be a lion/zebra hybrid. Compelling true but these same clans also have in-depth knowledge of The Alliance, space and galactic technology! So…a whole planet of Luddites? Its never quite explained. From the planet, the various cultures and social structures to the galactic Alliance that everyone is fed up about, Walker has failed to lay out a firm foundation for her story, an essential element considering everything she is trying to accomplish here. Which is tell the story of every member of the Avanti crew that lands on this planet. A book a crew member. If each character gets 400 plus pages each, this will be a magnus opus indeed.
Second thing that will stick out immediately is the language or more importantly, several things about the language of the story. Walker has her character using modern sayings in their dialog with no attempt to show any evolution through centuries of use. Yes, its been centuries. One character uses the phrase “When you assume you make an ASS out of ME and YOU!” Really? One of the most feared space warriors says that to another? Its Baby this and Babe that as they twinkle at each other. Another notices and drools over a man’s “chiseled face”, then blushes? He actually says the words “chiseled face” out loud. Here people are “over the moon” about each other among other cornball descriptions. These characters never talk as though they have been in battle, although they do sound as though they have been reading romance novels all their lives and that is the only way in which they can communicate. After a time I got so used to it that it became quite fun. But I was really missing just one person who acted and sounded like a real soldier and an adult.
There is an evil doer, you will know him because all he does is screech and foam and spittle at the mouth. Yes, those are his only descriptions. You will know him by his foam.
There is an mpreg element which I found interesting but the author lost several points there as well when she lost track of what one of the most experienced and renowned of all Alliance doctor’s would have knowledge of. Either have a storyboard, notes or a editor should have stepped in here to point that out and make a change. Actually a editor should have stepped in quite a few times to cut away extraneous plot minutiae, details, and whole pages of just stuff that didn’t matter. And then started in on the dialog.
The characters. I think that’s where Walker’s story holds its own. People will like these characters, they are interesting and endearing in a goofy sort of way. I truly mean that or I wouldn’t have continued all the way through 424 pages. We don’t know all their histories and now that they are all back together on the planet, we will want to know what happens to them. Corin got his mate. Tate is set up for the next story. Commander Dax, Hunter, Bell, and Bray have some clues laid out here as to how their stories might go. The next title? Tate’s Torment. Doesn’t that just cry out for a return of the greatest of all of the bodice ripper models…Fabio in space? Since I love Fabio that was not meant to be sarcastic or mean spirited.
What I would love to see happen is for the narrative to tighten up, the purple prose to become less so, for Hannah Walker to decide if her people use technology or not and in a logical manner. And really give some thought about how speech patterns, culture, things would exist thousands of years in the future. Take whats present now and evolve them. The weird combination here makes little sense, culturally speaking. In short, a strong editor is needed to see this series forward. The bones are good. So are some of the secondary work. And really perhaps a teensy bit less weeping. Just a bit.
I know some of you are shaking your heads that I gave this 3 stars. At times I find it hard to believe as well. That dialog is a hard thing to overlook as are the characterizations. These men just don’t read as fierce battle hardened warriors, especially of Galactic renown. But Hannah Walker has a huge tale to tell. A band of brothers crash land on foreign soil and decide to make it their home. Each gets a story as they find love and make a family. Its that basic. She has the right elements and sometimes it all comes together and it creeps right into your heart unexpectedly. It happened enough here to warrant 3 stars. And it will make me pick up Tate’s Torment. Ah, me. The Avanti Chronicles will continue.
Sales Links: ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here