Monday, July 21, 2014

Queen of Wands by Katee Robert

The Basics:
Queen of Wands by Katee Robert
Entangled: Select
Book Three in the Sanctify Series
Romance, Science Fiction
Published June 24, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I liked the implication of the tarot theme as well as the romance and science fiction meld.

Book Blurb:

When Jenny O’Keirna gets a chance to slip her older brother, the new king of Hansarda’s, leash, she jumps at it, even if it means playing babysitter to a too-smart-for-his-own-good inventor. She’s not expecting the attraction that sparks between them—or that Sanctify is just as desperate to take him for their own.

Never in Mac Flannery’s wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny would be the one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a siren call he can’t resist.

But Sanctify is always three steps ahead of them. On the run—and unable to keep their hands off each other—Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader of Sanctify, and stop this war once and for all. Unfortunately, they’ve just played right into his hands…

My thoughts:

Queen of Wands was a bit hit or miss for me. There were some really great elements, such as the science fiction setting, the pacing and the imperfection of the heroine. There were some not so great elements, like the too perfect hero, and a slightly anti-climactic conclusion to the plot.

Characters are usually where a book either makes me care or loses my interest. Jenny was a very well-written heroine - strong and loyal, but with an impulsive streak. I liked that some of the decisions she made were not great and didn't turn out well. By contrast, Mac is seemingly perfect. He's incredibly supportive of Jenny, clearly completely charmed by her from the first, and he manages to create tech gadgets out of thin air on demand. I didn't dislike him by any means. I just didn't love him in that 'book boyfriend' way. Fortunately the romance between Jenny and Mac is pretty believable and the sex scenes were sexy enough to make this part of the plot enjoyable to read.

The story itself clearly connects back to previous books in the series. I wasn't as invested in it as I might have been if I had read from book one, I think. I really didn't like Ophelia, Jenny's not-quite sister-in-law, and the heroine from book two in the Sanctify series. Perhaps if I'd read her story, I would have found her more endearing? Instead I found her combination of bluster and bitching rather off-putting, and was frustrated by the secret knowledge she picked up from reading her tarot cards. 

I did enjoy all the travel in this book. There's multiple planets with very different environments, as well as a couple of spaceships that also differ in some ways. I liked that there was different levels of actively used tech on the spaceships, and that thought was put into varying degrees of luxury.

In the end, I did enjoy the book but I didn't love it. The ending was anti-climactic for me, and I think, again, that if I was more invested in the series as a whole, elements of it might have had a stronger impact. 

Bottom line:

An enjoyable science fiction romance, I would say pick up Queen of Wands if you're a fan of this genre. If you're looking to branch out into something new, I wouldn't grab this one as a first introduction.

3.5 stars
For fans of science fiction romance, action, world-hopping.

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