Nightchaser {Amanda Bouchet} - Space Pirate Princess
title: Night Chaser
author: Amanda Bouchet
pages: 416
format: Library Paperback
buy it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

Bottom Line Up Front

NIGHTCHASER was a fun romance with a strong action/rebellion plot line running in the background, although I was quite disappointed with the treatment of the SA victim. NIGHTCHASER follows the story of Tess, captain of a smuggler ship, who has accidentally stolen a super-soldier formula that she thought was regular medicine. With her ship injured while on the run from the oppressive government, she stops at a backwater planet for repairs. But whoops, turns out her choice of mechanic just happens to be a bounty hunter, who now has to decide between turning in his new crush or helping her escape.
  • Villain Cartoon Levels: 13/10 Dude shows up for like two pages to be outlandishly evil and then bounces again. 
  • Heat: 5/10  Didn't get bedroom fun until the very end, but the build up was fun
  • Snark: 10/10 Got to love a pair that enjoys their snarking and does it on purpose
  • Found Family: 2/5 I mean, they kept talking about being family, but three of those starship crew members barely got any page time. The other two were great, though.

Dystopian Future In Space

  • So there's space, right? And space has an Evil Overlord, right? And he manages to control this vast area through...okay, look, just take our word for it, there's an Evil Overlord with maniacal control over the universe.
  • But that PRINCESS, y'all. She's the Evil Overlord's kid, presumed missing but actually just spirited away from him when he got all murdery at her. And also she might have magical powers, that part's unclear.
  • I actually liked the world in this one, despite some glaring holes, it had a sense of recent history to it and while the universe-level stuff was kind of MWAHAHA, the on-the-ground level depictions of everyday life under the regime was nicely nuanced. 

Them Villains

  • Obviously I didn't like the main baddie, who just shows up to do some murder and drop some truth bombs and there's an implied cackle the whole time.
  • Baddie #2 is great though. Dude kept me guessing the whole time. Still definite baddie, even if he Has Reasons, but that's exactly what makes for a good bit of villainy! 

But We're All Here for the Romance, Right?

  • I mean, I know I am.
  • They're adorable. I love them. I can't wait to read more from this series because I want to see them fight Evil Overlord Minions together.
  • The like each other right from the start and most of the drama is from: SHADE - "Oh shit, why did that bounty notice come in after I started to admire her" and TESS - "Oh shit, I'm on the run and definitely should not trust the hot...sweaty...mechanic...working shirtless...on my ship... Okay, but sex isn't trust, right?"
  • The story is like book-ended with action and the whole middle is just romance and ship fixing and I am here for it although it certainly won't appeal to everyone. That's okay. Y'all do y'all, but I picked this up out of the romance category and that's exactly the mix I'm here for.

Now the Bad Stuff

  • There's a character who's a victim of sexual assault and rape in this story. She's also one of the only two characters of color. She barely has any page time and then gets callously murdered. I had tentative hopes for her at the start, for the character she could develop into and the things that her arc could say, and to have her used only has a prop to prove bad guy is bad...pretty shitty.

Will I read this author again? Probably. She has a previous series that got a lot of praise, but I didn't like the concept.
Will I continue this series? Yeah, I want to know what happens with that super-soldier serum.

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