I finished Amanda Bouchet’s galactic romance Nightchaser several nights ago, and I continue marveling at it, at the worlds Bouchet dreamed up and how badass her characters are as they almost die/laugh in the face of danger/otherwise survive. If spaceships, space renegades, and sex are your cup of tea then you’re in luck, because Nightchaser has them all, packed into a wildly inventive story that offers a whip-fast thrill akin to taking off in a really fast roller coaster.
The book opens pretty dramatically: Captain Tess Bailey and the rest of her Endeavor crew are hiding out from the Dark Watch—the galactic “police force” which operates under the orders of the dictatorial Overlord—because they’ve just stolen something big. It’s a laboratory, which they’ve attached to the side of the ship. The Dark Watch isn’t happy about that, and it’s up to Bailey and her crew to see if they can survive the Dark Watch’s efforts to get it back.
This tense episode is over pretty quickly, but it sets up the questions that drive the rest of the book: what’s in the lab and why is the Dark Watch going to such lengths to get it back? And who is the real Tess “Bailey”? How did she come to be Captain and what are her ultimate aims?
With Nightchaser, Bouchet offers us an escape that feels cinematic: the detail is brilliant, the story is action-packed, the characters, particularly Tess, have a messwithmeatyourownrisk vibe that I love. These aren’t shrinking violets; I just know that there’s going to be a lot of setting the world(s) on fire in future books of this trilogy, and I’m. here. for. it. But make no mistake about it: Tess and company are up against a formidable set of opponents, and the coming confrontations promise to be difficult (and enthralling).
Though there were a few moments when I felt like the book had almost a bit too much going on—lots of strands were introduced here, and will, no doubt, be picked back up in later books—I can’t wait to see where the series is going next and what the pay-off will be.
Nightchaser is another explosive read from Amanda Bouchet. “So say we all.”*
*This phrase is from Battlestar Galactica and not Nightchaser, but it seemed fitting. (Or maybe BG is just the only other space thing I've really enjoyed, so it was just a convenient comparison.)
**I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
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