Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Review: Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard

Enemy Within
Author: Marcella Burnard
Publication: Berkley Trade; Original edition (November 2, 2010)

Description: An intergalactic cold war-and some heated passion- from an inventive new voice in futuristic romance. 

After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn't want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn't built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father's ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner.

As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari's past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin's sights. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he's convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can't afford the desire she fires within him and he'll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.

My Thoughts: ENEMY WITHIN was an intense futuristic romance. Alexandria Rose Idylle has survived torture by aliens who captured her and then months of medical rehabilitation. She has lost command of her ship and confidence in her own mind. She is working on her father's research ship when it is taken by pirates.  These pirates are from a rival humanoid empire and they have come looking for Ari. 

In this universe, the aliens engineer plagues to keep the humans in check. Now it looks like someone from the human world is working with the aliens. Ari doesn't know if it is someone on her side or on the pirate's side. But she has to find out fast so that she can protect the people she swore to serve. 

The hero of this story is Cullin Seaghdh who is the cousin of the queen of the Claugh nib Dovvyth and who acts as the queen's spymaster and protector. He has admired Ari since he first heard of her as a student who mastered a sport using energy blades. She is second best in all the know worlds but doesn't know that he is the best.

The intensity in this story comes from the descriptions of the torture that our heroine received at the hands of the alien Chekydran. Further intensity comes from watching Ari deal with flashbacks and deal with not knowing if she has been programmed in some way that will be harmful to her people.

The story was well written and the world building well done. The romance builds nicely as Ari and Cullin learn to trust each other despite huge reasons not to do so. The story was fast-paced and engaging. I recommend it to fans who like epic science fiction with a touch of romance. 

Favorite Quote:
No internal injuries, just one hell of a bruise. He'd risked death to find her and serious injury so that she wouldn't be alone in the midst of memory.

She squeezed her eyes shut and realized how badly she wanted to gamble on trusting Cullin Seaghdh. Opening her eyes, she smoother a palm over the bruise. He shivered at her touch. 
A friend chose this one for me at ALA. You can buy your copy here

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