To my profound relief this wasn't an advertised paranormal romance. It was a balanced sci-fi with a splash of romance.
The world-building was what really fascinated me, not the relationship between two people thrown together by circumstances. The world-building was vivid and writing felt so smooth I couldn't believe how fast I finished reading the book.
Aries escapes her ship which is more like a big city where the colonists live and work and preserve their precious DNA until they get to New Dawn - a planet with similar habitat to Earth. No worries, they only have another 200 years to go. Because resources are limited, the colonists life is very restricted - computers choose their professions according to their best abilities and also choose their partners as best match in DNA. That's what Aries doesn't want.
Her intended is an ambitious and conniving beautiful man who wants Aries only as hist trophy wife. She is smart, healthy and beautiful.
Aries escapes him and goes onto the nearest habitable planet, which very much reminded me of Dune - there are monstrous worms, deserts and weird humanoid creatures.
She quickly loses all her supplies and is in danger of dying of dehydration when she is found by Striker who has been living on the same planet for 5 years.
Striker was deserted by his team of pirates who didn't agree with his policies and plans. He is also a decoder who knows the coordinates of the closest planet where people will be able to settle.
Both survivors join their forces to fix an old alien ship which crashed on this planet, so they can fly away.
Of course, nothing goes according to plans. Aries has her intended hunting her down, and Striker's team decides to take him back so they can find new Earth...
There are a lot of fascinating details in this book, - how Aries's fiance changes, the description of the alien ship and the forgotten culture, Striker's ex-team and where they have to live... it's all coming in flashes.
However there are a lot of TSTL moments too. How about this one. Barliss, Aries fiance catches Striker. He doesn't know if he knows anything about her. Barliss pushed his way through the men and shoved his face into
Striker’s. “We’re looking for a runaway. Five-foot-five, slender, with auburn
hair.” Striker looked him straight in the eye. “Haven’t seen her.”
Barliss pulled his head back and sized Striker up and down.
I'm sorry. Did he tell you they were looking for a woman? No. He just gave you a description. Saying haven't seen her is a dead giveaway in my book, but none of the men acknowledge it. *facepalm*
However, despite slight discrepancies and flaws of character I really enjoyed this book and am very much looking forward to the next installment.