Today I have a book review for you remember what they are? (too soon to joke). I slightly lost my spark writing reviews but I seem to be back on it.
I would like to say a huge thank you Nazia and Orbit Books for sending me a physical copy of Chilling effect by Valerie Valdes for free in exchange for an honest review.
Before we get too far into this review I would just like to shout out the diversity in this book. Eva our protagonist is Hispanic, Pink is black, and obviously, there are a ton of aliens. There is also a brilliant representation of numerous nonbinary characters (*cough, cough* not just aliens).
For me, personal Valerie struck the perfect balance between adventure and humour in her debut space opera. Which is a hard area to launch a book into let’s be honest with the likes of Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy ruling the genre. You will be treated to a fun, fast-paced adventure featuring psychic cats!!!!!!! And cats! And did I mention the psychic cats! Okay fine here’s some other fun stuff… far-flung planets, fascinating aliens and shadowy crime syndicates.
So back to our protagonist Captain Eva Innocente she’s a fun heroine. Well-meaning, edgy, and competent at her job. I love how genuine her voice is with Spanish sayings sprinkled throughout, is wonderfully authentic and yes it means you might need to translate something but don’t be lazy its great representation. Eva is the Captain of the Sirena Negra, a small cargo ship used to run shipping jobs for clients. The book sets up a cast of complex, realistic figures who each have intriguing personalities and backgrounds, but it might just be me being a selfish reader but I wanted to know more about them and their past. That being said I honestly loved the solid friendships between the captain and her loyal crew.
Eva has been stiffed on her last job. Thinking that her day can't get any worse she answers a mysterious call on her private comlink, she finds out that an interstellar crime organization known as The Fridge has kidnapped her sister Mari. The Fridge is demanding a ridiculous ransom for Mari’s release and of course, Eva doesn’t have that of kind of money just chilling, so she’s forced to make a deal with The Fridge. She takes on a series of terrible jobs all without alerting her crewmates. Eva has to make up crazy excuses for visiting far-flung parts of the galaxy, all while still taking care of their day job as a transport ship. Of course, everything goes wrong but does so in surprising ways and that's all part of the fun in this book. But it almost is like poor Eva is cursed, there's trouble at every turn. There are also times when you just want to shake Eva for the choices she makes, but she's reactive and dealing with things as they come, and sometimes you just got to roll with it.