It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. A product of the greatest engineering minds, the Icarus luxury spaceliner unexpectedly drops out of hyperspace. Wealthy passengers and military personnel race to escape. Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe finds herself trapped aboard an escape pod with Major Tarver Merendson, a charity case who clawed his way up military ranks the old-fashioned way. When the pod crash lands on the planet, Tarver is determined to keep himself and the helpless Lilac alive. As they face the unforgiving challenges of survival together, they will need to trust one another and depend on each other’s strengths to stay alive long enough to be rescued.
My favorite thing about this book was that both Tarver and Lilac had skills to contribute to the success of their survival. It wasn’t another retelling of the cliché old tale about the man knowing all about surviving and the helpless lady kind of tagging along at his mercy. Lilac is smart and knows things about the ship’s operation because of growing up around it. Tarver has had a lot of experience surviving on a hostile planet. Together, they make a formidable team.
The romance is definitely more of a clichéd element. The rich aloof girl and the hero who comes from nothing. She blows him off to save face. He takes her at face value. She thinks he hates her. He thinks she despises him. But she secretly likes him and he secretly likes her, etc. I felt like that 180 degree turn happened kind of fast. It was definitely intense, though.
The story took a bit of a weird turn as Tarver and Lilac investigate some strange life forms they find on the planet. It definitely reminded me of an old Star Trek episode – in a good way.
The ending was a bit abrupt for me. Through the whole book they’ve been wondering how to solve this big problem, and it’s going to be so terrible if they can’t do something. Then Lilac basically has a stern conversation with the head of her problem and it’s all fixed, no worries at all. I had hoped for a little more complexity there.
Over all, I did enjoy the story of the romance and especially Tarver’s memories of his family. I loved that they had this equal partnership where they both had skills essential to one another. Each chapter begins with these snippets of debrief interviews between Tarver and (we assume) a superior officer. Brilliant. Definitely added suspense and intrigue to the story.
Moderate profanity used with moderate frequency.
Brief scenes leading up to and referencing intercourse. While the acts aren’t graphically described beyond brief references to nudity, the reader is left in no doubt of what happens.
Lilac and Tarver encounter strange beings at first mistaken for ghosts or hallucinations. It appears that these other beings have powers far beyond human abilities and can change the way things appear.
There is some description of the ship coming apart and being destroyed and some mayhem and injury which result from that. On the surface of the planet, Tarver and Lilac find the remains of the ship. A few descriptions of what they find are pretty icky.