The Queen’s Gambit (Rogue Queen #1) by Jessie Mihalik

The Queen's Gambit (Rogue Queen, #1)

Rating: ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆
Date read: January 19 to February 19, 2019

This novella is fine for a short, self-published sci-fi romance that’s light on the romance and heavy on the shooting. A bit like a direct-to-video version of Star Wars, which could be fun when you’re in the mood for it. The prose, however, is too clunky and awkward in too many places for me, and the ending felt too abrupt. Also, I don’t get the whole kings and queens in outer space either.

But the biggest hurdle for me was the awkwardness. There were too many times during the read that the writing reminded me that it needed an editor’s touch. But overall, this was a fast, jaunty read–a good way to kill an hour or two. Took me a whole month to finish because I was reading it in between a few other books, otherwise I would have been done weeks ago.

An example of the awkwardness

I wore a stretchy black stealth suit that would help me slip past any perimeter security that Jax missed. My braided black hair disappeared in the dark and most of my light brown skin was hidden by the stealth suit. My uncovered face would be visible in low light, but it was a liability I had learned to mitigate because I hated camouflage paint. Soft leather boots hugged my calves and protected my feet but kept my footsteps light. A belt around my waist secured a holstered electroshock pistol, an extra magazine of stun rounds, and a sheathed ceramic knife. I would’ve preferred more weapons, but tonight I traveled light in the name of stealth.

The rest of the novella gets a little better with each chapter, but there are moments like this passage sprinkled throughout.

I was looking forward to Jessie Mihalik’s first traditionally published novel, another space opera romance adventure called Polaris Rising, but after reading this little story, my interest in the other one is waning.


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