by Michelle Diener
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: June 15, 2015
Genre: Romance, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Print Length: 381 pages
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.
Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally--a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.
Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.
She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.
In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.
Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
Political intrigue, deceit, artificial intelligence, inter-galactic travel, Michelle Diener proves her power over her pen, once again with Dark Horse her latest addition to her versatile and varied accomplishments.
Rose is a kidnapped curiosity to the aliens who have taken her. Cool under pressure, she uses her own wit and intelligence to survive the torturous prodding and experiments for three long months until she escapes. Sure, you say, but she has an ally, a friend, Sazo, an artificial intelligence who is more than an awkward voice for her to hear. So. Much. More. Along comes Dav, who along with his crew, rescue her (and Sazo). Are there galactic sparks flying between Dav and Rose? What does Sazo think about this?
Is Rose considered a harmless alien or is it possible she is part of a plan that will endanger the very existence of many species? Rumors abound, and Rose must keep her wits about her if she is going to survive in this strange world she has been unwillingly thrust in to. Will Dav’s feelings for Rose jeopardize his crew? What secrets are being held back by Sazo? The more” human” he acts, the more he learns to hold his cards close to the vest, but never once does his loyalty to Rose falter. They are like a secret dynamic duo, discussing, learning from each other and finding a most unusual friendship. But what does their future hold? What is Sazo’s part in it all? Will Rose and Dav survive to find love among the stars?
You know that feeling when an author you follow decides to follow a new path? Should you go, should you wait, should you trust that you will once again be wowed into complete reading bliss? Michelle Diener has a winner here! Her ability to capture the essence and soul of each character so completely is amazing. With a heroine with her feet planted firmly on the space deck, devoid of vapors and full of more bravery and cunning than a Klingon, Rose is easy to like and respect! How would you behave, trapped far from Earth? Dav is a great hero, bold, intelligent, yet so obviously taken by Rose, he makes the heroes I love list. But Sazo steals the show! Talk about complex! Talk about evolving! Talk about the one to tell your secrets to, because he is so good at keeping his own. Call me a sucker for the smart and mysterious ones. Ms. Diener has created another hit with all of the timing, the details and the atmosphere that brings the reader into the moment in each scene. When an author can pull you in with the power of a plot driven around her characters, they have done their job, and Ms. Diener gets five stars, a galaxy and a few extra planets for this one!
I received this copy of Dark Horse from Season Publishing in exchange for my honest review.