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Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU
Free On KU

Hunting Astrid by Thea Landen

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is an imaginative sci-fi romance where the imaginary world and the romance are equally important and equally detailed. 

Astrid Carlisle is a gifted programmer. Right out of college she is snapped up by Satera Industries an interplanetary organisation that develops tough simulations and hires mercenaries. She develops life-like simulations that are used as tests during the hiring process by Satera. The office is based on a rather remote space station so most people who come there are either coupled (or familied) up or diehard workaholics. Astrid is something of a workaholic but would like to have someone to share her life with. 

After running the latest batch of applicants through the simulation, during the debrief at the end, Astrid’s eye is caught by the winner of the test – a dark-haired, arresting lady. A lady she bumps into on her way back home later in the evening and who seems to have invited her out. Astrid can’t be sure – though, she is. Flustered, she exits the train without even asking the lady’s name.

Satera is lax about legalities and there aren’t many rules that their employees have to follow, so egged by her colleague (and friend), Astrid goes through the application and learns that the lady is Tabitha Knox an ex-Marine. She gets Tabitha’s number and with just hope on her side she sends a message asking to meet in the evening. 

The evening is more than expected because of the crackling electricity between them. 

This is a short book packed with action, emotion and attraction. Despite the length, Landen manages to etch the characters in detail. We completely felt Astrid’s vulnerability, intelligence, liveliness, humour and tentativeness. Tabitha is a perfect counterpoint with her self-assurance, worldliness, responsibilities, exuberance and attention. The attraction and chemistry between the two are palpable and you’re waiting for the first kiss. (When the first kiss does happen, it is everything we wished for).

The simulations, which form a goodish part of the narrative, are involving and immersive. We loved that Landen used the simulations as the setting for a date – very escape room meets virtual gaming hip. 

This one could’ve been twice the length and we’d totally have read it in one sitting. 


PS: Don’t miss the note to the readers from the author in the beginning. The first para is hilarious and captures why writing lesfic is no easy job. Ms. Landen, please don’t feel under-confident about your writing skills – they’re spot on. And maybe another one in the same world about Rowan Satera? (One can always wish, right?)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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