(Rated: 13+)Product Type: Book
Reviewer: Shrieking Shaye
Review Rated: 13+
Amazon's Price: $ 14.39
Chilling Effect is an own voices space opera featuring a Cuban-descended Captain called (mostly) Eva Innocente and her crew as they get into more and more trouble as the book goes on!
Eva herself is a great main character, who I enjoyed reading about during every single sentence of the book. The character had a strong voice and really stood out. You always knew who was talking just because her personality really shone through in the dialogue. Eva is badass, head-strong and sometimes a little bit blinkered, but cares deeply for her crew and her ship and is willing to do just about anything for them. Also known as, my favourite sort of character. A character who is badass, has her flaws, but also cares deeply for those she trusts, and doesn’t stand for injustices against them.
Vakar is a close second-favourite. Vakar is a species known as Quennian, who rely on scent much as humans may rely on tone of voice, and it’s such an interesting added element as a way to describe his emotions. In the beginning, the scents are explained but come the end, even the reader knows which scents equal which emotion. Honestly, there’s one scent in particular that I think was obvious from the beginning, and I was just waiting for Eva to catch up!
As well as that, you’ve got Min, Pink and Leroy in the crew, and then a cast of family members of both Eva and Vakar on the sidelines. Overall, Eva and Vakar have the most detailed backstories and character building, which works for the story, but I hope we get to learn a little more about the other characters in the future.
From a plot point of view, Chilling Effect gets going and doesn’t really slow down from there. We’re introduced into the story in the middle of a hunt for psychic cats, yep, the book cover mostly makes sense. I’m not a cat person, but cats that can hypnotise people sound a lot more interesting than your average cat.
Moving on from the cats, I really enjoyed reading the comings and goings of La Sirena Negra (translated as The Black Mermaid in the book, although I was definitely calling it The Black Siren, and did wonder if The Black Mermaid was a bad translation via the good ol’ translation technology that’s now famous or infamous in sci-fi books and films!). The action was fast-paced and thrilling to read. I couldn’t turn the pages fast.
The world of Chilling Effect, outside of the ship, was well-developed with many facets. From The Fridge (Chilling, fridge, get it?) , BOFA and some interesting agencies, like the Wraiths, a branch of Quennian military, I think. There’s also a ton of alien species. One of the more interesting ones and perhaps strange one’s, to human standard, is governed by an emperor known as Glorious Apotheosis. I’m sure you can tell from the name, the guy has issues, and it’s a pretty hilarious plot point throughout. Everything included made the world feel alive and real.
It was such a fun book to read, from the fascinating alien species to the very human characters. I’m so glad I took the time, as reading it cheered me up.
The next book, Prime Deceptions, is out and I’m super excited to grab it and start it. The title for book 3 has also not long been announced as Fault Tolerance. I need them in my life.
Comparisons to Mass Effect
As a self-confessed Mass Effect fanatic, I wanted to list a few of the ways I think Chilling Effect was very Mass Effect-esque. Mostly because the reasons they compare is the reason I love them! This next section is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book (or played the games) and don’t want to be spoiled, stop here.
Is it too obvious to say the title? No? Well, that’s self-explanatory, moving on.
The main character, Eva, is sarcastic, snarky and totally badass. Much like a certain Fem!Shep I tend to play. It’s the right level of snark without turning into full bitch. Like a Shepard the skews renegade, but not fully.
The gate technology is as much a mystery in CE as ME, whilst we eventually learn a little more in ME. The basis is that it’s some ancient alien technology that works, but most of the other ancient stuff doesn’t work. In ME, it’s initially placed on the Protheans. In CE, it’s the Proarkhe. They’re similarly mysterious, with only those seriously dedicated to studying ancient alien civilisations having much of any knowledge on them, besides wild conspiracy theorists.
The love interest! In ME, you, of course, get to pick. If you’re like me, you went Garrus, because obviously. Garrus is famous for his time spent calibrating the weaponry of the Normandy. You could say he has some engineering knowledge but he’s actually a super badass. In CE, Eva begins to fall for Vakar, the engineer of La Sirena Negra but also a super badass. Not only that, but Vakar is not human and that can cause some problems. And things get verrrry interesting.
Found family crew. Found family spaceship crews might be my favourite thing, and CE and ME have it down.
The fish in the captain’s cabin that the captain seems to care about for some reason I can’t quite comprehend. (As Shepard, my fish died every damn time).
In case I’m not clear, I’m basically just saying, if you’re a fan of Mass Effect, then read this book. It’s so much fun, and there’s plenty of things to love about it!
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Created Aug 09, 2021 at 3:34pm • Submit your own review...