Can a SciFi Romance make visions of space going galleons dance in my head?

This one did!

In Heather Massey’s Once Upon a Time in Space Raquel Donovan is the renowned space pirate known as the Siren. She fits the picture with all the trimmings: a sexy black ship suit, eye patch, red ascot, and nasty disposition. Stoic Raquel also has a mysterious past and a powerful secret.

Nick Venture is one of the engineers working to create and stabilize the underground labyrinth that has become the refuge of Earth’s population. The Earth is dying and there are no habitable planets to be found, at least according to the elite military. Nick never thought beyond the task at hand, not until he is fired  from his job and lands in jail. When the mysterious Consortium approach Nick to lead a mission to verify the existence of a planet called Eden, Nick sets out on a great adventure and a mission to save all of Earth’s people.

If you love classic space adventure and high seas style pirates you will probably love this book. Once Upon a Time in Space left me with visions of space going galleons, turbulent energy storms, and colorful characters dancing in my head.

What I liked about the heroine: Honestly, Raquel is a little hard to like in the beginning. She comes across hard to the point of cruel. While the author does humanize her and hint the she has a strong motivation, Raquel really had to prove herself loyal to Nick to win me over.

What I liked about the hero: Nick was easy to love from the beginning. He is thrown into a situation where he is out of his element and still manages to shine. He is openly optimistic and accepting of the strange situation and crew he falls in with. Aside from his love for Raquel, he is dedicated completely to his mission and the people who look to him for leadership.

Other cool stuff: I loved the high seas imagery from the space anchors to the Santa Maria’s modern equivalent of the old-fashioned ship’s wheel. And yes I said the Santa Maria, the tie in to Christopher Columbus was fun too. There was also a very modern Earth devastated by human action theme going on and what I liked about this was the authors vision of the underground life Earth’s citizens were forced to adopt.

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Primary format: e-book

Publication date: March 2011

Publisher: Red Sage Publishing

My copy of Once Upon a Time in Space was kindly provided by the author and her publisher. You can get your copy of the book at the publisher’s website or, beginning in March, at most online retailers.

8 thoughts on “Can a SciFi Romance make visions of space going galleons dance in my head?

  1. Unbelievably, this sounds very interesting to me! I’m a die-hard historical fan, but you hooked me with visions of pirates on a pirate ship floating through space looking for a new world. 🙂

  2. Once Upon A Time In Space has a unique concept premise. Love the new world aspect of this book. And hero Nick taking on a task he never dreamed possible, makes him an even sexier hero. From what I’ve read, I tend to agree with Charlie’s first impression about heroine, Raquel. But I also knew from the author’s development of this character, that Raquel had an interesting, shall we call it tamer side too. And you can wait for it, because Nick will. To be honest, I did fall completely in love with Nick from the beginning. The high seas/space energy and images brought forward in this book are captivating. To me, Heather Massey’s style is unique, creative and Innovative.

    • Raquel is very well motivated, but her motives are kept from the reader until late in the book, so you have to rely on Nick’s instincts to trust her. And Nick’s instincts are amazing. He is a natural leader, a natural judge of people, and a natural alliance builder. Hmmm… Maybe I found it hard to like Raquel at first because I wanted Nick all to myself. 😉

  3. Space + pirates are a perfect pairing. I love pirate stories. I’m glad too that you mentioned Raquel being unlikable in the beginning. It helps to know that there’s motivation behind her actions in case the reader gives up too quickly. Thanks for the review!

    • There are actually plenty of hints that Raquel has good motivation and a softer side. I’m just an actions speak louder reader. Her garden is one big tangible clue that helped me soften toward her. One of the things I liked about this book is they layers of meaning and planted clues woven in everywhere. It is the kind of story that is a fun read, but also begs a dozen good conversations. Rare to find both in a single book.

  4. I agree, Charlie. I loved Raquel’s garden. There are plenty of clues layered in this story. I’m also impressed because this is a debut novel, and it contains so many aspects seasoned authors have to work hard to achieve. A fun read that sparks conversation too? Can’t go wrong there.

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