Recommend by: Riley
Fiona Russell is an architect without a home.
Abducted from Earth, she ends up on a Garmman ship where she is treated as a slave. Fiona will do anything to change her circumstances. But when she is rescued by the Grih, she quickly senses that there is much more to the situation than she is being told. Unfortunately, nobody seems in a hurry to explain the stakes to her. Now she is a guest of the Grih, the human-like aliens in this part of the galaxy, but unsure what they want with her.
Hal Vakeri is a battleship captain in a situation rigged to explode into all out war.
While Hal is chasing pirates and shuttling diplomats, having Fiona on his ship totally messes with his logistical plans. As a former captive on a Garmman ship, her presence on the battleship Illium will only complicate the negotiations between the human-abducting Tecrans and the rest of the coalition represented by the United Council (UC).
When I started reading Dark Deeds, I was prepared for continuation of the political struggles that are plaguing the part of the galaxy that contains the coalition that includes the Grih and the Tecran. Dark Deeds does advance this part of the saga, but there is less talking and more action. In this story, actions speak louder than political posturing.
While Dark Deeds begins a lot like Dark Horse, ie: Earth woman is rescued from captivity by handsome Grih captain, there comes a point where Dark Deeds takes a totally different direction. Dark Deeds is very action-oriented. Both Fiona and Hal will have quite the adventures when they leave the safety of the Illium. The people and other beings they encounter on their adventures will add to the details concerning the political fuse box that is the United Council.
One of the beings that will be encountered is Eazi. Eazi is another thinking machine (TM – my abbreviation) like Sazo from Dark Horse. Eazi is the TM that makes its home in one of the Class 5 battleships the Tecran have. Fiona and Eazi have a relationship that started out with Eazi kidnapping her. At first, there were some hard feelings on Fiona’s part. But it quickly turned to friendship. Eazi goes through his (or her?) own traumatic experiences which actually made him more of sentient character to me. It also allowed Fiona and Eazi to bond as they end up having something in common. They both want a place to call home.
Let’s talk about Fiona and Hal. It is a SciFi Romance after all. Trouble is, Hal has his doubts about Fiona. She is a political pawn/obstacle and he wonders what she might be hiding. Fiona thinks Hal, as the captain of the ship she is on, has power over her and she is tired of not having control of her own life. They are attracted to each other, but wary. So the build up is slow. What brings them together is that they are always having to rescue each other from some peril or another. Dark Deeds has what I like to call equal opportunity heroine/hero rescuing. After enough rescues, the real fraternization begins.
After reading Dark Deeds, I learned some interesting things about UC space:
- It would be pretty awesome to have a TM for a business partner.
- The Krik, the aforementioned pirates, are interesting. I wonder if we will see them again.
- Human singing is magical to the Grih. Any human that can carry a tune has an advantage in Grih space.
- Somebody, maybe a TM, needs to solve the issue with communication going down every time there is a TM nearby. Really. Maybe in book 3.
- There is a monkey-like being that has six limbs. Cute but vicious. Great juxtaposition.
And here are some things that may be portents of things to come. In other words, some reasons I will be interested in book 3 in the Class 5 series:
- We still don’t really know what the Tecran are up to? What is their obsession with human women? Is it just scientific curiosity, or is there more to it?
- There actually appears to be some Tecrans that agree with the Sentient Beings Agreement? Captain Flato, balked at the the orders to take Fiona. Will they throw a monkey-wrench in the Tecran plans?
- The United Council races are not the biggest baddest people out there. As Eazi said “There are some things out there that are bigger, more advanced and nastier than we are, Captain. And retreat was the only logical option.” Hmmm.
- ‘Imogen Peters was here…’ Fiona and Hal found evidence of another human woman. Will she show up later?
If you like Dark Horse, you should pick up Dark Deeds. If you haven’t read Dark Horse, I recommend it. While Dark Deeds contains a lot of the backstory of Dark Horse, I think you will most enjoy the books read in order. Dark Deeds is highly recommened SciFi Romance!
Ms. Diener provided a review copy through NetGalley.