Review: Inouye by J.C. Hay

Posted April 23, 2019 by Lola in Review, Romance, Sci-Fi / 4 Comments

Review graphic

InouyeInouye (TriSystems: Rangers #1)
by J.C. Hay

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Old wounds can leave the deepest scars.

Lance Corporal Ren Inouye has spent a decade forgetting his homeworld and the girl who cut out his school-age heart. With the help of his umbra wolf partner, he’s almost succeeded. When he’s ordered back home, the last thing he wants is for her to drop back into his life and tear open those scars he thought long-healed.

Lucia has spent five years doing refugee work, trying to make up for her family’s name and her own spoiled childhood. When her aid shuttle gets shot down, she’s forced to rely on the one person she thought she’d never see again.

Thrown together, it’s impossible to ignore that their old passions still run hot. If they want a future, they’ll need to put the past on hold and work together, because someone’s trying to heat up a cold war on their homeworld, and the fastest way to do that is to make sure they’re both dead.

My Review

A while ago I heard about this book and bought a copy. Lately I’ve been in a bit of sci-fi romance book and decided to read this one. I am glad I did as I really enjoyed this book. It just grabbed my attention and I had fun reading it. There was something about the writing and story that pulled me in and I had bought book 2 before I even finished this one as I already knew I wanted to continue the series.

It’s not a long read around 80 pages, but I think the shorter length really works here. The pacing is really well done, with enough happening and things not feeling rushed. And it’s great to be able to finish the whole story in little time, without feeling that I am missing anything. The author sure pulls of the shorter length really well.

Inouye is told from dual point of views from Ren Inouye and Lucia’s perspective. They used to be lovers for a short time while in school and haven’t seen each other for years after Lucia shunned him because her popular friends encouraged her to do so. Now Inouye is taking some leave when his commander redirect him to a ship that disappeared and he stumbles upon Lucia.

The story moves quite quickly, but in a way that works. In a few sentences the author gives us a feel for both characters and then gets the story moving immediately. I liked how there was some romance with a second chance vibe, some action and suspense regarding what happened to Lucia’s ship and a great shadow wolf species thrown in as well. There also is a surprising twist toward the end which was well done.

I liked Inouye and Lucia and while their romance developed quite quickly, that did work here as they already had known each other in the past. There is a bit of things they have to deal with before they grow closer again with what happened in the past and later on some communication issues they have to overcome and figure out a way to move forward. I also liked the role Inari, Inouye’s wolf played in getting them together.

I liked how it was clear Lucia had changed and regretted listening to her friends and shunning Inouye. It made sense why she had acted that way in the past, but I also was happy to see how she had changed and regretted what she did. Inouye said he didn’t think about it anymore, but it’s clear she hurt him. I liked how they had the chance to set that right now and connect again. The story ends in a great happy for now moment that felt right for these characters.

The wolf was probably one of my favorite parts of the book. I liked the idea of these wolves who bond with humans and then serve at their side. They share an emphatic bond, which was great to read about. There are also some side characters that get introduced here, some of which will get their own book.

We only get the basics of the world building necessary to follow the story, but it worked. It was very to the point and there was enough to get a bit of a feel of the world. And I am hoping it gets expanded on in future books. The whole concept of the rangers and their wolves was very interesting to read about. There also is a little bit about the politics on this planet, but not sure if that will be a plot line that continues through the series is one that’s only relevant here.

To summarize: this book was a lot of fun to read. Something about the story and writing caught my attention and I enjoyed this book and bought book 2 before I even finished this one. It’s a shorter read around 80 pages, but the length feels right for the story. Things move quickly, but it never feels rushed and I liked the story length for this book. There is some romance and a bit of an action/ suspense plot line involving who shot down Lucia’s ship. I liked both Lucia and Inouye and while their romance developed a bit quickly and I would’ve liked a bit more depth, it worked for this story. I also liked the whole idea of the shadow wolves and the empathic bond they form with their humans. If you’re looking for quick science fiction romance read with a bit of action and suspense, I would definitely recommend this one. It was a great start to this series and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon.

What’s the last book with an unusual animal character you read?


4 responses to “Review: Inouye by J.C. Hay

  1. Glad this series is really good and had you excited enough to grab the next book, too. Neat how the shorter length worked. It was wise of the author to pick a second chance romance to make a quick romance when they’re older more believable. Those wolves do sound cool I’ll look forward to this one.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Let There Be Light by A.M. JohnsonMy Profile

    • I like it when authors pull of the shorter length well as sometimes you just want a shorter read, but a full story. I think the second chance romance worked well here. And the wolves are pretty cool. Did you read his short story in Pets in Space 3?

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