Review: Pets in Space

October 24, 2016 Review, Romance, Sci-Fi 26

LolaReview

Pets in SpacePets in Space
by S.E. Smith, Susan Grant, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Alexis Glynn Latner, Lea Kirk and Carysa Locke

Blurb:
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Bestselling authors have nine original, never-released stories that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of profits from the first month go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

My Review

I received a free copy of this book and voluntary reviewed it

The concept of this box set caught my attention, the whole pets in space theme sounded perfect for me as I love pets and sci-fi book. I knew a few of the authors in this box set already and decided I had to read this one.

As this is an anthology with multiple stories, I’ll share my thoughts on each of them and summarize my thoughts of the anthology as a whole at the end.

A Mate For Matrix: Cyborg Protection Unit By S.E. Smith
Overall I enjoyed this one. I liked the concept of the Cyborg Protection Unit and the cybernetic enhanced animals. I had a bit of trouble getting into the story at first with a time skip that didn’t feel as smoothly and then a skip back and then forward again, but once that was over I got into the story. Overall it was a fun one and there’s a scene later on where matrix things he is walking into an enemy trap that was quite fun to read.
One thing that bothered me a bit where these small things that felt a bit unrealistic. Like how the Janna is a vet assistant but when a dog/ wolf is bought to her office the first thing she thinks is that it’s going to eat her, it just felt a bit weird a vet assistant would think that as she is supposed to understand animal behavior. There are a few more things like that with how she kept her kittens in a bag in a critical scene instead of a carrier and how Matrix was this strong epic warrior but a female easily distracted him. But despite those things I did found myself enjoying it and by the end I was curious and wanted to know more about this world. This story is a science fiction romance, a tad light on the sci-fi elements and heavy on the romance, but still enough sci-fi to give it a sci-fi feel. It made me curious about this world and I liked how the pets all played a role in this story.

Stray by Susan Grant
I really enjoyed this one! We get both the point of view of the two main characters and the dog, it was fun. I also liked how real this story felt and how much I could feel their love for each other even though their relationship wasn’t always smooth. we got to see their first meeting a few precious memories in flashbacks and then their current adventure where Carlynn goes missing. It also showed the pain of a mental illness, in this case PTSD and how it can put a strain on relationships. I also liked how the world got brought alive I could nicely imagine how things looked like and on an alien planet they encounter alien creatures and they really seemed alien. It was a really nice story, the was well done, it was realistic and I could feel the emotions.

Spark Of Attraction by Cara Bristol
This was a fun story, it’s pretty story focused. There is this ship who came to rescue some survivors of an alien planet after they got attacked. My main complaint is that there were lots of things I would’ve liked to see explore a bit more. Like the hostile aliens and what the people were doing on that planet, what being a cyborg meant the characters personalities and background and the romance. The romance happened quite fast and didn’t quite feel their connection. I did like the robot dog, although half of the book he is turned off sadly, I would’ve like to see him in action a bit more. He did play an important part in the story though. There also are some twists, although I did manage to predict both of them after a few wrong guesses. The pace didn’t feel rushed, but it didn’t allow for much time to expand on topics and characters sadly and feel like it lacked a bit of depth due to that. I did like the way it was written and I would like to give another one of her stories a try.

Star Cruise: Stowaway by Veronica Scott

This is one of my favorite stories so far in this anthology! The set-up was great and you just feel the whole world around this has been thought out, even though we only get a little glimpse of the world in this story. And it only makes me more curious to finally read one of her full length novels. I own two of them by now, so I have to make sure to make time to read those soon. The pace of this one was great with enough personality and depth of the characters. I liked seeing how everything developed, both the plot and the romance. I also liked how much Owen cared for her and he was willing to sacrifice everything for her. There are hints of the darker side of the galaxy and I felt bad for what the female main character had to go through. I liked getting a glimpse at her powers and her beliefs. The pets in this one were great too. There was a cat and alien pet called Midori, which just seemed like the most adorable and awesome pet! There are some great scenes involving the pets.

The Real Dragon by Pauline Baird Jones
I am sorry to say it, but this story was a miss for me. I have caught a bit of a cold, so maybe it’s because my head didn’t feel as awake as normal, but this story just felt confusing. Like I always missed one or two pieces to full grasp what was going on. Not a good feeling when you’re reading a book. I didn’t really managed to get invested in the story or the characters. It felt a bit rushed at times and with the main character her memory loss it was even harder to piece things together. I did like the bearded dragon pet. And the set-up does seem promising, but it just didn’t work for me.

Spike by Alexis Glynn Latner

This one was okay, I did like it for the most part, but it didn’t fully grab me. The beginning was a bit slow, but gradually I got more into it. I did like the pet in this one as it was quite original, but I would’ve liked getting to know it a bit more. There also was a bit of backstory and how what they were doing related to a bigger missions, but we never get to see the mission or anything. It felt more like watching an episode in the middle of a tv series and not fully knowing how they got there or what happens next and just enjoying the glimpse you do get.

Stardog by Laurie A. Green

This was another great story! It had a mysterious captain and ship, a controlling and oppressive force who controls the galaxy and a bit of rebellion. The plot follows the navigator and a vendor girl he meets to help with a viper infestation on board. The characters had enough depth to make me feel invested and I liked where this story went. In fact I just bought Inherited the Stars by this author after finishing this story as I want to know more of this universe. One small complaint was the ending, it felt just a bit off. With the two events that happened there it felt more sad than happy, I wasn’t quite sure what Taro thought of what happened. But overall this was a great story and I liked the pet Katrina, she was adorable, and I was very curious about the captain and her story. Looking forward to read more by this author!

Space Ranger By Lea Kirk

This one didn’t quite work for me, can’t really put my finger on the why, but I just didn’t really care about this story. I didn’t really dislike it or anything, but it didn’t quite capture my attention. The characters made a few not so smart decisions and maybe I read over something, but if not we only find out the hero is a blue skinned alien about halfway through the story. I also feel this story is part of a larger universe/ series, although I did like that we get to know enough to understand this story. The dog was adorable and I liked we got a prequel and epilogue from her point of view.

Escape Run by Carysa Locke
Really enjoyed this one. I already knew this author before Picking up this set and I have read the prequel and first book in her telepathic space pirates series, it was a great read to finish this box set with. It’s set into her Telepathic Space Pirates world, but we get to see a character we haven’t seen in the main books. It was interesting to get to see another piece of this world and meet new characters. There are also some new talents we hear about and the hunters always seemed pretty cool ad here we get a bit more about them. For those new to this world there is enough description to give you a feel of the world. The story was short and to the point, but it was enjoyable. I liked the characters and the fox pet. Things did get resolved pretty fast and easy, but I also appreciated things not getting dragged out and I did think it was resolved nicely. The epilogue was a nice touch.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this anthology with science fiction romance stories that all involve pets. There are some stories I enjoyed more and some I enjoyed less, but that’s normal for a box set. Overall I think it had a good group of stories and some of these authors I definitely want to read more of. This set had a few authors I had read something by before and it was a good mix of some familiar and quite some new to me authors. I like how there is a picture of each pet or pets in one case before the start of the story. It was a nice touch and gave a nice visual image of what the pets looked like. This anthology is perfect for people who like stories with pets and/or science fiction books.

4-stars-rating

Links
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You can also find my review of Pets in Space on Amazon and Goodreads.

Do you like books with pets in them?

26 Responses to “Review: Pets in Space”

  1. sjhigbee

    This one sounds quirky and unusual – I do like stories with pets so long as they don’t lapse into sentimentality and a fair few do, especially in fiction. There is an interesting crime series about a besotted cat owner, whose cats often inadvertently end up help in solving the mystery – it’s the Jim Qwilleran series by Lilan Jackson Braun:)
    sjhigbee recently posted…While the Morning Stars SingMy Profile

    • Lola

      I mostly only read books were the pets worked out great and added a fun or quirky addition to the story. These stories sure had pets done well and I liked how most pets really played a part in the story.
      That crime series with the cat you mentioned sounds like a fun one!

  2. Sophia Rose

    I enjoyed this one, too. I ended up buying two books from a couple of the authors b/c I liked their shorter stories so much. Yes, there were a couple that were either only okay or confusing to me as well. My favorite ended up being Veronica Scott’s Stowaway.

    I love having pets in stories and this one was great when several made the pets main characters.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…#Interview with Cara Crescent #GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lola

      I look forward to when your review is up on the blog so I can read your whole review again. I added a few books to my to-read list and already bought one and I already had a few books by some of these authors. I think Veronica her story was my favorite as well, it was so good! I can’t wait to finally read one of her full length books.

      The pets was such a fun theme for the anthology and I liked how every story had a pets or more of them.

    • Lola

      I hope you pick it up! The pets and sci-fi theme made for a fun combination and there are a lot of authors in this one whose stories I enjoyed 🙂

    • Lola

      Same here, the idea of an anthology of pets in space totally grabbed my attention.

      I heard of this one as I already knew some of the authors in this set and had seen the anthology on social media a few times.

  3. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    This sounds like such a fun, unique idea for an anthology. There probably aren’t a whole lot of sci-fi books out there with animals!

    That does sound kind of weird that the vet assistant was afraid of the dog and kept kittens in a bag? But I’m glad you enjoyed it regardless.

    Stray sounds really good, what with how you could feel their love and how it also showed the strain PTSD could put on a relationship. And that’s cool that it had the POV of the dog too.

    I’m glad you liked Star Cruise so much and that it’s made you excited to try more books by the author! It’s great when characters can feel developed even in a short story.

    I completely get what you’re saying about The Real Dragon. I’m reading a book right now but I’ve also been really tired and had some brain fog and have been confused and wondering, “Am I just missing something? Or was it not explained?”

    Sorry you didn’t click with some of these stories, but it sounds like it was still worth it for the ones you did like! And all your mentions of robot and alien pets has given me an idea for a possible future post!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona StaplesMy Profile

    • Lola

      I don’t think I’ve many or any at all sci-fi stories with animals before this anthology. Although the tv series Star Trek Enterprise does have a dog in it, but it doesn’t play that big of a role. It was nice to have the pets all play a relatively big part in these stories.

      Those two minor things in the first story really bugged me as it seemed pretty unrealistic, but it was a fun story altogether so it didn’t diminish my enjoyment too much.

      Stray was a really good one with how you really felt their love and also saw the strain PTSD could put on a relationship.

      I already own two books by that author of Star Cruise Stowaway, just need to make time to actually read it.

      I am still not sure if the Dragon story was really confusing or if it was just me, but I was just feeling so confused while reading it and didn’t fully get into the story due to that.

      It definitely was an anthology worth reading even with the few that didn’t fully click with me. And now I am curious about your idea for a possible future post!
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Do you subscribe to author newsletters?My Profile

    • Lola

      Pets in books can be a great to read about, I like dogs and cats, but I also like to see the more unusual creatures. It was fun there were a few alien pets in this anthology.

  4. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    I love pets in books. I think they can really steal the show. In Ilona Andrews’ The Edge series, someone had a pet raccoon and it was adorable. When I read that title, I just thought of Muppets’ “Pigs in Space”. The way they say it (search it on Youtube), all drawn out was how I read the title. LOL. Great review. Glad you enjoyed it.
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Review: Sunday Bear-becue by Celia Kyle (@mlsimmons, @celiakyle)My Profile

    • Lola

      They sure can steal the show! I really liked how the pets played a role in these stories. I haven’t read that series you mentioned, but that pet raccoon does sound adorable!

    • Lola

      I think that’s pretty normal for anthologies that there are some stories you like more and others a bit less. This one was a pretty solid anthology and I found some new authors I want to read more of :).

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