Author: Aubrie Dionne
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-02-2
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-03-9
Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.
But Aries has other plans. When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price. The life of the man she loves.
Don’t you just love Sci-Fi? It’s a genre where everything and anything is possible. Romans in space, killer mice which can travel the speed of light, alien invasions and so on. While not quite so drastic, Paradise 21 is interesting in that: ‘what-have-they-gone-and-done-now’ kinda way, cause let me tell you, if you think humans are stupid now, just wait what they are going to do in the nearby future.
With Paradise 21 Aubrey Dionne has created a setting where humans are big on genetic purity. So much so in fact that when they’ve offed earth they gathered the best and brightest – the best genetically predisposed humans (gah, writing this makes me ashamed of being human ;-)) – and put them on Noah’s ark – erh – space ship and set off for a habitable planet. They go a little further. Aries, and no we’re not talking god of war here, is one of the lovely colonists aboard the ship. She is forced to marry whoever is best genetically compatible to her. Poor girl, especially because her best match is an overbearing, dictatorial and manipulative bastard to put it mildly. However, she doesn’t lie down and thinks of England or Earth or whatever and escapes and that is where the real story starts.
She crash-lands on Sahara 354 a planet that rivals its contemporary counterpart where she encounters Strikers and oh so genetically impure but very very yummy human who is everything she shouldn’t want but likes very much. Did I mention he is a pirate? No? Well, he is! From there on out it’s all adventure, challenges and romance.
The above makes this book sounds a bit gloom and doom, but all is not as dire as I make it seem. The story is well written, but has a few of the romance traps. If you think Aries intended let’s her escape just slide, you got that wrong. So be aware the vengeful scorned partner to be.
Aubrie Dionne created quite the story with Paradise 21. It’s a bit of Star Wars meets Pirates of the Caribbean if you look past the genetic holocaust. The characters are round and interesting, definitely not your stock romance characters. Aries is every bit the stubborn, independent, yet vulnerable woman. Striker is every bit the macho pirate who’s afraid to let a woman get close to him. Add to that some pretty interesting aliens and you got yourself a crew. Well sort of!
Despite me not really connecting to this story it was in no way a bad one. Objectively it’s good and it has everything you need for a fast-paced space romance. All in all not a bad book to review.