Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Deep by A.L. Bates

Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

Buy Links:
WIP     |     ARe     |     Amazon US
Amazon UK     |     Amazon AU     |     Amazon DE

My Review
3.5 stars

This is a fun start to a new series that I am now eager to read. First, I loved the interactions between the crew. They were relaxed, funny, and all around enjoyable to see. In a book where you have a small number of characters stuck together, the interactions between those characters can be vital to the story, and they helped keep the plot moving in Deep. I could feel their comradery and shared history, even if I couldn’t read all about. While we met and learned a little bit about all the characters, I would have liked to learn more about Ariel’s crew, which I imagine would be explored in further books in the series. And I want to know more about Sean aside from the glimpses we get in the book, as he definitely fits the tortured soul with secrets category, some of which is explored in the book.

As for the interactions between Sean and Joel, their romance was definitely a slow burn, especially on Sean’s part. Joel’s reaction to learning about Sean’s feelings and his attraction to Sean was actually surprisingly refreshing for me. I don’t want to spoil it, but suffice to say that it was not what I was expecting and definitely fit his character.

I had a bit of a different reaction to the plot though. While I enjoyed the story and how it developed, parts of the plot seemed a bit out of place, particularly the whole David thing. It just seemed a bit abrupt and didn’t really fit too well into the story, particularly when the plot then went from this high stakes situation to mining in the deep, which wasn’t written with the same amount of urgency as the David situation. The transitions were choppy and the plot didn’t flow as well it did in Bates’ novella Blood Lines. However, this is a great attempt for the author’s debut novella. I also think part of my issue was that I would have liked to see more focus on the sci-fi aspects, such as more time and detail on the deep-sea mining and the planet since we saw parts of it, but there wasn’t a lot of world-building, which is something I love to see in sci-fi novels.

The ending is definitely a HFN with a lead into what the next book will delve into, which kind of annoyed me because I was going to have to wait to read the next book for more answers and to see how their relationship developed, but it wasn’t a cliffhanger ending, which I appreciated.

Overall, this is a good start to a new series with awesome characters that I cannot wait to learn more about. I highly recommend giving it a shot.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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