Station of Shards
Author: Aimee Villarine
Title: Station of Shards
Rating: Two Petals
On the Author's Website:
The author does not have a website.
Life as a private detective aboard a space station isn't the most exciting, usually involving nothing more than background checks and the occasional surveillance, but Kelley has no real complaints. Still, when his friend and sometimes lover Simon comes to him with something new, he's not going to complain about that either—except for the part where figuring out what's going on might get him and Simon killed.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Kelley works as a private detective on a space station. His usual cases that are fairly boring and easy to solve, but it's work that he's good at so Kelley doesn't seem to mind. Simon is a friend Kelley made on the journey to the space station and they quickly become more than just friends. When Simon rushes into Kelley's office with a case that shatters his boredom, Kelley is quick to jump on it. The dangers they encounter on the way, however, make him wish for boring to return quickly.
Station of Shards feels like an old noir film. The text reads like Kelley is talking directly to the readers, much like the opening of those films. A sort of "it was a dark and stormy day when she walked into my office" feel. From a stylistic standpoint I thought it was a very interesting way to convey the plot and it worked as a detective's novel. Had it not been a detective's novel, the writing style wouldn't get any praise. It was difficult to read at times with Kelley giving his very one-sided impressions without enough detail to actually flesh out the plot, the characters, or the setting.
For example, Kelley and Simon are hiding from the bad guys behind some crates and Simon manages to knock over a crate and give them away. Kelley's reaction is a shrug and a thought something along the lines of: "Simon's luck was either really good or really bad." Yet, there's absolutely no evidence prior to or directly after that statement that provides any context. It read more like Villarine was desperate for an excuse to have Kelley and Simon be discovered and that was the best Villarine could come up with.
The story also lacked emotional depth. Kelley basically shrugged when Simon knocked the crate over. The was no panic, distress, worry, or anger. Just bland acceptance. I found myself unable to connect with Kelley's character, which made it difficult for me to root for his success or even want to finish the book.
I liked the old noir feel to the narrative of the book and thought it worked well as a detective's novel, however the lack of depth, detail, or emotional connection made this book very difficult to read. I can't recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.