Gabriel's Ghost - Linnea Sinclair, Megan Sybil Baker I picked up this book in an effort to be a better member in the Vaginal Fantasy online book club/hangout. Not really familiar with the whole reading-with-others thing, this was a branching-out of sorts for me. The first book recommendation that I had not already read from this group (That I could get a copy of) I decided to give it a go...and discovered a remarkable story that left me in places both awed and enthused by the many twists that our intrepid heroes navigated both in and out of space.

Sci-fi is not really my genre of choice...not that I dislike space in any particular way, but sci-fi books tend to be a bit more heavy-handed on the science speak than I enjoy. It was a bit of a stretch for me to decide to give this title a go, but once I picked it up and began reading a supposedly difficult decision become zen simple. I was drawn in from the first, a magnetism that never really let up. This book both surprised and impressed me with the author’s skill at taking a setting that usually leaves me cold and turning it into an intriguing playground.

The simple yet twisting plot of this book struck me as a fairly standard device. The goal was introduced in the beginning chapters and working toward said goal while obstacles keep being set in their path composed the plot arch that moved the characters forward. Not a reinvention of the wheel, but very well done for what it was. The world-building that was revealed through the plot’s progression was, I felt, the compelling momentum that kept the story from being predictable or stale feeling. The tensions between different groups, and the prejudices behind them, were a living dynamic that propelled the characters forward as much, if not more, than the end goal. It is with these characters that I felt this book truly shined. By illuminating both strengths weaknesses Ms. Sinclair was able to create a human character with faults and insecurities along with all the gifts, talents and confidence that make a strong and compelling character. Gabriel's Ghost is truly a humanistic tale...even—and in some cases especially—when dealing with characters that are not completely human.

Shades of Dark, The follow-up book in this series, is most definitely going on my buy list. I want to know what happens to Chaz and our intrepid Gabriel as they continue the journey they have begun. This book gave me the impetus to continue to broaden my horizons, now knowing it can mean being introduced to wonderful works and worlds. I give this book a strong four stars.