Review: Special Offers by M.L. Ryan – Landra’s Take

Rating: Maybe

Genre: Sci-fi/Urban Fantasy

Magic and Aliens collide in this story. Hailey bought a Kindle to stop cluttering her house with books, instead she gets the essence of a 100+ year old Courso alien, Sebastian, in her body. The ultimate goal is to reunite Sebastian’s essence with his body. How she’ll get that accomplished she’s not sure, but Sebastian’s more than gorgeous friend, Alex Sunderland, is willing to help.

This book introduces an alien race, Courso, from an alternative dimension. I have to admit, I’m a geek when it comes to sci-fi so I was definitely interested in the species, background etc. Ryan does a good job of creating a believable group of aliens with alternative abilities, laws, and rules. The book doesn’t play too much into their own customs or practices, but focuses more on the interaction of Courso’s in the human world and the laws they’ve enacted to protect humans from Courso’s who would like to do whatever they wanted.

As far as character’s go Hailey is a snarky, take-it-as-it-comes kind of gal. The book is told entirely from her POV. Being possessed doesn’t really bother her as much as it would some, and she has a pretty strange day job… chinchilla milker, anyone? With an overbearing religious mother, an evil cat named Vinnie, and friends who just want to see Hailey get over her divorce and hook up with a nice guy, Hailey’s life is pretty much boring until the Kindle incident.

The guys are both gorgeous, alien cops. Who doesn’t like gorgeous, alien cops? Sebastian and Alex have some extra-large language attributed to the lengthy time spent on Earth, and both  have distinct personalities, but I noticed the lengthy, formal way of talking tended to bleed over into Hailey’s dialogue and thoughts. For me, the formal language took some getting used to and the author explained it away without issue. Otherwise, Sebastian was probably my favorite character. When possessing Hailey’s body the conversations are hilarious and I loved the idea of having a man live in my head for a while.

As to why this book is a maybe for me it comes down to over amount of telling and monologue. The first chapter is entirely back story  info dump and Hailey’s perspective. Some of this toned down about a quarter of the way into the book, but the majority of the first portion was very hard to get through. No action, and just an overabundance of what Hailey was doing throughout her day. When we finally get to the meat of the story, the possession and subsequent search for Sebastian’s body, there was a huge lack of conflict. A little was thrown in here or there, enough to propel the story, but I found myself skimming paragraphs of descriptive details or more internal monologing to get to dialogue, conflict, or some sort of romantic tension.

Overall, the concept and the sci-fi perspective was interesting. I would’ve liked to have seen more action, more fleshed out conflict between the 3 main characters and a more determined villain (the guy didn’t go after them, but waited for them to show up). This is the first book in the series and it did end with a bit of a cliff-hanger. The second book is currently available so if you’re up for a ride, then you won’t have to wait to find out what happens.

Special Offers is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lexcade
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 18:56:14

    Great review, Landra! ❤

    Reply

  2. Trackback: It’s Here! Giveaway Time! | Indie Books R Us

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