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Sci-Fi Series Review: Breakaway and Breakeven by Michelle Diener

Breakaway by Michelle Diener (Verdant String  #1)

review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Sofie lives in the shadow of Felicitos--the tethered way station built to funnel Garmen's mineral wealth up to the top of the atmosphere, where it's loaded onto space ships. Because Garmen is a breakaway planet, not part of the Verdant String Coalition, the companies that control it are free to run things as they see fit, and Sofie is part of the resistance that wants to end their rule.

Her main goal, though, is to get away from Garmen altogether, and leave the drudgery and violence behind her. That goal is complicated by her involvement with Leo Gaudier, a shadowy crime lord whose ability to cheat the companies that own Garmen is something she admires. And when she stumbles on a terrible new direction the companies are taking, a secret alliance that will endanger everyone she cares about, she sees her chances of escape slipping away.

Leo is all too aware he doesn't know enough about Sofie, something his own security detail is not slow to point out, but he can't keep away. When Sofie reveals her links to the resistance, and shows him those in control of Garmen have begun swimming in dangerous waters, he realizes his plan to overthrown them in a careful operation of a thousand cuts is no longer workable.

The time has come for a single, lethal strike--and that will not be without consequences . . .

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

 Breakeven by Michelle Diener (Verdant String #2)

review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Dee had been fighting one war, only to find herself caught up in another . . .

When circumstances leave Dee stranded on the Breakaway planet of Lassa, she has to choose--take the easy way out, or stand and fight an enemy much like the one she left behind on her home world of Garmen.

For Sebastian, leading the Lassian resistance has come at a heavy price. Forced to gamble the last of his resources on a risky ploy to get some leverage over the Core Companies that run Lassa, he stares defeat in the face when it fails. There's no backup plan left. Nothing more to work with. And all around him, people are starving, and it looks as if the Cores have entered a deal with a hostile alien force, to enrich themselves even more.

But Dee inspires him. Even though it's his fault she's on Lassa to begin with, her courage and steady calm are the assets he needs, and unbeknownst to both of them, she has with her the key to bringing the Cores to their knees.

Now they just have to turn the lock in time.

 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10 or 4/5 

 A solid four star series for me, guys! Dynamic, tightly written and easy to read in one go. I sure hope that they will somehow tie to Class 5 series in the end, which were immensely entertaining on their own.

BREAKAWAY is a story of Sophie and Leo fighting evil corporations (Cores) running havoc on Garmen, a breakaway planet Cores pretty much own. Leo plays a self-made successful businessman, who in reality works to undermine Cores power and profits. Sophie is a proper action heroine and can be insanely brave and reckless which doesn't fit her sleek and stylish image of beautiful blonde working for higher ups of Garmen. In reality she is a Resistance agent who is binding her time to collect enough information to bring the Cores down.

These two are forced to work together when Sophie spectacularly thwarts an assassination attempt on Leo during their date together, and her cover is blown. After that the whole book is a wild ride, funny, sexy, with lovely chemistry between the main characters and Sophie's sparkling wit and incredible resourcefulness in between. To be honest, that gal rules and I absolutely loved her as a main heroine. She was level-headed and not prone to drama, which I really appreciate in Michelle Diener's heroines.

The ending was explosive, which made me look forward to the next book in series.

BREAKEVEN starts where Breakaway left off show-casting a supporting character from the first book, Leo's bodyguard, Dee. She is stuck on a ship heading towards another breakaway planet, Lassa and mistaken for a rich, spoiled girl, whom members of Resistance on Lassa hope to take hostage.

Lassa is in even worse condition than Garmen, and once there Dee can not help but get involved in Resistance plans to get rid of their Cores. Along with Sebastian, the leader of the Resistance she tries to collect evidence to bring Lassa's Cores and their leader down and at the same time avoid his clutches. You see, an exotic and very dangerous pet he ordered attached itself to Dee, and now half of the planet is trying to sell her out and deliver her to him.

I found Breakeven more subdued than Breakaway, and Dee while being a proper action heroine, just didn't have Sophie's flair. And yet, the sparks between her and Sebastian were honest, and I really liked their romantic interactions. Nothing over the top and full of wry humour.

Also, talu, the pet, was adorable!

Overall, an enjoyable ride and close to a comfort read for me, - relaxing and entertaining. As usual with this author, there is not enough background in these light sci-fi romances to satisfy my curiosity about the world-building, but I guess, they wouldn't be so light if we dug deeper. Recommended.

* * *
Отличная на четверку серия, дамы и господа. Динамичная, напичканная экшном и читается очень быстро. Я надеюсь, что Мишель Дьенэ все-таки привяжет ее к любимой мной серии Класс 5.

BREAKAWAY - история Софи и Лео, борющимся с злодейскими корпорациями (Корс) их отколовшейся от Федерации планеты, которой Корс фактически владеют и делают что хотят с ее жителями. Лео играет удачного независимого бизнесмена, который в реальности саботирует Корс и заставляет их терпеть финансовые неудачи. Софи - настоящий огонь и большая сорвиголова, что по ее виду элегантной изящной блондинки, работающей на боссов Корс совсем не скажешь. В реальности она - агент Сопротивления, которая постепенно собирает компромат на Корс, чтобы отослать его Федерации.

Её фасад рушится, когда она спасает Лео от наемного убийцы во время их свидания и после этого им приходится работать вместе. Готовьтесь к дикой скачке сюжета, хорошей романтической линии и юмору между главными героями. Софи в этой книге так и сверкает своим блестящим умом и смекалкой, и она жутко мне понравилась!

Концовка здесь довольно взрывная, и я с нетерпением ждала продолжения.

BREAKEVEN начинается там, где мы оставили героев в предыдущей книге. Второстепенный персонаж и телохранитель Лео, Ди во время схватки на ее планете, Гармен, прячется от огня на одном из кораблей, где ее принимают за богатую, испорченную девчонку со второй планеты откольницы, Лассы, и пытаются взять ее в заложницы.

Прилетая на Лассу под ложной идентификацией Ди понимает, что здесь дела еще хуже, чем на Гармене и с помощью одного из своих захватчиков, Себастьана - лидера Сопротивления Лассы, тут же вмешивается в попытки Сопротивления перебороть Корс.

Конфликту не помогает то, что лидер местных Корс перевозил опасного и очень дорогого питомца на корабле, куда попала Ди, и теперь талу - этот питомец привязался к ней, и пол планеты пытается продать ее Корс за вознаграждение. 

В отличие от первой книги серии, история эта неброская, так как Ди в отличие от Софи не хватает флёра. Однако романтическая линия здесь честная, во влечение друг к другуДи и Себастьана верится, да и они очень хорошо подходят друг к другу с их хладнокровием и тонким юмором в стрессовых ситуациях.

Моя единственная проблема (а она возникает у меня во всех книгах этого жанра от Дьенэ) - это недоработка мира, все здесь достаточно поверхностно и легко, так что читается серия очень быстро и оставляет голодной так же как и порция фаст фуд. Все же, рекомендую. Мне нравится.
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