Dwarves in Space by S. E. Zbasnik

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Helllllo readers it’s Saturday which is kind of awesome and I have a really interesting review for you today that will definitely brighten a few faces. One of the things I adore about running a book blog is the variety of books I have the chance to get my hands on – it’s not every day I pick up a book about dwarves in space but maybe I should. I recently went to a bookshop and had no idea what I wanted to read; with MLBB I kind of just read anything and everything which is perfect really. Enough of the babble and onto the review.

Thousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans.

The Elation-Cru is not the flashiest ship, nor the newest, or even has all of its bolts attached; but she can fly. Well, sort of wade through space, and that’s when all the parts are working. She supports a sugar addicted dwarven pilot, an elven engineer, an orcish doctor, a silent djinn, and the lone human trying to hold the entire thing together with duct tape. Variel, the captain, has been hiding from a secret for the past five years and time’s finally run out.

When she goes against her common sense and fights to save her onboard assassin/renter from a job gone sour, she finds herself before an ex-colleague that knew her in her previous life as the Knight of the realm. The entire ship is sent on a mad dash across the universe — from a decaying space station, home to the wackiest species the galaxy has to offer, down to the Orc homeworld, which wouldn’t be so bad if Variel hadn’t spent most of her previous life fighting in the war against them. Chances of survival are nil and slipping fast.

I’m not going to comment hugely on the  blurb because I want to just go straight into pulling this apart and looking at all the great things this book manages to do. I don’t normally like fantasy/science fiction books they’re just not for me, but, I enjoyed reading this. The plot although a little heavy was interesting and dotted with exciting events, battles, relationship struggles and there are dwarves in space so – good. I thought the characters were built up well and given strong character straights – I personally found Ferra a really interesting and intriguing character and I liked watching them all develop and their relationships grow throughout the tale. They come across very human (if that makes any sense?) You can imagine them each distinctly.

I liked that this is a real mixture of genres; sci-fi, romance and humour and it’s a brilliant mix as for a reader like me I found the balance made this easier to enjoy. Also in terms of the romance it’s not your cupcake sweet romance but one that builds naturally and develops as the book continues – it feels like a grown-up romance rather than something manufactured for the science fiction genre which I have seen numerous times before (ie space junk) and that made me very happy. There is a lot of action too if you were wondering; it’s punchy, written with guts and isn’t too flouncy which worked. You can get too much emotion and back-thought but here it’s just in your face attacks. It also works with the story line that’s occurring it’s not added for the sake of adding it so thumbs up.

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There is a big wobble though and it’s aggravating but the writing style is quite difficult to get used to and to a point understand. Some of the more complex passages I had to read through a number of times to understand what the author was trying to tell me and at times I just had to move on hoping I hadn’t missed something vitally important. It’s just too boggy at times. I thought that the writing improved as I continued but there were a couple of times I thought of just giving in and calling it a DNF. I’m glad I didn’t but if I was in a less determined mood I might have done  which means others may.

Would I recommend this? For the humour the intriguing characters and the style of the story I would yes, but there are parts that are a little tricky to get through and if you make it through the first slightly painful chapters it does get a lot better as the author finds her feet. An interesting read and one that I enjoyed but I thought had more potential.




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