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TPG Reviews – Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight Into It, by Michelle Proulx

April 30, 2015

Not bad. Not great, but not bad either.

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse.

Trapped on a spaceship bound for the slave markets of Sirius B, Eris fears she’ll never see her home again. But then fate whisks her away from her reptilian captors and into the arms of Varrin, a fast-talking space pirate who promises to deliver her safely back to Earth. He claims to have her best interests at heart, but Eris soon discovers that her charming rescuer has a hidden agenda.

As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have?

ImminentDanger

My rating: 6/10

Alright, so it occured to me that I should probably do something about my reviewing backlog. Since I have literally just finished Imminent Danger, I thought that would be the best place to start. Rest assured, however, that there are going to be a lot of reviews over the next few weeks.

Imminent Danger opens to our protagonist – one Eris Miller – being abducted from her boarding school in broad daylight by reptilian aliens (as you do) and taken to be sold as a slave several star systems away. On the way, she befriends a small and furry (and old) alien named Miguri, and then they are both saved by a dashing space pirate named Varrin…only to be double-crossed by Varrin…and then saved by Varrin a few chapters later. A whistle-stop tour through civilised space follows, with the group’s ever-growing list of enemies hot in pursuit.

In case you can’t already tell, this is not a work of hard science fiction: all of the planets are Earth-like, and aliens repeatedly land on Earth – in broad daylight, no less – with no repercussions. What it is, though, is fun, with the whole group getting in and out of mortal peril on a regular basis. Varrin, perhaps unsurprisingly, proves to be the novel’s highlight, with his (seeming) utter nonchalance about everything never failing to bring a smile to my face…with one exception, anyway,

Because what this novel also is, at least in part, is a romance – namely, between Eris and Varrin. Even before the abduction, the novel makes clear that Eris really wants a boyfriend (because…I dunno), and Varrin quickly manages to steal her heart with his looks and his bravado. And then Varrin, being Varrin, proceeds to sell her out as an experimental test subject in a lab. Eris is thrown into a bare cage and experimented on for ten days, only to escape and run into Varrin again through sheer chance.

That Eris could still love Varrin after this is, quite frankly, astounding – particularly since the reader is so clearly meant to support it. Eris doesn’t forgive Varrin immediately, to be fair, and Varrin is genuinely regretful over the incident…eventually. But that Eris forgives him at all is something of a push in my view, which made various parts of the novel hard to get fully-behind. The ultimate resolution to all this was actually really funny, but even so: the romance is easily the weakest aspect of this book.

Imminent Danger really is one of those books that you have to be in the right mood for. Go into it expecting a “serious” piece of sci-fi, and you’re bound to be disappointed. Go in just expecting a good time, however, and you could do a heck of a lot worse. I ended up reading all 400 pages in about three days; make of that what you will.

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