Title: An Accidental Goddess
Author: Linnea Sinclair
Review number: 60
Genre: Romance Sci-fi
Stand Alone/ Series: Stand Alone
Summary: Raheiran Special Forces captain Gillaine Davré has just woken up in some unknown space way station, wondering where the last three hundred years have gone. The last thing she remembers is her ship being attacked. Now it seems that while she was time-traveling, she was ordained a goddess…. Gillaine’s only hope of survival rests with dangerously seductive Admiral Mack Makarian, who suspects her of being a smuggler—or worse. But he can’t begin to imagine the full extent of it. For Gillaine is now Lady Kiasidira, holy icon to countless believers, including Mack—a man who inspires feelings in her that are far from saintly…feelings she knows are mutual. But when their flirtation is interrupted by a treacherous enemy from the past, Gillaine’s secret—and secret desires—could destroy them both….
Why did I read the book: Linnea Sinclair has become one of my top favourite writers.
Obsession Alert: I am on a Linnea Sinclair binge at the moment, having read 5 of her books in the past few weeks. I keep waiting that one of them will end up being less satisfying or less fun but truly, her books are consistently good. Every single of them – and since I only have Finders Keepers to catch up with now, I doubt my opinion will change any time soon.
Gillie is a woman who likes to hang out with regular folks, who loves to go pub crawling drinking beer or Devil’s Breath and to play billiards (she prides herself in being fantastic at billiards). The problem is: Gillie is not a regular woman at all, even if she would like nothing more than to be one. To be “just Gillie”. But she is captain Gillaine Davre of the Raheiran Special Forces. Being a Raheiran means that she not only possesses unlimited telepathy and empathy powers but also technical savvy that has placed the Raheriran people in advanced stages of civilization and space exploration. But her abilities go even beyond that – she is also the Kiasidira, a high level sorceress, marked by the gods. She has been entrusted by her people to protect and guide the Khalaran people, who have no telepathic powers whatsoever and very little in the way of technology. She is sent to them to teach how to protect themselves against the Fav’lhir, another developed civilization with mind powers and associated with a different line of mage that have no precepts of respect for those that don’t. The Fav’lhir have become a menace to the Khalaran and are preparing an attack when in a risky maneuver she takes her raptor-class crystal sentient ship through a Rift in Space hoping that they will follow her in and with that action she will destroy all of the enemy’s mageline, which were supposedly concentrated on the enemy ships.
But something happens in the jump and she wakes up in a sick bay of derelict space station Cirrus One, 342 years in the future and she soon learns that what was just a simple accident (or was it?) has been perceived as the ultimate sacrifice to save her people and she has been made into a goddess! Simon, The Sentient Integrated MObile Nanoessence who is both her ship and her guardian and who shares a mind with her is quick to gather information on their whereabouts and present her with the fact that she is not only a goddess, but also a much revered one, The Lady Kiasidira, one whose precepts are followed by the letter. Which precepts you ask? Mostly they are a compilation made by a friend during a night out, of the little quips she makes. And now they have become The Lady Goddess’s Guideline for Life.
And this is the opening of the story – waking up as a Goddess in the future. The good news is that the Khalaran only have an old hologram image of her so she can get by unnoticed. Except of course, someone does notice Gillie: Admiral Rynan “Make It Right” Makarian who is in charge of bringing Cirrus One up to speed to be part of a Project called Rim Gate, a gate that will link remote points of the galaxy with the Confederation. Mack has much to do, many problems to solve, space station people to appease, a parrots infestation and the prospect of a major sanctuary for the Goddess to be built. He does not need distraction, but distracted he is by Gillie, and the serious admiral develops an immediate crush on her.
At first the tone of the book is light, almost irreverent. There are the quips between Gillie and Simon and the funny inner dialogue of the up-to- that- point, unimaginative Admiral, imagining what he could do to and with Gillie. But as with all Linnea Sinclair’s books nothing is what it seems at first and as the story develops and the plot thickens we are granted with not only a lovely romance but also with the suspense of a reborn enemy who should have been destroyed but hasn’t.
Gillie is a great protagonist. In some level, she is almost like a female counterpart of Sully, from Gabriel’s Ghost (another Linnea Sinclair book). But whereas in that universe, Sully’s powers are feared and despised, in Gillie’s world they are revered. Almost way too much. That makes her scared of telling people who she is and how mistaken they are for worshipping her because she deeply feels for the people and what would happen to the religious beliefs they have held for some centuries. This is also first and foremost in her mind when dealing with her relationship with Mack who is a most ardent believer in the Lady’s powers- like the majority of the Fleet. She would like to remain only Gillie to him and to all, but when faced with the decision to remain incognita or to save the people she has been entrusted to protect, there is little she can do, she enters captain and Kiasidira modes and protect she will.
Mack is one of those heroes that are essentially decent, nice guys. The youngest admiral of the Fleet at 43 (yes, another older, experienced hero. I love those), he is kind at lost with the sudden feelings he has for Gillie and is taken with vulnerability because of all the unsettling jealousy he has at the younger officers. There is one scene, precluding their first sex scene where he wonders whether he is in good shape and tucks his belly in – that was so sweet. I like to read believable, real characters like Mack.
Once again, Linnea excels at her world building, at bringing sci –fi aspects to life without being too over the top and balancing it all with a heart warming romance.
If I have one small, tiny problem with the book is how things ended up way too tidy , way too easy in the end. Or course I am not regretting the happy ending but just who Mack turned out to be in the great scheme of things. I’d rather have them work their problems without what felt like a Deux ex Machina.
In any case, if you haven’t read any Linnea Sinclair before , you do not know what you are missing. If you have. Well, you know what I am talking about!
Notable quotes/ Parts:
I loved the beginning of their relationship, it was very humorous to follow Mack’s initial internal remarks about his own thoughts. There is one scene, she is supposed to show up for a morning meeting at a particular time. She didn’t – and he kept sitting there counting the minutes, fighting it, back to counting the minutes. So very sweet.
Additional Thoughts: The unexpected turn from “normal” to “goddess” status that Gillie went through had a farcical feel that reminded me of one favourite movie: Galaxy Quest, about actors from an old TV Show (think Star Trek) who are taken by real aliens who had been watching the show and thought they were really space heroes! The movie is hilarious – a very good parody. And with the likes of Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Alan Rickman, and Sam Rockwell in it.
Verdict: Fun, light, nice romance, cool sci-fi stuff. You can rely on Linnea Sinclair for a good read.
Rating: 7, very good.
Reading next: Living Dead in Dallas, by Charlaine Harris