Monday, January 10, 2011

Review - Pandora's Hope by Lisa Lane

Review of “Pandora's Hope”

by Lisa Lane
Published by Ravenous Romance

Trade Paperback 

In this second book of the Lust in Space series, Captain Nora Bradley has just discovered she's pregnant by her fiance Robert Smith. Suggesting that they move their wedding plans ahead, Nora gets a less than enthusiastic response from Robert. This sets her to fretting throughout the book on just exactly where his head is in regard to their relationship.

While that's going on with her personally, her ship, Pandora's Hope, is disabled in a battle with Space Pirates. Now, we've got some good old-fashioned space opera going on. The pirates are blown away by a unique use of the space-bending drive. Unfortunately, the engine has to be repaired, but a certain mineral is needed. The crew locates a source of the mineral and send a team headed by Robert to retrieve it from a mysterious planet. When the scout team lands, they find that the entire world—plants, trees, animals, insects–are all made of metal.

Anything I say beyond that will be too much spoiler, so I'll just add that this isn't the only adventure the crew has on the journey.

"Pandora's Hope" is a rousing scifi space opera in the fine tradition of Star Trek and Star Wars. However, I think Lisa does a far better job of explaining such engineering phenomena such as faster than light travel (the space-bender). The aliens are interesting and varied. My favorite are the Locaru, miniscule little people who are wizard engineers. When I say little, I mean teensy-weensy little. Captain Nora has to get over her fear of insects to work with the beings, but grows to admire and like them just as much as her normal-sized crew.

I enjoyed the science fiction aspects of this book a lot. I'll give it a four-star rating for that part of the story.

Now to the reason this book is science fiction erotica. There's lots of sex, between lots of different people and, yes, even the little Locaru get some action. You will not believe that part of the story! I admit I am not an erotica reader or writer, so for the multiple sex scenes, I'll just have to leave it to others to decide how well they're done.

Technically, the Ravenous Romance editors didn't do a good job for Lisa. I found lots of errors. However, I was a professional tech writer before becoming an author, so I spent years looking for those errors in documentation. I'm probably pickier than the average reader in that regard. I just wanted to mention this to tell you to not be put off by the errors. I don't think they detract from the story. Lisa has written a bang-up, exciting scifi novel.

Finally, here's my complaint about the characterizations. Everybody seems to be screwing like bunnies in the book, yet they all seem highly embarrassed by it and afraid somebody might catch them going at it. Considering the previous book's space flu, which evidenced itself by a shipwide orgy, I'd think that the crew would be feeling pretty comfortable with the idea that they're all having sex in their mostly monogamous relationships. So, I don't understand their fear of being “caught in the act.”

Overall, I give the book four stars, but hope that Lisa can get a little more editing done. Hey, Ravenous! Do right by your authors! It'll make you more money in the long run.


  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful and thorough review, Marva!

  2. Lisa: There's so much good about your book, I hated to say anything negative, but nobody would believe me if I didn't have a couple of complaints.

  3. I appreciate honestly above all else in a review, and I can tell you took your time and made sure to do a thorough job. Thanks again.