Goddess by Dakota Kemp is part one of The Shrike Chronicles, introducing the colorful character of Samuel Shrike, a mercenary, lover of dive bars as well as a good fight. When space pirates, mob queens, and his desire for an alien mercenary collide, he might have found a battle he cannot survive. Goddess is part romance, part science fiction, and an exciting introduction to the series.
If this sounds like a strange (and bold) first sentence of a romance, you’d be right: “The whole place stank of piss to him – piss and refuse and poverty.” That’s because Goddess plays pretty fast and loose with the romance genre, and that’s part of its appeal. Goddess is far more a sci-fi tale, replete with aliens and alien weaponry and a strip club that makes the “Star Wars” Cantina look like an Applebee’s.
If you’re in it for the gunfire, rather than the battle of the sexes, that’s more what you’ll get in Goddess. However, this juxtaposition of genres does help elevate the story to another level – not a mere shoot-em-up and nowhere near a traditional romance. In other words, the mashing of genres is handled very well – though, really, much more heavy on the sci-fi. Dakota Kemp knows his sci-fi universe intimately and the scenery, characters and battle scenes are painted vividly.