Monday, January 19, 2009

Review of An Accidental Goddess

An Accidental Goddess
by Linnea Sinclair
464pp (Paperback)
My Rating: 6/10
Amazon Rating: 4/5
LibraryThing Rating: 3.95/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.54/5

An Accidental Goddess is a science fiction romance novel by Linnea Sinclair. It is a far future sequel to Wintertide, which I did not know until after reading this one. An Accidental Goddess is self-contained and makes perfect sense read on its own, though. I read this book right after Gabriel's Ghost and Shades of Dark because I loved those two so much that I wanted to read more by Linnea Sinclair. However, as entertaining as An Accidental Goddess was, I thought the storyline and characters in the other two books were more complex and intriguing.

Gillie Davre, Raheiran Special Forces captain, awakens in a space station 342 years after her last memory, in which her ship was being attacked. That does not faze her nearly as much as the discovery that sometime during that 342 years, she was ordained a goddess by the Khalar. Her elevation was due to the "Sacred Sacrifice" she made in the fight against the enemy, the Fav'lhir - an act believed to have resulted in her death. In addition to being the savior of the Khalar, Gillie is also part of the mageline, meaning she has telepathic powers that seem godlike to the Khalar. Many of the facts about Gillie have been forgotten, leaving a lot of myths that Gillie is not comfortable with. Since she does not want to interfere with a people's long held religious tradition, she determines to hide her identity the best she can.

Soon after awakening in sick bay, Gillie meets Admiral Rynan Mackarian, known as "Mack." The practical Mack immediately falls for beautiful Gillie and her lavender-green eyes, even though he initially fears she may be a smuggler. Gillie likes Mack as well but is finding it difficult to get close to him while constantly lying to hide her identity and the truth about how she ended up on the space station. Soon she uncovers a plot by her old enemy the Fav'lhir and may be the only one who can save the people of Khalar once again.

An Accidental Goddess is a light, somewhat humorous story and the pages flew by, but I just did not connect with it the same way as Linnea Sinclair's Dock Five books. It might not be fair to compare this one to the two Dock Five books, but I can't help it since I read this one after enjoying those ones. I really wanted to read more books like those and this book was very different. That's not at all a bad thing since reading about the same basic characters and the same basic plot would get boring. I just found I did not love any of the characters nearly as much as the ones from the other books and this one did not resonate with me the same way. It was a much simpler story, not as dark, and very predictable.

The fun-loving, down to earth Gillie is likable enough. Being ordained as a goddess did not go to her head at all - in fact, she was quite horrified to find a shrine dedicated to her, thinking a pub built in her honor would be more appropriate. She was too good for my taste, though. Gillie's powers are used for unselfish reasons, such as helping others or defeating the bad guys. The consequences of holding great power was not a struggle for her. Her big problem was that her powers were glorified and I find it more interesting to read about such awesome abilities being demonized, or at least having some sort of big dilemma involved. Gillie could still get herself into trouble but it tended to be for all the right reasons.

Mack, the typical nice guy, was also a bit too upright for me. He's a very efficient, hard-working man who is the youngest admiral in the Khalaran Fleet, at 43. He had realistic struggles such as worrying about Gillie falling for a younger, more fit man, but overall, he did not have any huge quandaries. He was very realistic as an overall good person with minor human issues, but I prefer reading about people who are more complicated with a morally gray side.

The story itself was straightforward played out very much as expected. The idea of not only waking up in the future but waking up to find a whole people worshipped you was interesting initially but I felt it was a bit drawn out. It was mainly used as a humorous plot device as Gillie kept getting herself into funny situations.

An Accidental Goddess is an entertaining, straightforward story with some romance and humor. It's a good book, but I would recommend Linnea Sinclair newbies looking for something a little less light start with Gabriel's Ghost instead.


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M. said...

Oh, thank goodness! I feel better now. I've read such buzz about Ms. Sinclair's work, but this was the first book of hers I read and I ended up thinking "That's it? What everyone is so excited about?" It didn't make me want to rush out and read another. Perhaps I'll give it another shot.

Kristen said...

M. - If I had read An Accidental Goddess before Gabriel's Ghost and Shades of Dark, I wouldn't have been in any rush to read another one of Sinclair's books either. This was the first one of her books I got and I read the first chapter at one point and put the book aside, deciding it did not seem all that interesting.

Then a friend told me I had to read Gabriel's Ghost. I was a bit hesitant to, but she promised me I would love it - and I did.