Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair

An Advance Review

Category: Romance – SciFi
Series: Yes – Book 3 of the Dock Five series
Availability: February 2009

It's an impossible mission on a derelict ship called HOPE'S FOLLY. A man who feels he can't love. A woman who believes she's unlovable. And an enemy who will stop at nothing to crush them both.

Admiral Philip Guthrie is in an unprecedented position: on the wrong end of the law, leading a rag-tag band of rebels against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or would be, if he can reach his command ship—the intriguingly named Hope’s Folly—alive. Not much can rattle Philip’s legendary cool—but the woman who helps him foil an assassination attempt on Kirro Station will. She’s the daughter of his best friend and first commander—a man who died while under Philip’s command, and whose death is on Philip’s conscience.

Rya Bennton has been in love with Philip Guthrie since she was a girl. But can her childhood fantasies survive an encounter with the hardened man, and newly-minted rebel leader, who it seems has just become her new commanding officer? And will she still be willing follow him through the jaw of hell once she learns the truth about her father’s death?

I’d like to begin this commentary with a huge THANKS to Linnea Sinclair, who once again accorded Kat, Mel and I the advance reading privilege of her latest book. For me, it came at a most opportune time, as it succeeded in yanking me out of a horrific reading slump that lasted well over two months.

One word to sum up my feelings on this story - Unputdownable.

Here are the salient points on Hope’s Folly:

1. It is the 3rd book in the Dock Five series but it can be read on its own. If you haven’t read the preceding books, Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades Of Dark, I strongly recommend that you do so, simply because they are absolutely brilliant. Also, they will give you a thorough understanding of the Dock Five world, its unique characters and their riveting stories.

2. It is not a direct sequel to Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades Of Dark. Sully and Chaz (and may I add, Ren) do not appear in this story, although we do get a bit of up-to-date news on Sully and Chaz.

3. It continues from Shades Of Dark, but it is Philip’s story. Philip is the ex-husband of Chaz, the heroine of the preceding books. He is now the Admiral of the newly formed Alliance of Independent Republics.

4. Almost all the characters are new faces. Almost the entire story takes place onboard the derelict ship, Hope’s Folly.

5. This story is told in the third person point-of-view.

6. Compared with the preceding books, it has a lighter tone and feel, and is positively light-hearted in parts.

My discussion with Kat and Mel is as follows. Please be aware there may be some slight spoilers.

An Overview

Mel: This was certainly another rip-roaring adventure that had me at the edge of my seat, biting my nails and rooting for Phillip and crew. Linnea gave us not only a wonderful space adventure but a heartwarming love story as well. She melded the two together so well.

Jace: Yes, it was an exhilarating adventure first and foremost. The love story came second. I was sucked into the story from the get-go. From the first page to the last, it was classic Linnea Sinclair writing – gripping, fast-paced, tight, witty, addictive.

Kat: The book was fast-paced and I agree with your views. It gripped me from the first page. I loved the intrigue and subplots. There was so much going on and there wasn't one single boring page in it.

The Main Characters

Mel: Philip really came alive in this story for me. In the previous books, he came across as being kind of boring as we only saw him through Chaz's eyes. Here, it was refreshing to see him from Rya’s perspective, a woman who was in love with him. I really fell in love with him. He was strong and loyal, and just so damn sexy.

Jace: Oh yeah ... Philip! An absolutely gorgeous, charismatic and über-sexy character. He ranks up there with Kel-Paten and Ren as my all-time favourite Linnea Sinclair heroes. Alright, alright … technically, Ren isn’t a hero (yet) but he is already one to me. He just needs a story to confirm his status. *grinning and winking at Linnea*

Back to Philip Guthrie. He was the most vivid and prominent character in this story. No ifs, no buts. Damn, was that man sexy! It wasn’t just his appearance … it was his entire being. From his commanding presence and sense of humour to his fears, uncertainties and torment (over the death of his officers, his failed marriage to Chaz, and his guilt over his feelings for Rya), he felt so vivid and real to me.

Kat: Philip was good as a character and turned out to be really sexy. He was a good hero.

Mel: I thought Rya was the perfect heroine for him. One thing I really love about Linnea's heroines are what strong, smart women they are; no to-stupid-to-live ladies in these books. She knew what she wanted (Philip) and went for it, yet she didn't give up any part of herself for him. I think she'll still very much be the gun-toting security personnel she was before they got together, and I think Philip will love her all the more for it.

Jace: I thought Rya was a good heroine – smart, capable, very generous, loyal and totally in love with Philip. I also believe that she'd always be Philip's bodyguard, even after marrying him! *grin*

Kat: I didn't think that Rya was a typical Linnea-heroine. She was strong and kick-ass; she was also very confident in her fighting and other professional skills, but she didn't have much confidence in her own worth as a woman. She somehow learned to accept herself as just an average woman, that she always had to fight for what she wanted – it was this aspect of her character that didn't convince me. However, I did believe in Rya's love for Philip.

The Story

Mel: The challenges on the ship were many and it was so good to see Philip and crew conquered everything that bucket of bolts threw at them. LOL I was left at the end of the story feeling hope that the good guys would prevail and am very much looking forward to the next book.

Jace: I thought Linnea did the intrigues and action scenes very well. The sabotages and the identity of the saboteur kept me at the edge of my seat and turning the pages! This aspect was very well done – everything was described so perfectly and in such a heart-thumpingly exhilarating way, that I felt I was looking at the scenes as they unfolded. I’m glad that the “smell of oranges” was resolved. I was really hooked by it and although I wanted a good story behind it, I was nevertheless satisfied with its simple resolution.

Kat: This is the first of Linnea's books that I was much more interested in the action-adventure than the characters. Like you, J, I loved the action and intrigues most of all, followed by Philip, then Captain Folly.

Mel: Captain Folly! I think I recognized that cat. LOL We all know who was really in charge of that ship. LOL I loved how he played such an important part in discovering who the saboteur was.

Jace: Yes, Captain Folly was a brilliant character. *grin* He didn't have that many scenes but his role was significant. Not to mention all the humour he provided. LOL He came across as really bad-tempered, was smarter than anybody ever suspected, knew how to get what he wanted, and in the end, helped save the day.

Kat: Folly was an outstanding character. He was so funny; just a pure, egotistical cat.

The Next Book

Mel: The next book is about Philip's brother, Devin, who's a boring civilian accountant or something like that. He's certainly no spaceship-flying captain. I'm curious how Linnea is going to turn him into a worthy hero and what his story is going to be based on.

Kat: I’ve never heard of his brother before … at least I don't remember it. It does seem like Linnea will continue this series as stand-alones.

Jace: Philip's brother was mentioned very briefly in this book. It was while Philip was thinking about his family, who were all civilians. Philip was the only one in his family to have joined the military.

Our Rating

Mel: I give it a 4.5/Warm.

Jace: I rate it 4.5 out of 5 as well. I really like it. It’s fantastic, a keeper. Sensuality: Warm.

Kat: This book is good, but not my favorite one of Linnea’s. I rate it 4/Warm.

Watch Hope’s Folly book trailer, brought to you by Linnea Sinclair.


Brandy said...

AAAAAHHHH! I am so jealous right now! *G* Glad you enjoyed it, though. *G*

Melanie said...

As always J, great review. I love the new look to your blog.

Jace said...

Brandy: We've enjoyed it a lot. :-D Have you read Shades Of Dark yet?

Mel: Thanks, M. This review is yours and K's too. The new look is long overdue. The blog feels positively cheerful now, doesn't it? LOL

Linnea Sinclair said...

Wow. ::Linnea gazes around, wide-eyed.:: Great new digs, kids. Love the decorating. Minimalist, isn't it? Tres chic! ;-)

Thanks for reviewing FOLLY. I much appreciate the air-time and the feedback. It's so fascinating to hear the different reactions.

You kids rock! Hugs from balmy Florida, ~Linnea

PS: Yep, Devin Guthrie is a geek. But one helluva sexy geek 'cause he has no idea how sexy he is. ;-) And he's loyal and courageous and... a lot like his older brother, Philip. A "hidden hero" though, if you catch my drift.

Linnea Sinclair said...

Whoa, your brother's photos are superb! The cat ones are hysterical! Are you the beauty in the first page of shots? ~Linnea

Jace said...

Linnea, thanks for stopping by. :-D

Yes, I discarded the dark, gothic-y (blog) look for something that reflects my mood now. :-)

Can't wait to find out more about the hidden hero! ;-) Will Ren make an appearance? LOL Will you satisfy this poor obsessed soul with just a small glimpse of him?

My bro's photo gallery ... alas, I'm not THAT beauty. Or any of the beautys who appear there. LOL I wish I were, though. :-D

Carolyn Jean said...

I can't believe you got this! I love Linnea, but I still need to read Shades. Soon, soon. So I couldn't read this whole review, but I'm glad to see you liked it.

Jace said...

CJ, I'd love to hear your views on Shades when you read it. I know you're a tough customer :-D so it'll be interesting to see how you like the Sully-Chaz-Del conflict. :-)

Frances said...


Love the new look! Also, great review, and I am so envious. Can't wait to read HF.

Jace said...

Hi, Frances ... thanks! HF is wonderful; it's a great addition to the Dock Five world. The rebels are lucky to have Rya on their side. :-D

Anonymous said...

You read this in December! Now I'm even more jealous (compared to when I thought you read it just a few days ago) and later than it's usual even for me with my comment. ;)

But anyway: great review, you three. I like conversational reviews for the different takes I get in one review. Thanks!

Jace said...

Hey Taja,

I'm glad you like the conversation-style review. :) I always enjoy reading with Kat and Mel. Although all 3 of us are SFR buffs, and we more or less like the same authors and books, we don't often see eye-to-eye ... and this is when things get interesting. LOL Our behind-the-scene discussions aren't fit for public viewing, unfortunately. ;)