STARRED REVIEW
September 08, 2020

Prime Deceptions

By Valerie Valdes
It hardly seems like a year has passed since the publication of Chilling Effect, the first installment of Captain Eva Innocente’s adventures—a gravity-defying, guns-blazing space opera fit for fans of psychic cats and diverse alien species. But as readers find themselves on board La Sirena Negra once more, it truly feels like we never left this adventure, and these worlds, to begin with.
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It hardly seems like a year has passed since the publication of Chilling Effect, the first installment of Captain Eva Innocente’s adventures—a gravity-defying, guns-blazing space opera fit for fans of psychic cats and diverse alien species. But as readers find themselves on board La Sirena Negra once more, it truly feels like we never left this adventure, and these worlds, to begin with.

Valdes reintroduces Captain Eva’s crew of misfit mercenaries. Some of the crew never had a home planet, but they’ve found a home here. There’s Eva with her mystical personal aquarium and affinity for psychic felines; Vakar, a Quennian Wraith whose relationship with Eva has blossomed and whose emotions manifest themselves as smells; Pink, the brusque but loyal-to-the-bone medic with a mechanical eye; Min, the pilot whose body and mind have melded with the ship; and Mx. Sue Zafone, a recently added engineer who revels in building bots but whose familial secrets might come back to bite the crew of La Sirena Negra. In addition to the return of friendly faces, we encounter more of Eva’s biological family members: Agent Virgo (aka her sister, Mari), who asks Eva to locate a missing scientist, and their estranged mother, Regina Alvarez, who may be able to help Eva complete her mission.

The action in Prime Deceptions starts on the very first page, when readers are thrust into the midst of a battle, and the twists continue until the end as Eva and her crew navigate the vast galaxy. All the facets of Eva that readers loved from the first book are back—humorous and creative curses in Spanish, witty banter and a jaded facade that only barely conceals her passionate heart. As the crew follows mysterious and possibly sinister coordinates provided by Mari, whose actions previously endangered their lives, they’ll have to reach out to all of their contacts for help, and in the depths of space, they’ll find memorable aliens, cat chats and poignant moments aplenty (not to mention epic fight scenes).

Where Chilling Effect explored each crew member’s individual journey and identity, Prime Deceptions delves into how the crew functions as a family and as a team. In the face of a fandom planet, troubling memories and past nemeses and allies, Eva steps up as the confident captain readers have come to love, the essential glue that binds together this squad of broken and betrayed souls. This is a wild and imaginative adventure that captures the importance of one’s chosen family.

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Prime Deceptions

Prime Deceptions

By Valerie Valdes
Harper Voyager
ISBN 9780062877253

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