Only Bad Options: Galactic Bonds, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Estep blasts off with an exciting new science-fiction/fantasy adventure with a dash of historical romance. This action-packed space opera features a mix of magic and technology, along with a soul mates and enemies-to-lovers story. Perfect for fans of Star Wars, Bridgerton, and Pride and Prejudice.
A woman who sees everything...
Few people know the name Vesper Quill. To most folks, I’m just a lowly lab rat who designs brewmakers and other household appliances in the research-and-development lab at the powerful Kent Corp. But when I point out a design flaw and a safety hazard in the new line of Kent Corp spaceships, everyone knows who I am—and wants to eliminate me.
I might be a seer with a photographic memory, but I don’t see the trouble headed my way until it’s too late. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by enemies and fighting for my life.
I don’t think things can get any worse until I meet Kyrion Caldaren, an arrogant Regal lord who insists that we have a connection, one that could be the death of us both.
A man who can’t forget his past...
The name Kyrion Caldaren strikes fear in the hearts of people across the Archipelago Galaxy. As the leader of the Arrows, the Imperium’s elite fighting force, I’m used to being a villain, as well as the personal assassin of Lord Callus Holloway. Even the wealthy Regals who live on the planet of Corios are afraid of me.
But everything changes when I meet Vesper Quill. I might be a powerful psion with telepathic, telekinetic, and other abilities, but Vesper sees far too many of my secrets.
Thanks to an arcane, unwanted quirk of psionic magic, the two of us are forced to work together to unravel a dangerous conspiracy and outwit the deadly enemies who want to bend us to their will.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 35 minutes|
|Narrator||Lauren Fortgang, James Fouhey|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 20, 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #11,435 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#55 in Science Fiction Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#338 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#537 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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On the craft, it's well built with good syntax and editing, very professional. I don't mind paying a bit if the book is well written. On the other hand, it's a bitter experience for me when the author shows some severe mishaps in their craft. Just to say, it's not the case here.
All in all, this first book is very good and I'm looking forward to the #2. Recommended!
Captivating from the very first lines, I was enthralled..
The futuristic planetary tensions with Star Wars overtones bring drama, intrigue and fascination.
I loved the combination of battlefield, ballroom and laboratory with corporate espionage.
the characters were vividly written without revealing more than the moment needed.
The plot thickened- but let loose enticing blips to allow the reader to follow the story.
Overall I'm wildly enthused to recommend this novel to any fantasy/sci-fi fan.
The subtle romance brewing hit just the right notes for a little tormented longing, and we stan.
I begrudge ONLY that book 2 is not yet released.
Vesper Quill is a considered a lowly lab rat at Kent Corp., but she is able to see problems with products, fix them, and develop new designs for much more. When she discovers a flaw design in the companies new spaceships, she becomes a liability that must be eliminated.
Kyrion Coldren is the most feared warrior of the Imperium’s elite fighting force and the personal assassin of Lord Callus Holloway. When he crosses paths with Vesper on a conscript ship which is meant to be the death of her, she ends up helping them both escape death.
Due to arcane magic, Vesper and Kyrion have a psionic link that neither wants, but to survive the deadly intrigue swirling around them they must work together to uncover a dangerous conspiracy and protect the secret of their link from everyone.
I really enjoyed this new world and thought Vesper and Kyrion are both great new characters. They are smart, determined, and excel at what they do. They also both have backstories that make you feel for them and understand why they act the way they do to all the situations they face. All the psionic abilities, or lack thereof, add interesting twists to the story. The conspiracy plot investigation by Vesper and Kyrion moves at a fast pace, while their romance is a completely different story. While this book does not end on a complete cliff-hanger, it does leave you ready for remaining questions to be answered in the next book.
I recommend this first book in the Galactic Bonds series for the start of a new sci-fi romance/space opera that is riveting.
Our two main characters are Vesper and Kyrion. Vesper is a lab tech for an important family/corporation. She makes the mistake of pointing out a dangerous design flaw and now her employer wants her dead. Kyrion is an elite soldier who is serving against his will. Vesper and Kyrion must work together to reveal the treachery, though they are faced with the unexpected challenge of an unwanted bond forming.
I was really invested in the plot and thought it was well balanced between action and character development. It was very exciting! I loved the mix of magic and your classic sci-fi tech. The idea of the Regal houses was interesting and gave it a medieval feudal feel. Author Jennifer Estep provides just enough world building to keep it interesting without getting lost in the weeds. The summary describes it as “Perfect for fans of Star Wars, Bridgerton, and Pride and Prejudice,” but I question whether the person who said this had even read the book. It has 0% in common with any of those.
The characters really shined and I absolutely loved their shared childhood angst. Vesper is intelligent and brave and while she did sometimes seem a little too good at everything, I wasn’t too bothered by it. I liked that the other female characters were multi-dimensional and strong as well. It seems that many times authors try to create a strong female lead by making the characters around them weak. But the author thankfully avoided that. Kyrion has traits of your classic dark, torture male lead but still brings a freshness to the role.
I enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them. Their conversations felt very natural and not over banter-y. They have a grudging respect for each other from the start and their relationship felt very equal. There are hints of an enemies to lovers romance, but the romance takes its time to develop. I loved that the author didn’t rush the transition and I can’t wait for more romance in the next book.
Overall this is a great light sci-fi romance. It is well written and well edited and I’m looking forward to the next book
Top reviews from other countries
Vesper Quill is a Seer, with minor psionic ability. Her ability was enough to get her into an Imperium Academy, but not enough to launch her into Regal society. She works as a lab-rat fixing the designs on home appliances as she struggles to get her own designs noticed. Betrayed by her ex-boyfriend, who not only stole her work but also left her for the boss’ daughter, she finds herself on the wrong end of an Imperial conspiracy.
Vesper is fantastic character. She is strong, determined and intelligent. She is able to analyse a situation or problem quickly and efficiently before finding a solution using both her magic and her intelligence. She has struggled on her own since she was a child abandoned by a mother who didn’t think her magic was strong enough to get her noticed in Society.
The MMC is Kyrion who is the head of the Arrows, and elite warrior squad made up of incredibly strong psionics. He is telempathic, telekinetic and telepathic. He was trained from childhood to kill efficiently and effectively. He is closed off and cold as he tries to protect himself from the loss of his parents and being trapped by the Head of the Imperium. The interactions between Vesper and Kyrion are complicated and very cleverly written. Their animosity and respect bounce off each other, causing sparks that are entertaining and intriguing.
The galaxy built by this author is fascinating and I really hope that she writes more about it in the future as I loved the idea of a psionic ruling class, warring with a technological class for supremacy, whilst the ordinary men and women are forced to fight a war that they have no stake in. This both boundlessly entertaining and thought provoking and I loved every page. I really want to go back and read it again straightaway in case I missed anything in my haste to read what happened next. As always, Jennifer Estep exceeds my expectations.
The author knows how to write so as expected the storyline flows really well to create a very readable book. It has a decent strong female lead and interesting male lead, not quite a romance at this early stage.
The story is self-contained enough to be worthwhile on its own but it also manages to set up the main characters with a villain and some side-kicks for the future novels.