The Viridian Convict by Sam York
The Pennington Family, #2
Released: April 10, 2018
Reviewed by Sheena
The Godfather meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this crazy-ass adventure set on Viridian, a prison planet full of aliens…who want to eat you. Tig, the only human, is thrust into a lose/lose/lose situation when the mob boss he works for asks him to pick up and deliver a package that the Fed—the governing body of the known universe—also wants. To make matters worse, the “package” has curves for days, an attitude to match, and her own agenda for how this is all going down.
***PSA: There is a glossary at the end of the book*** I didn’t realize this until I GOT to the end of the book and I wanted to kick my own arse for not paying attention to the table of freaking contents. If you decide The Viridian Convict is your cup of tea, please read the glossary first! It will save you the obstacle of feeling like you need to “catch up” early on in the novel. A few times I felt like I should know what something was and when I didn’t it distracted a bit.
Favorite Quote: “I’d like to think it’s [in] the future.” I curled my arm around her.
“Because you want to be with me in the future…” Damn, that was good to—She huffed a laugh and pulled back up. “No…”
“Because it means we survive, dumbass.”
This was one wild ride! Set in a crazy intergalactic world on the prison planet, Viridian, I was introduced to one of the most intricate alien worlds I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Fair warning. Things on Viridian are very…unique. There are several alien species vying for attention and it is a little overwhelming to keep it all straight. It took me a a chapter or two to really settle in and understand, but there was next to no time to get complacent because the action jumped off immediately!
Humans are mincemeat in this Aliens rule, humans drool world and the lone human on the prison planet, Tig, has had a few lucky breaks to the point where he’s secured his position as a total “don’tfuckwithme” badass who works for Granny, the head of the criminal syndicate(it really is Godfather meets Guardians of the Galaxy- but sexy). No one messes with Granny and when he is conscripted to run a job for Granny, he has no idea just how totally this mystery job is going to change the course of his life. Tig comes off as devil-may-care, and confident in an environment where one false move and you are nothing but alien belch vapors!
Was that gross? I’m not surprised. This book was kind of gross, so it’s likely rubbed off on me. The alien characterizations are so colorfully descriptive that I could often *see* and sense them- and their yucky alieny muck crystal clear. Sam York really went the extra mile to make her aliens shine, it was a slime and excrement show, but in an amusing way, I am as squeamish as they come, my tummy and gag reflex are on hair triggers and I laughed off, even the most explicit of the aliens, a frog like Skeeg-alien named One Eye, who also serves as the reluctant and most unwanted muscle on Tig’s mission.
I knew he was bloating, couldn’t miss the swelling from the corner of my eye. I just didn’t understand why, until he leaned to the side and issued a high-pitched hiss that reverberated through the cab. And then the stench hit me. My eyes watered. Bile rose in my throat. Oh, holy God, if Skeegs could do one thing really well, it was stink up a joint. I glared at One Eye. He grinned.
“What is that smell?” A wail from the back, from beneath the linens.
“Welcome to my life,” I muttered.
…Okay, One Eye was gross, lol but he grows on Tig and after a while, I didn’t mind having him around so much after-all.
Resigned to his lot in life, Tig accepts his orders and sets out after the package, which turns out to be a human woman, “Angel.” She sets his soul on fire from the moment he lays eyes on her, but she’s a job and no one reneges on Granny, remember, so he’s bound to haul and deliver her…only Angel is no push over and gives him and One Eye the slip and from there, the adventure begins a break neck pace to its clever conclusion.
Angel is a force to be reckoned with. So much is a surprise when it comes to her character (even her name is a plot twist!) and her…hardware (ha!) that I won’t include any spoilers! I am the queen of detesting vague blurbs, but as I read chapter by chapter, it became abundantly clear that you can’t prepare reader’s for this. Best experienced undiluted so that when the hits start coming, the shock and LOL’s are genuine to their core. My sole concession – go into the story knowing these characters are a riot and not everything is as it seems. Almost nothing is what it seems and it’s grrreat!
Angel encompasses my favorite heroine traits. She is fearless but not reckless, she is kind, despite her agenda and she is a survivor. She’s practically being traded and controlled but is all in on her own rescue. She banters and stands up to Tig, meeting her own match within him and she remained reasonable! She didn’t fall in love and lose her smarts, iron sharpens iron and it was a pleasure to see these two jockey for “the leader.” It was even more of a treat for Tig to realize the moment Angel became his partner and not his responsibility.
She cuddled close, too close, and whispered, “And I don’t take advantage of men who are under the influence. It goes against my principles.”
Damn. Of all the women in all the worlds, I had to have a crush on one with principles. What were the odds? “Now, lie down and close your eyes.”
“Will the room stop spinning?” Because, that would be good.
“Yes, of course it will.” And then she muttered, “After a while.” I let her press me down onto the mat and I let her cover me with a blanket. I even closed my eyes. But I didn’t rest. I couldn’t. Not until I knew. “Angel?”
“Yes, Tig?” “What if I weren’t high?”
“What if I weren’t high? Would you make love to me then?” She didn’t answer right away. In fact, her hesitation was so vast, I figured she didn’t plan on answering at all. I lived a lifetime of hope and despair in those moments and it was at that point I realized she was probably right. I was definitely stoned. But then, after an eternity had passed, she leaned over me and pressed a gentle kiss onto my forehead. My lashes fluttered open and our gazes tangled. Her lips quirked and she whispered, “Go to sleep.” It was as good an answer as any. And, apparently, it was the only one I was getting.
Aside from the alien action fun, what shines brightest in the novel is the humor. Sam York also writes as Sabrina York and if you are at all familiar with York, her comedic timing and humorous dialogue is her trademark. I sought out to read this story because of how much I enjoy her historical fiction style. It was a pleasant relief and surprise that she has’t lost a step crossing over into the science fiction genre, as I understand it isn’t always easy to cross genres in romance fiction. The Viridian Convict is light and fun. It’s a stand alone as far as I know and things wrap up nicely, though if York decided to make it a series, there is plenty for her to delve into and expand. It isn’t remotely as sexy as I like my alien romance books to be (closed door, shakes fists)…
Oh. Holy. God. She drained me. More than once. She was wild, feral, phenomenal. Our joining was the most mind-boggling thing I had ever experienced—and, I must say, I had experienced a lot. The thing about [spoiler], at least the ones like Angel, was that when they get excited, they lose control. I mean, really lose control. More than once, as she came apart in my arms, she did that thing she’d done before, with the electricity. If it happened when we were joined—oh man. It was fan-freaking-tastic. But then, it would have been anyway. No matter what. Because it was her.
Seriously! How, how do you close the door on THIS! Alien poo and one-eyed freak farts, you describe down to the molecule, but electric (literally) sex, I have to infer!?!? I wanted to burst through that door so damn bad! *flails*
Though, truly, what it lacks in smut, it makes up in spades with its bewitching charm. This was a winner and it has further been cemented that I will read anything Sam/Sabrina York writes.