For lack of a better trite and tired old cliche, Kidnapped simply was not my cup of tea, which is not to say that I don’t enjoy good sci-fi–I do–and the sci-fi elements in this novel were presented quite well. The author did a great job of leading me into the world she’d created, offering political intrigue and sinister maneuverings within a framework of deception and betrayal that, had the story remained focused on that storyline, I think I’d have enjoyed it so much more.
One of the first things that threw me about this novel is that the blurb had what ended up being only a peripheral significance to the core plot. While Sean Noor and his kidnapping by the convicted Draconis/human hybrid, Mendel, was the catalyst for the space chase to carry out Sean’s rescue, that all became a rather minor storyline when compared to that of Einn and Cyan Alexander, the space pirate and the Rehab guard with a secret. Cyan, through unintentional circumstances, is kidnapped by Einn and Lark, his fellow pirate–two men who are merely pawns in an insane and insidious game of revenge and genocide. A large percentage of the plot focuses on this element, but then attempts to tie in the Sean/Mendel storyline at the end, which, unfortunately, didn’t pique much enthusiasm on my part, by that point.
Where this story didn’t work for me, really, was in the romantic relationships between Sean and Mendel, and Cyan and Einn. To put it plainly, I didn’t buy into them. The evolution of their involvement and subsequent connection felt underdeveloped to me. There was nothing there that roused a spark of interest in me and, in the end, I couldn’t muster the necessary inspiration to be concerned for the welfare of their relationships. For someone like me who loves character driven novels, who loves dialogue and the exposition of the romantic bond, this was an insurmountable issue.
It’s not very often I run across a book that I wish had skipped the sex and simply stuck with the chase, but Kidnapped is one of them. It would have been a solid four star read for me if the plot had remained focused on the interstellar corruption and conspiracies, and dealt less with the emotional entanglements.
As it was, while I have the utmost respect for the imagination it takes to create new worlds and the alien beings who inhabit them, this one just fell a bit short.