At the end of summer, I got an e-mail from the author, Sophia DeLuna, requesting I read and review Hidden Secrets for her. I was delighted to. And I read it but it was just as the big move was happening in my life so I felt I hadn't given the story enough of my attention and wanted to be fair. I had read it on my Fire with the text-to-speech set on "Amy" the British English setting I love. It always sounds like Julie Andrews is reading to me. But I had it set on 2x which is a little too fast to catch some things. It's okay when you want to read a book quickly. But for this task I either needed to slow it up or read it with just my eyes. So I wrote back to Ms. DeLuna explaining all of this and told her I wanted to read it again to be fair to all of us. Not that I thought the story bad, I just wanted to immerse in it a little deeper.
I loved other books by Ms. DeLuna on Smashwords. They often have an LGBT (lesbian) central character or two but they are not erotica which is refreshing. This story is the same, it is a sci-fi/space adventure that happens to include women who love women. I love the sci-fi aspect because there aren't that many sci-fis with women main characters, much less, lesbians.
The characters are interesting and I liked them. I liked that she had pictures of the characters. That helped somewhat. Though I found that I forgot who was who after a while. I kept the captain in my head. But it seemed that the deeper part of the story didn't include her so much. What tragedies that do unfold are about other characters. I don't know how I would have fixed that. It wasn't bad. I had grown to like those people, too. It just felt like we could have gotten to know them better before it got bad.
What I found interesting was that Hidden Secrets contains elements of the sci-fi series I am still editing from my NaNoWriMos long ago. Spaceship crashes on a planet that has healing elements. I think the name, Haven (my sentient planet's name), was part of the name of the planet Sophia's characters were heading toward. So it was almost like reading about my own imaginary friends. ;-)
The style of writing was my biggest problem. It is a style I fight in my own writing. Passive voice. For all the flying and meeting aliens and learning about them all... I think it would be better to have a more active voice. Now can I explain how that works? Not so much. Here, let Grammar Girl explain it:
I will have to review all that as I get away from the writing of my NaNo to the editing.
But honestly, it was still a good story and I found that even with the long period of time between reads, I still remembered quite a bit about it. AND I felt that it may have a sequel in the wings. I would like that!
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)