Hello readers! I am finally back with another book review. For this week’s review, I’m jumping away from the spicy crazy romance of Beautiful Bastard to the spicy space adventure that is Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.
As mentioned before, this novel is on the spicy side, and that includes lots of bilingual swearing and implied sex scenes. So keep that in mind if you’re planning to gift this to a younger reader.
If you are a sci-fi fan and have been longing for a story starring a Latinx Capitan and psychic cats, continue reading.
- Capitan Eva Inocente must round up all the psychic cats on her ship after they had planned to take it over.
- Eva receives a message from the Fridge, a powerful crime syndicate, to inform her that they have kidnapped Mari, her sister, and to save her Eva will need to run some errands for them first.
- Eva goes on dangerous missions for the fridge, which include mind control aliens, a cannibal planet, and kidnapping. Believing the Fridge is monitoring her, she lies to her crew about the missions until Eva becomes fed up and decides to turn on the Fridge.
- Eva ends up frozen in a pod and reemerges a year later only to learn that her ship and her crew are spread out through various parts of the galaxy, and her family has betrayed her.
- Additionally, Eva’s lover, Vakar, has disappeared without a trace. Leaving Eva heartbroken and wondering if he’s alive.
- Eva sets off to put her crew back together and find Vakar until her plans converge with the Fridge, leading Eva to pull off a top-secret heist.
Chilling Effect is heavy on the sci-fi space lexicon, which left my mind drifting away at some parts. I didn’t hate it, but it was a lot harder to follow and focus on the story.
However, the never-ending adventures that Eva and crew go on pulled me back in. Not gonna lie though there were so many adventures and smaller plot lines that made me put down this book for a bit. Although I wasn’t all that interested in the plot during some points, I overall enjoyed the story.
What I loved about this book is that the author wrote Eva as an unapologetic Cuban Latina space Capitan. Despite all the years that have passed between our time and the time Eva lives in, she has managed to preserve the language of her ancestors as well as the food.
If you’re sitting here thinking it’s easier to lose aspects of your culture over time, let’s remember all the aspects of food and culture that we have taken from our ancestors’ centuries after they have passed. Thank you to the Aztecs for the chocolate and popcorn.
I think Eva keeping the food and the language alive is realistic. When Sci-fi novels and movies include POC, they never include aspects of their culture. This is fine because it is also realistic for someone to lose aspects or stop practicing parts of their culture however, every sci-fi film I have watched does this, which makes Eva’s characterization refreshing!
Eva is not hard to like she is a badass, rides for her crew members, and loves to pretend she has no heart. Arguably my favorite thing about Eva is all the Cuban slang she drops when shit hits the fan. I am from California where Cuban culture and people are few and far in between but thanks to Jenny Lorenzo’s youtube channel I was able to understand a lot of Eva’s rambles.
In this video Jenny explains Eva’s favorite phrase “Me cago en diez”
I do not want to spoil important plot points of this series, but I did want to mention in this review that the big plot twist of this novel is incredible. I was so angry when Eva realizes the person, she loves betrayed her. But if this plot twist made me so heated, then the author did their job.
Additionally, there is some romance sprinkled in this novel between Eva and her cute engineer Vakar. Vakar is not human, and one lick of his sweat/blood can give Eva an allergic reaction, but that doesn’t stop her from having sex with him.
And I have no choice but to stan this interspecies couple.
Lastly, how could I end this review without discussing the fluffy furry dangers that are the band of psychic cats that live on Eva’s ship? Aside from their initial attempted takeover at the beginning of this novel, the cats have settled into their new life as space voyagers, all thanks to their fearless leader, Mala. Mala earned her name thanks to her constant escapes and turning her psychic powers on the crew. However, after Eva gives Mala a scolding, the calico takes on her final form as a bread loaf. I think all this cat wanted was a forever home.
All of this is to say Mala is a cutie and needs to go on adventures with Eva on future novels.
If you’re in the mood for sci-fi do consider checking out Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. I give this novel 3.5 stars.
Until next time continue living in libros,