Review of Kingdom of Acatalec, a scifi-fantasy romance by S.M. McCoy
I work with aliens, my best friends is held hostage, and everyone wants to murder me before the Lord Prince can magically bond to share my power? If I had known an illegal drone race would lead to murder, kidnapping, and lies, then I might have thought better about the giant prize of credits, and the dream of walking again. I never met my best friend in person until a drone race gone wrong had both of us vying for our lives against a secret alien society. To make matters worse… my boss was one of them, and I couldn’t decide if he was trying to save my life, or the reason I was in trouble to begin with.
Excerpt from Kingdom of Acatalec
“I can protect myself,” I growled. “You said I could win, was that a lie?”
He ran his hand through his hair haphazardly. “Not a lie.”
“Then what then? Does the duel involve legs?”
He smiled then, and my anger was more difficult to hang on to, and I wanted to hang on to it, because it was easier that way. “No, you don’t need those to win a duel.” The way he said you, had me wondering if others would have needed them, or if he meant the duel would be by drone and I could kick their asses in a race. He had a glimmer in those dark brown eyes.
“What’s so funny?” I tried to remain serious.
“For a second there, I thought you wanted to bond with Lord Wyndall, but if you’re prepared to duel then so am I.” The way he said that left me confused, and he took the empty wine flute from me before I could damage it any further, a noticeable crack split down the glass, crystal, or whatever these rich flapping voyeurists used for their expensive party.
“What does that mean?”
“It means, I’ll help you win.” Those eyes darkened into something sinister, and I didn’t know if I should be excited, or scared to join him on this hell ride.
My Review of Kingdom of Acatalec
This was a very interesting story world. The blend of science fiction and fantasy was cool. I love the juxtaposition of drone racing and royal houses with different magical abilities.
While the concept really grabbed my attention, the story itself left me feeling a bit adrift. There were some characters who seemed to be throw-away—only there to include some temporary tension that didn’t feel important to what was going on. I would have liked to see more background to the fantasy elements and get a better sense of how they linked up to the futuristic world. I got very invested in the drone racing and the boring life of a drone tech, but once the racing and the fantasy kingdom politics started, I got a bit lost. This book was listed as romance, but I was rather confused about who was supposed to be the romantic interest. It seemed like there was more than one, which is fine, but even among them, it was unclear. One was described as just a friend all the way through, but there was lots of underlying romantic tension that didn’t seem like it was acknowledged in a way that made sense.
Overall, a great idea that I felt could have been made clearer. Definitely recommend for those who like a blend of sci-fi and fantasy.
About S.M. McCoy
Stevie Marie is a paranormal fantasy author born within the apex of another universe, where magic flows like leaky faucets. Forged from the fires of the Underrealm she dug her way to Earth reluctantly participating in human society, secretly returning to her home world within her mind to relay the stories of her monsters, and the troubled love of her dark heroes. When she isn’t writing she’s crafting clothing in her sewing room, cuddling her tiny humans, or pretending to adult by narrating audiobooks in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington. Grab your first free book by joining S.M. McCoy’s Fantasy Romance Newsletter.
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