CHILLING EFFECT by Valerie  Valdes
Kirkus Star


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The snarky captain of a small cargo ship is sent on harrowing missions through space by the frightening syndicate holding her sister hostage.

Capt. Eva Innocente and her small but talented crew traverse the galaxy in her beloved ship, La Sirena Negra, completing cargo runs for various clients. Eva may be a little rough around the edges, but who can blame her when her story begins with a shady customer ditching her with a cargo of troublemaking psychic cats (no, really) and no payment. But when Eva is contacted by a representative of the Fridge, a shadowy crime organization that has kidnapped her sister, Mari, the cats become the least of Eva’s troubles. The Fridge orders Eva to complete a series of missions, each more dangerous than the last, in order to secure Mari’s freedom. Eva is terrified for her sister’s safety, but she’s only barely in better shape herself. A sleazy alien emperor whose amorous advances she rejected will literally kill to have her, she lied to her crew about her sister’s kidnapping, and, worst of all, she might have feelings for her engineer! Valdes is a debut author, but this zany, rollicking adventure doesn’t show it. Jam-packed with weird aliens, mysterious artifacts, and lovable characters, there isn’t a single dull page. Eva and her family are Latinx and often include unitalicized Spanish in their dialogue, a rare find in a genre that usually uses whiteness as the default.

A tremendous good time and an impressive debut.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-287723-9
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019