Book Review: Chasing Nonconformity by Michelle Proulx

Title: Chasing Nonconformity
Author: Michelle Proulx
Genre: YA/sci-fi
Date Read: 03/11/2015 – 08/11/2015
Rating: ★★★★


nonconformitycoverThis is the sequel to Imminent Danger (and How to Fly Straight Into It), which I reviewed back in February. It picks up pretty much exactly where book 1 finished up and was exactly the sort of sequel I had been hoping for.

First up, we are treated to some delightful new characters, in the form of Prince Trystan, Varrin’s younger brother, and his bodyguard, Sebara. Trystan needs a lot of hugs, and someone to appreciate his poetry. Sebara does not appreciate poetry exactly, but she does earn the Prince’s trust and they develop a really adorable bond. We also meet the Emperor, Varrin and Trystan’s father, and my, isn’t he a piece of work? Trystan and Sebara are given the task of tracking Varrin down and forcing him to come back to claim his birthright.

Meanwhile, Varrin, Eris and Miguri are still searching for Varrin’s ship, the Nonconformity. Eris has basically thought that Varrin is just being a typical guy in love with his vehicle, but it turns out there’s a much bigger reason he needs to get his ship back. Along with the help of an old flame, Kalla, they form a plan to sneak into a Tetrarchy facility and steal it back. Their paths with Sebara and Trystan’s in an exciting climax.

Much of what I had to say about the first book can be echoed here. There’s still plenty of snappy dialogue, fun characters, and the world-building expands even more. Varrin still needs a punch; it got to the point where I couldn’t really reconcile his supposed feelings for Eris with the fact that he kept so. many. secrets from her. Eris kept excusing this, which did get a bit annoying after a while, as did her jealousy at the thought of anyone else with Varrin.

The final 25% was great. There was both action and character development, with all the characters involved. I’m not sure whether this series is meant as a duology or a longer series. The story actually felt quite complete at the end, though I would certainly enjoy more stories set within this universe.

Book Review: Imminent Danger and How To Fly Straight Into It by Michelle Proulx

Title: Imminent Danger (and how to Fly Straight Into It)
Michelle Proulx
Date Read: 06/02/2015 – 13/02/2015
Rating: ★★★★


immientdangercoverGenerally I like my sci-fi Earth-based. Interstellar travel is just not something I usually get into. However, after seeing a couple of friends review this book favourably on GoodReads, I thought I would give it a go. It sounded fun, if nothing else.

Due to essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time, high school junior, Eris, finds herself kidnapped by six-armed blue aliens. This is the start of an adventure across the galaxy, during which Eris makes friends, enemies, is tortured and experimented on and pursued, mostly in the company of a very attractive alien called Varrin. Oh, and Miguri, another alien who is small and furry and adorable. More on those guys in a moment.

Proulx’s world-building was thorough, from alien civilisations and languages/translation devices, to methods speedy interstellar travel. There were a couple of moments when I wondered why things on other planets seemed very similar to things on Earth, but that didn’t bother me too much.

The three main characters were all very well constructed and very consistent. Eris is a teenager, and she does have her teenage moments, but she’s also resilient and a good lead. Miguri, her Claktill companion, is kind of the “wise old man” character, but at the same time, he doesn’t seem wise beyond Eris or Varrin’s years. There were times when I wanted to punch Varrin in the face, and I kind of hoped that the romance would be drawn out a little longer, though the punchline regarding this at the end did make me laugh. While he does go through his own character arc, there are certain parts of him that I’m not sure will ever change, regardless of how many books there end up being in this series.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. It wasn’t hard sci-fi, but if it was, I would have stopped reading. Fun characters in a fun world to explore. Looking forward to book 2!