cover image The Cold Between

The Cold Between

Elizabeth Bonesteel. Harper Voyager, $16.99 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-241365-9

Bonesteel’s space opera debut, the first in the Central Corps series, expertly revitalizes familiar plot elements. When Treiko Zajec, a retired starship captain, connects passionately with Elena Shaw, chief engineer of the central government’s ship Galileo, their affair interferes with a scheme to stir up galactic unrest. Elena’s intensity and Trey’s steadiness are challenged as they try to prevent bloodshed and begin peeling back the layers of deceit created by agents of government and big business. The story’s pieces are formed with standard SF tropes, but Bonesteel keeps the plot moving briskly. She’s even better at showing the wary tenderness between the ill-matched lovers, especially when it comes to how much Galileo’s emotionally repressed captain, Greg Foster, yearns to be with Elena. The headlong action will attract readers, but they’ll find themselves paying more attention to the characters’ convincing and satisfying emotional relationships. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates. (Mar.)