My M.C.A. Hogarth Backlist, Part 1

Here is my summary of Her Instruments by Hogarth.

Earthrise (Her Instruments, #1)
by M.C.A. Hogarth (Goodreads Author) 

This was a NetGalley ARC back in 2015.

Wasn’t so sure at first, if I would like it, but about a quarter into the book I was in love with all of the main characters. I adored Hirianthial, his psychic landscape was fantastic. The Harat-Shar are great comic characters and the bird-like Bryer is fascinating. The Flitzbe is like a more advanced tribble.

Throw in a classic run-chase-and-hide scenario with an asteroid field, and your swashbuckling space adventure is off to an entertaining ride.

I really liked the second part of the book. The swashbuckling comes to an abrupt stop, but it gives a great additional depth to the characters of Reese and Hirianthial. The changing POV between those two is very well done and flows smoothly. The setting is a nice bit of world building as well.

And after the nice interlude on the planet of the hedonistic furry people and lots of eyebrow action we’re back to the swashbuckling bit in part three of the book.

I am not sure, why this book resonated so strongly with me. Perhaps if I had picked it up at another time, it could have had the potential to bore me to death. But I really liked it. The characters were vibrant and their cultural misunderstandings, differences and moral codes felt real. I just wanted to hug them all and join the crew for a bitchfest about the injustice of life. And then I wanted to ravish the Eldritch. What a fab character. I laughed myself silly over Reese’s addiction to Eldritch romance novels.

Fun, well-drawn characters, interesting plot, snark, humour, eyebrows. We have a winner. Onwards to the next installment.

Rose Point (Her Instruments, #2)

Could be a bit spoilery, beware.

Kickass heroine falls in love with one of Tolkien’s elves, rescues and follows him home, when he needs some help after horrible things happen to him during a kidnapping (tentative non-con warning in a very non-graphic way).

No, not really. But in stretches it felt a bit like that. Although my elf looks a bit more Benedict Cumberbatch than Orlando Bloom.

Actually, despite this being Sci-Fi, it does have more of a classic fantasy feel to it than anything else, being mostly set “dirtside” on a planet with a feudal society and low technology level.

You definitely should read Earthrise first, before delving into this. It will make the team dynamics of our intrepid crew more plausible and enjoyable. They don’t get as much time on the page as in the first book. Here the story mostly revolves around Hirianthial, life and politics on the Eldritch planet and then around Reese. The UST between those two amps up some more and I really hope it will get resolved in the third book of this trilogy, otherwise I will pull my hair out. The really, really bad guys finally show their face in this installment as well and I am biting my nails to find out what happens next.

Great adventure yarn, great characters, good plot.

Laisrathera (Her Instruments, #3)

A well-written and fitting conclusion to this trilogy. No truly surprising plot-twists or epiphanies, but sound and entertaining story telling. I had withdrawel symptoms for a while, this world sucked me in so deeply.

I liked the addition of Val and Belinor, especially Val was a character with a lot of potential. The immediate connection between those two, with possible benefits, was a bit out of the blue, but worked and made me curious for more of their story.

Lesandurel was also an interesting character with story arch potential. And the whole crew of the Moonsinger, obviously. I think I saw on the author’s website that this will be the setting of a new book/trilogy (I never checked).

The book itself was a bit more sedate and introspective, compared to the previous two. But there was still plenty of action, great character development and our two heroes finally finding each other. My only, very small disappointment – I had expected a larger-scale conflict with the Chatcaavan and a overall darker and more angsty tone and found it all a bit too vanilla in the end. Nonetheless, bottomline, fun, great story, loved the characters.

A Rose Point Holiday (Her Instruments, #4) 

So saccharine-sweet and fluffy, it will give you cavities. Which is ok, as it was intended as holiday reading. Excellent feel-good material for Christmas/New Year or whatever holiday it is for you. It is also full of good ideas for another novel in this particular series or maybe the Pelted Universe as a whole. Should definitely be read after the Her Instruments trilogy.

For space opera, look no further among my works than the Peltedverse. This setting deals with the social implications of genetic engineering, the culture clashes between aliens, the frictions that lead to interstellar wars and of course, space elves and their royalty. The sprawling Pelted universe has been in continuous development since the early 1990s and it shows in the depth and breadth of the material. Constructed languages, artificial cultures, multiple alien species working together in harmony (or not)… if you want big, friendly universes full of growing pains, this is your stop.

At one point I actually considered reading all of the Peltedverse books and stories in chronological order. There s just so much! So in the end I decided to be less completist and OCD and just read what I am in the mood for, regardless of reading order. Yep, reading them out of order and I am not sorry.

If you want to have a go, follow the link below the quote above, it leads you to Hogarth‘s website. You are welcome. Or just start with Earthrise. This trilogy + extra holiday story all scored five stars with me.