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Ratings and Reviews (3 14 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
14
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    Academia, explosions, daycare, and romance!

    Jerzi Adams goes to visit his daughter Pico at her university, Optimal Polytechnic. He finds out her favorite professor is a former Army buddy of his, Andra de Luna. Strange accidents involving explosions, evacs, and killer robots begin to befall the Materials Sciences and Chemistry departments. Jerzi’s colleagues Mairwen and Luka show up for a mission, and they get pulled into the mayhem as people start turning up dead. Campus becomes a dangerous place as several nefarious plots converge on the university, and it’s going to take some skill and luck for everyone to survive. We have two strong leads who’ve taken some knocks in life. Both have experienced romantic loss, and Jerzi’s relationship with his adult daughter is close and believable. Their chemistry and camaraderie has always been there, but they had other commitments in the past. Andra is understandably reluctant to get too close to someone who circumstances would dictate a long-distance relationship with. She manages to solve the two-body problem in a realistic fashion. She’s an interesting character on the whole: her background and skills are important during the school’s troubles, and she makes as good use of them as Jerzi does his. Old friends and new villains also stick in the mind: we’re introduced to an excellent stable of twisted villains with credible motivations. Their story is mixed up in the continued adventures of Mairwen Morganthur and Luka Foxe, who shine again in Pico’s Crush. An adorable secondary romance between Pico and Luka’s assistant Sojaire picks up in fits and starts, with a satisfying ending. Pico’s friends, classmates, and the kids in daycare pass through several characters’ watches during the story. They all are there for a reason, and some of them sounded cool enough to show up in further stories. Since are a ton of secondary named characters (especially the students), keeping track of all of them can get tough, especially when they are in different locations as matters go ill. Who’s where, when? I didn’t try to keep very close track of it myself, but if it’s important for your visualization processes you might want to take notes. I adore Mairwen Morganthur, but there are times she almost overshadows Andra and Jerzi. I don't know how I'd resolve that. There are some premise questions I had to suspend disbelief with. Most of the characters seem to be of two or fewer nationalities recognizable today. I know that countries tended to migrate to different planets, but with space travel being around for generations, I would have expected more mixing and people from countries we haven’t founded yet. The departments in the university, and even the models of education, are pretty much the same ones we’d find today. It seems as if vast majority of human developments have been in space travel, which I had to remember and adjust for. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Each entry in the Central Galactic Concordance has told a different kind of story to me, and I think this is an easily-accessible adventure suitable and enjoyable for everyone. Although the book technically stands alone, I think Pico’s Crush requires a reading of Overload Flux to get the maximum effect. Reading Minder Rising and Zero Flux beforehand is also helpful, but not as critical.
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    Fantastic character driven scifi

    Pico's Crush is the third full novel in Carol Van Natta's Central Galactic Concordance series. I feel it can be read as a stand-alone even though it centers on some characters we've met in books one and two. As with book two, Van Natta builds on the previous book to satisfy the world building needs of anyone following the series without overburdening us with back story. She balances her seamless continuity of the series with new places and scenes. Pico's Crush teams up two romance arc's with Jerzi Adams (from Overload Flux) and his old military friend Andra DeLuna along with Jerzi's daughter Pico and summer-camp crush Sojaire. Sojaire visits along with Luka and Mairwen also from Overload Flux. Together they face all sorts of suspicious activity and villains on Pico's tropical college campus. Van Natta keeps up her infectious humour which she puts to good use showing us the past camaraderie between Jerzi and Andra. It not only brings them together, but welcomes us in to the easy and comfortable friendship they're both resistant to give up. Pico and Sojaire have a history together as well but very different from Andra and Jerzi. In contrast to Jerzi and Andra where their past is an anchor, Pico and Sojaire's pasts act as an obstacle keeping them apart. I also love how the growth of Pico, Sojaire, Andra and Jerzi is grounded with the stable and familiar relationship between Luka and Mairwen. Van Natta keeps all the plates spinning, so to speak. I've found her novels contain a well rounded combination of contrasts and balance. For me, the big surprise was the next-level crop of bad guys. I thought the Citizen Protection Service (aka CPS or capital A Antagonists) in book two, Minder Rising, sufficiently demonstrated the nasty subversiveness of the CPS but Pico's Crush pushes even harder. This batch of CPS no-gooders could be considered terrifying. In spite of their gory, co-dependent and evil natures they're enlightened with enough humanity to make them endearing in an uncomfortably dark yet relatable way. In all honesty, I found this to be a challenging review to put together. I don't do spoilers and so much of my enjoyment came Van Natta's good grasp of who her characters are. Little things they do and say advance my understanding of them and their world. I feel like I know them. They stay in character, not only doing what I expect but in ways that move the plot, build their relationships and improve the richness of who I feel they are. I loved so much detail of the story, it wasn't easy to step back and articulate how I feel about the novel as a whole. (Loved it if you didn't guess that already.) My Galactic Concordance Top (in no particular order) Five Wants and Wows: 1. Stylish gold percomp for the back of my hand 2. Flitter (my kindergarten teacher said I'd have one by now so I experience owning one vicariously through the fiction of others) 3. Autotailor 4.*totally creepy villains* achievement unlocked 5. Explosions If you love character driven sci-fi with gadgets, superpowers and tons of action, Pico's Crush will hit all the targets.
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    Picou's Crush

    The world of Academia has went from merely cutthroat to downright deadly as a college campus becomes a battleground for sinister forces in this exciting space opera adventure. Jerzi Adam is visiting his daughter at college when he runs into his former squadmate Andra DeLuna and that’s just the beginning of all the excitement as explosions and lab experiments run amok and readers are kept on the edge of their seat as things quickly turn in a more deadly direction with unexpected twists and hidden motives ensuring that everyone is kept on their toes and to top off all the excitement that Andra and Jerzi runs into, they are joined by Luka and Mairwen as they hunt for a serial killer and we can’t forget about the CPS because they are up to their usual no good adding to the mayhem which has this tropical paradise becoming the hottest spot for trouble in the universe. The well written words paint vivid images of all the excitement which makes it easy for the readers to picture each and every scene while all the intriguing events ensure that the readers can’t quit turning the pages and these strong compelling characters demand reader’s attention as they as they mix a little pleasure in with all the chaos and friendships growing into something more especially since there is more than one romance happening. The story is fast paced and flows smoothly with lots of suspense, excitement and romance and let me warn you that what I have mentioned here doesn’t quite cover all the adrenaline pumping and spine tingling moments that take place and I was afraid to blink in cased I missed something which was fine with me because I told everyone if they disturbed me I would send Andra and Jerzi after them. 4 ½ STARS
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