Review: Enemy Games by Marcella Burnard

Filed in Marcella Burnard , Review , The Geeky Lover Posted on May 28, 2011 @ 7:00 am 7 comments
Format Read: paperback submitted by Author for review
Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Formats Available: eBook, Trade Paperback
Purchasing Info: Amazon, Author’s Website, Goodreads, Book Depository (US)Book Depository (UK)

Book Blurb:

Kidnapped while combating a devastating plague, Jayleia Durante fights to resist the attractive Major Damen Sindrivik, an officer from a rival government’s spy corps. But with her spymaster father missing, and mercenaries hot on her trail, Jayleia must join forces with the magnetic, charming and manipulative spy. She must see past her desire and remember that his single-minded agenda is for the protection of the empire – not her or her people.

Damen knows a shadowy network of traitors has allied with the violent Chekydran, and that Jayleia’s father holds the key to dismantling that web. She becomes his only lead in a circuitous round of hide and seek and despite their opposing sides, he can’t resist her. Too bad his instincts tell him Jayleia is lying to him.

Now Jayleia and Damen must find the love to match their passion and end the war or they’ll become the prey of the traitors they stalk, and one species’ civil war will consume the galaxy

My Thoughts:
I devoured Enemy Within, the first book in this series, and I just couldn’t wait to see what Burnard would come up with next. This book definitely didn’t disappoint. It was exactly what I hoped for and even some more. The characters gave this story quite a different feel. Enemy Games shows a different angle to the story Burnard started.
Damen is one alpha male, I already loved him in book one. He’s not what I expected him to be – he’s more complex than I thought. Because of his “animalistic” heritage he has some fascinating and interersting facets hidden beneath his alpha male attitude. I loved to learn more about his background and even though it was really alien in some aspects it was still enthralling but partly disgusting at times. I loved that Burnard isn’t afraid to make her aliens really alien and not only colorful (as we sometimes see in lesser scifi novels). Her different races are full of differences deeper than skin-color and appearance. One of the things I love most about this series- the variety of races and their uniqueness.
Jayleia is nothing like Ari from book one but she has an ace or two up her sleeve. She looks like a “tame” scientist on her mission to heal the world. But she has a past that marked her more than the first glimspe makes us believe. She knows how to fight for herself but she prefers to keep that site of herself hidden. She’s a very compassionate person who tries to not act on common prejudices. She’s a wonderful character- likable and open to foreignness which would make a lesser person shrink away with disgust.
Both together are a wonderful team- they work together seamlessly even though their mistrust to each other comes between them at first they find a way to work around that. I loved to see how both really tried to understand the other and what they were willing to do to accept the other’s customs and world views. This is nothing we should see as granted. It’s really hard to accept something that stands in total contrast to your own upbringing without judgement. 
The story itself was a thrilling ride through Burnard’s universe Enemy Games is about deception and mistrust. We meet a bunch of new characters and the author challenges us to discover who’s a friend or foe before she reveals it. The book is again highly focused on the way we easily start to develop prejudices and how we judge a whole race too easily for something only some of them did. I adore the way she shows how easily we can be let astray by generalizing and our own ignorance. 
The romance in this novel isn’t as prominent but for me that was just fine. It fit the story and blended in at the right times. I still loved to see these two find their way to each other, no matter which obstacles lay ahead.

All in all Enemy Games is a wonderful science fiction romance. We have the thrill, the adventure and a bit of romance. The worldbuilding is enthralling, thought through and complex. It’s more than just a flashy universe with a bunch of aliens- the story has a significance that shouldn’t be ignored. I devoured this book and really hope some of you will give this series a chance. Highly recommended not only to all the other science fiction lovers out there.

I give Enemy Games 4 out of 5 bookies.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Alisha (MyNeedToRead) May 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

    What a cool cover! This one slipped through my radar, but I'll fix that right quick ::adds to TBR:: I'm really still in a sci-romance mood.

    Mercy buckets! – Alisha

  • SusiSunshine May 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

    @Alisha Yes the covers were the first thing to make me notice this series. But the book itself is even better. Hope you'll like it!

  • Sullivan McPig May 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Great review.
    As you already know I love this series!

  • Julia Rachel Barrett May 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    The series is in my TBR pile. Too dang busy to read right now.

  • SusiSunshine May 29, 2011 at 6:17 am

    @Sullivan McPig Me too. I so need more.

    @Julia There will be better times again soon. I'm sure. *cheers for Julia*

  • Ren May 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

    This series have cool cover, but I think I love cover #1 than #2, more badass!!
    And what with all that big boobs model? o_O. Make me jealous (stare to my not to big breast, LOL)

    Great review, Susi. It difficult to me to read science fiction with all their unique (and sometimes, weird) names and terms, but I'm looking forward to read this 😀

  • SusiSunshine May 31, 2011 at 1:58 am

    @Ren I have to say I like this cover more. I prefer brunettes. LOL And yeah the boobs again. You know that is the only way to make a woman on a cover sexy. *end sarcasm* And you should try scifi. You will get used to it. Just needs some time.

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