ARC REVIEW: Off Planet by Aileen Erin

Image result for off planet aileen erinOff Planet (Aunare Chronicles #1) by Aileen Erin
March 26, 2019 from Ink Monster Books
Sci-fi, space opera
★★

In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Off Planet came as a total pleasant surprise. Sci-fi is usually totally hit-and-miss for me, and this one was definitely a hit. It was well-written, with strong characters, strong worldbuilding, and a breakneck plot that kept my eyes glued to the page and my brain still in the story even when I wasn’t reading.

The book took a few chapters to really get going, but when it did I was so invested in Maité and her story. The plot doesn’t stop, there are so many twists and turns, and every time you think that something can’t get worse, what happens is even worse than you were imagining. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire book because there’s so much that happens. I thought this book was way longer than it actually was because it’s so packed with action. Maité spends the whole book fighting against SpaceTech on the planet Abbadon, even though she’s trapped on a hell planet where everyone wants to kill her.

I loved Maité. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a character go through this much and fight every second to survive. I was not expecting how absolutely brutal some parts of Off Planet is. What Maité goes through in the book is horrifying–the planet she spends most of the book on is basically literally called Hell, and she’s there because people want her to die in the cruelest and most painful way possible. I felt so much for her, because Erin’s writing is so raw and real. All of Maité’s pain and fear throughout the book is described in excruciating detail–and Erin didn’t skimp on discussing the trauma it caused Maité, either.

The secondary characters were also all fairly fleshed-out. Maité is surrounded by so many sympathetic characters to make up for all the nasty ones in the book. I also liked the general lack of romance during Off Planet. There’s hints at a romance with one of the Aunare, Lorne, and maybe a possible love triangle with a SpaceTech defector, Declan. But it definitely wasn’t a focus–just offhand comments on how attractive these boys were, which, okay, but it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment. This story is Maité’s story, and about her survival, which was something I really liked.

The worldbuilding was strong, and there was a lot to figure out, but I didn’t find myself particularly confused. There’s SpaceTech, an evil interstellar corporation that basically has authoritarian control over their territory, and the Aunare, an alien race that was wiped off of Earth. I thought the Aunare were quite interesting, especially with their unique physiology and how they interact with humans, especially SpaceTech. I did have a lot of questions that I’d like to see answered in the next book, however. There’s not a whole lot about the Aunare and its culture, because Maité is kept in the dark for most of the book.

Readers should be aware that there’s a fairly graphic scene of sexual assault early on in the book, and Maité shows symptoms of PTSD.

Off Planet was such an engaging and engrossing read, and I honestly enjoyed every second of it, even if some pats had me gritting my teeth in sympathy. If you like sci-fi, you’ll probably like this book, and even if you’re not a sci-fi but you’re a fan of amazing female characters who never stop fighting, you might like Off Planet.

5 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Off Planet by Aileen Erin

  1. I absolutely loved this book! I’m so glad you did too, Aileen Erin is definitely on my watch list of authors now, and I’m so sad we have to wait a year for book 2 lol, I would say the best part really was how Maité was such a fighter, yay we can fangirl together now!

    1. Yes, someone else who’s read it!! I haven’t heard any talk about this book so I was SO pleasantly surprised and I’m excited for book two!

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