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Review: ‘Heroes Adrift’, Book 3 in Heroes series, by Moira J. Moore

February 10, 2011

Summary: Picking up a few months after the events of The Hero Strikes Back, Shield Dunleavy Mallorough and Source Shintaro Karish find themselves summoned by the Empress for a mysterious assignment. They leave their base town of High Scape—a very high profile assignment that both of them enjoy most of the time—and make their way to the capital city to meet with the ruler. The Empress commands the Pair to track down a possible royal bloodline on the island of Flatwell, in the Southern Islands.

With no choice but to obey, Lee and Taro very reluctantly board a ship and sail to the islands. Once they arrive, they find that Flatwell is actually on the other side of the island from where they have set down. Forced to cross the rather large island to find this mysterious and possibly non-existent royal heir, Lee and Taro find themselves in a larger predicament than they could have ever thought possible. Not only has no one on the island ever heard of a Pair, but Lee and Taro are expected to pay for everything as if they were Regulars…and the Empress and her laws are not acknowledged as a power in the Islands, nor did the Empress give the Source and Shield money.

Faced with the problems that Regulars deal with on a daily basis, Lee and Taro manage to join up with a group of traveling entertainers who are heading in the same direction the Pair needs to travel. Lee manages to make herself useful, while Taro struggles to find something he can do to earn them money and feed themselves. On top of everything else, the entertainers think the group is cursed.

With no money, inadequate gear, and no way to get home for months, Lee and Taro do the only thing they can do: try to survive and find the Empress’s potential royal bloodline—before the island makes them crazy.

My Thoughts: I thought the plot was slightly disappointing. Certainly it was interesting to read about a region that was previously unknown, but I felt the story ended up being more about traveling through the strange territory and less about finding the heir like it was supposed to be. I’m sure others disagree, and it’s possible that this plot simply didn’t mesh well with what I expected. That’s fine—it didn’t work for me but it may work just fine for another reader.

I also don’t find it plausible that the Empress would take such liberties and be so unreasonable, yet the Triple S, which is supposedly a power in its own right, doesn’t step in at all. They much know Karish and Lee have been pulled off the roster, and considering their history of being an independent entity of the Crown, they should have objected strenuously. Yet they know nothing of the movements of a Pair? It seems like a huge contradiction.

At last in this book the reader gets some satisfaction from the build up of the romantic interests in the previous two books. This romantic relationship sets up more problems than it solves, which makes the story more interesting, and I fully expect that more will be said about this in following installments.

The first person narration is better here than in the first two books, as Lee becomes far more interesting as a struggling character than as the Shield who keeps it together almost perfectly all the time. Her sarcasm and observations are often funny. Taro gets taken down a notch, which is GREAT. I can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to see him lose some of his annoying arrogance. I liked him well enough in the previous stories, but I didn’t appreciate the arrogance he displayed at times.

As a book in a series, I understand how the events of this story are necessary to the characterization and development of our two heroes. But the story itself seemed like it dragged at times, and I thought the plot was a bit disappointing. On the positive side, I do like how Lee and Taro grow in this installment. This book feels to me more like a building-block story than a book that could stand on its own. I give it only 3 stars.

Book info: published 2008, 340 pages, ISBN: 9780441015986

Buy on Amazon * Author’s Website * GoodReads

Copy is from personal library

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