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Machine Metal Magic

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The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone. It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more. An interstellar fugi The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone. It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more. An interstellar fugitive. For Jaime Bashir, born with the ability to communicate telepathically with computers, his gifts are more of a curse. They also make him a target. On the run, he finds himself among a starship crew, one transporting a mysterious cargo. Even more intriguing is Rylan, the muscled guard watching his every move. Jaime has no reason to trust him, but nowhere else to turn. A disgraced ex-soldier. Rylan Slate is looking to leave his past behind. Joining a crew of smugglers is one way to do it. But capturing Jaime is both an opportunity and a danger. He starts out as a prisoner, but then becomes something more, testing loyalties in ways Rylan never expected. Will regaining his honor mean betraying Jaime?


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The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone. It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more. An interstellar fugi The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone. It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more. An interstellar fugitive. For Jaime Bashir, born with the ability to communicate telepathically with computers, his gifts are more of a curse. They also make him a target. On the run, he finds himself among a starship crew, one transporting a mysterious cargo. Even more intriguing is Rylan, the muscled guard watching his every move. Jaime has no reason to trust him, but nowhere else to turn. A disgraced ex-soldier. Rylan Slate is looking to leave his past behind. Joining a crew of smugglers is one way to do it. But capturing Jaime is both an opportunity and a danger. He starts out as a prisoner, but then becomes something more, testing loyalties in ways Rylan never expected. Will regaining his honor mean betraying Jaime?

30 review for Machine Metal Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shin Mon Thway

    I’m very impressed with this book. A seriously entertaining sci-fi romance at its best. I had to deduct a quarter star because of some spelling and grammar errors but there are less than 10 and I’m known for being fastidious. 😂 I love both Jaime and Rylan. ❤️ Their pasts are so interesting and how the story unfolded itself was very enthralling. I have to admit I didn’t see that coming about that plot twist. And the sex was so hot. 🔥 I love the wicked and genius uses of that robot hand as well as I’m very impressed with this book. A seriously entertaining sci-fi romance at its best. I had to deduct a quarter star because of some spelling and grammar errors but there are less than 10 and I’m known for being fastidious. 😂 I love both Jaime and Rylan. ❤️ Their pasts are so interesting and how the story unfolded itself was very enthralling. I have to admit I didn’t see that coming about that plot twist. And the sex was so hot. 🔥 I love the wicked and genius uses of that robot hand as well as Jaime being obsessed with Rylan’s rough play. And what an interestingly eccentric and and genius group of misfit smugglers. Can’t wait to read more about these people and I’m so happy to hear that the second book is about our captain Garcia. Anyhow, if you are looking for an authentic and different yet enrapturing sci-fi romance, my friend you are in for a treat. 4.25 Jaime and Rylan live happily ever after stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ PS. This is a summarized version of the review of this story. Not really in the mood for full reviews these days. So I’m sorry if that disappointed you. 😁

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    ***4+ Stars*** and note to self: go back to the future! Umm, from the safe distance of my couch with my nose buried in my Kindle of course... THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND TICKED ALL OF MY BOXES!!! The worldbuilding: engaging and intriguing. I got immediately sucked into the story and even if I would have wished for a tad more suspense, there was never a single dull moment. The main characters: grouchy, grumpy, hot curmudgeon with a secret, but his heart in the right place - aka Rylan - mee ***4+ Stars*** and note to self: go back to the future! Umm, from the safe distance of my couch with my nose buried in my Kindle of course... THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND TICKED ALL OF MY BOXES!!! The worldbuilding: engaging and intriguing. I got immediately sucked into the story and even if I would have wished for a tad more suspense, there was never a single dull moment. The main characters: grouchy, grumpy, hot curmudgeon with a secret, but his heart in the right place - aka Rylan - meets gorgeous sweetheart with some surprises up his sleeve - aka Jaime. Together they had some serious chemistry... ... and their sex was pretty... creative. ;-) The side characters: the whole crew was great, but the captain's attitude made me grin like a fool and I'm already rubbing my hands in glee thinking about his story. Oooh, and a certain sexy bounter hunter so needs to get his own book (aside of the short prequel), pretty please???!!! Minor niggles: Rylan and Jaime's first sex scene made me blink - not only because of the aforementioned creativity (certainly no complaint about that from me! *cough*), but mainly because its suddenness felt like hitting a glass door at full speed with the subsequent cross-eyed look. A bit more development would have worked better here for me. And the book also needed a better editing. I'm usually not that touchy about it, but this was not the author's first book and as a non-native English speaker I had to read some passages twice to understand the meaning behind the missing words. Overall I'm totally hooked, though, and I'm definitely in for the long haul with this world. :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    * A Reader Obsessed *

    4 Stars!! Can I just say that I seriously have a big smile on my face because I still mourn the early demise of the genius that was the TV show Firefly, and this pushed every single one of my nostalgic love buttons! Reminiscent of the Serenity crew in all the best ways, this story is set in a post apocalyptic world where humanity is slowly picking up the pieces after being devastated by an artificial intelligence uprising 150 years ago. The AI collective known as the Singularity, easily exerted t 4 Stars!! Can I just say that I seriously have a big smile on my face because I still mourn the early demise of the genius that was the TV show Firefly, and this pushed every single one of my nostalgic love buttons! Reminiscent of the Serenity crew in all the best ways, this story is set in a post apocalyptic world where humanity is slowly picking up the pieces after being devastated by an artificial intelligence uprising 150 years ago. The AI collective known as the Singularity, easily exerted their independence leaving a scarce few humans to roam the remote regions of space trying to survive in a new world where technology is a must but also feared. This starts off with Jamie, who’s a “wizard” with the rare ability to communicate, manipulate, and integrate technology with a single thought. He’s an agent of humanity’s last vestige of government, the Commonwealth, and is a valuable asset that is revered and often despised. Circumstance puts him on the run where he fortuitously comes across the motley crew of the Wayward Prince, most notably former soldier Rylan, who’s the newest member of the crew and the reason why they’re on a important secret delivery. Rylan set up the current job, and he’s a man with some secrets and a desperate need to right some past wrongs. I know I just regurgitated the blurb. Regardless, the world building’s impressive and the political climate complex - incorporating survival, free will, the right to exist, and various ideologies that are all at constant conflict regarding the pros and cons of technology, as it aids and hinders humanity. Underlying this is the ever present threat that the Singularity could one day decide to finish the job and wipe out the rest of the human race should they choose to do so. I loved the atmosphere of this space opera which was filled with action, adventure, covert ops, and double crosses. This all centers around Jaime and Rylan as they try to fit in and find their place in their conflicted world, hoping to belong to the Wayward Prince’s crew of smugglers who have their own brand of questionable morality but always steeped in loyalty and heart. This obviously kept my interest with its fast pace, great romance, and varied smexy smex that was very much appreciated. *wink* More please!

  4. 4 out of 5

    ⚣Michaelle⚣

    Re-read 24July2019: STILL AWESOME, maybe more so the second time around. Screw it, I'm in a Sci-Fi mood now (although, honestly, when am I not?) so I think I'll just skip right along to the next one... Original Review 12May2018: 4.5 Stars Holy crap I loved this book! So, if you're any kind of SciFi TV show nerd you probably geeked out the way I did when I saw Serenity (from Firefly) show up in a shot from the BSG reboot miniseries. Yes, it was a sly EasterEgg of sorts seeing as how the CGI Director Re-read 24July2019: STILL AWESOME, maybe more so the second time around. Screw it, I'm in a Sci-Fi mood now (although, honestly, when am I not?) so I think I'll just skip right along to the next one... Original Review 12May2018: 4.5 Stars Holy crap I loved this book! So, if you're any kind of SciFi TV show nerd you probably geeked out the way I did when I saw Serenity (from Firefly) show up in a shot from the BSG reboot miniseries. Yes, it was a sly EasterEgg of sorts seeing as how the CGI Director worked on both shows...but after reading that exchange about Mal taking a job "that took him out of the Twelve Colonies," I kept wondering what a Firefly/Battlestar Galactica crossover would look like & how it would work. Well, wait 13 years then throw in a dash of Andromeda and here you go. It looks like this and it works beautifully because it is NOT Firefly OR BSG or any other show - but the absolute best ideas from all of them, twisted to fit an original story with characterization & action that rivals them all. But with a LOT more gay sex. Which, you know, YAY! (Although, there's a metric fuckton of gay fanfic for all those shows as well.) (I'm assuming...*cough*) Seriously, I can't even say it's not homage-y because in a way it is - so blatantly recognizable if you're a fan - but done sort of tongue-in-cheek (Garcia is basically Mal if more of Nathan oozed out into the character) & in a way that makes your heart soar...while it aches for those canceled/ended shows. And makes me a ginormous fan of this author; in fact, I see that it's got a Series title and given the 4 months that elapsed between the end of this story and the epilogue (and the hints of what they got up to in that time) I am CRAZY SCARY EXCITED to read another one. Please, Hanna...don't make me wait too long, 'K?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fabi

    M/M Space Opera A good one! Excellent world building that seemlessly meshes with the plot without major information dumps or slow scenic routes. We get an entire team of quirky heroes. Each one unique and memorable. Our MCs are easy to fall for. Rough and tough and mysterious Rylan is dreamy with his big muscles, blond hair and blue eyes. Plus, he has a big......... secret. Jaime is a survivor. In more ways than one. This young man has a heart of gold and a spine of steel. He's so easy to fall for. M/M Space Opera A good one! Excellent world building that seemlessly meshes with the plot without major information dumps or slow scenic routes. We get an entire team of quirky heroes. Each one unique and memorable. Our MCs are easy to fall for. Rough and tough and mysterious Rylan is dreamy with his big muscles, blond hair and blue eyes. Plus, he has a big......... secret. Jaime is a survivor. In more ways than one. This young man has a heart of gold and a spine of steel. He's so easy to fall for. Not to mention easy to admire. The plot flows like the incoming tide at my favourite beach. <---and that's why I'm not a writer ;-) Seriously though, no pauses, no slow downs, just a steady pace with peaks of action and suspense. If you read M/M and like science fiction, don't miss this one. 4.5 stars (a few typos and missing words need to be cleaned up)

  6. 4 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    I think I'm going to have to throw in the towel on this one. I managed to make it to about halfway through but it's just too slow going for me. It's just not holding my attention. I feel like there's too many details. And just not enough happening to keep it moving along and to keep me engaged. Probably more a case of me and not the book. I don't read a lot of sci-fi but every once in awhile I like to try something a little different. I may go back to it, but for now I am going to shelve it and I think I'm going to have to throw in the towel on this one. I managed to make it to about halfway through but it's just too slow going for me. It's just not holding my attention. I feel like there's too many details. And just not enough happening to keep it moving along and to keep me engaged. Probably more a case of me and not the book. I don't read a lot of sci-fi but every once in awhile I like to try something a little different. I may go back to it, but for now I am going to shelve it and move on.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘

    ⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Pretty Meh, But Had Potential*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱ The book centers around the telepathic with computers, a interstellar fugitive, Jaime Bashir (20? standard years) and disgraced ex-soldier - now in a crew of smugglers, Rylan Slate (view spoiler)[aka Brian Gray (hide spoiler)] (30 standard years). The thing is, the book could've been good. And that annoys me. My problem was actually the characters. Rylan reminded me of why so many calls athletes ‘all brawn, no brains’. He wasn't stupid per se, but h ⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Pretty Meh, But Had Potential*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱ The book centers around the telepathic with computers, a interstellar fugitive, Jaime Bashir (20? standard years) and disgraced ex-soldier - now in a crew of smugglers, Rylan Slate (view spoiler)[aka Brian Gray (hide spoiler)] (30 standard years). The thing is, the book could've been good. And that annoys me. My problem was actually the characters. Rylan reminded me of why so many calls athletes ‘all brawn, no brains’. He wasn't stupid per se, but he barely did anything. He was just there, or throwing/pushing people up against the wall. He was an ex-soldier who doesn't kill, he's a smuggler who doesn't really smuggle, he was a 'bodyguard' for the crew, yet he never protected.... he was just there. For me, he barely had any personality. I wished he was more, more alpha, more commanding, more... just gotdamn more. And though Jaime was cute and all, with Rylan being, well Rylan, he somehow suffered in my eyes. And it ruined everything else. Love for a character is a big part of me enjoying a book. I also didn't feel any love for the rest of the crew, nor did I feel the loyalty or love they apparently has for one another. I didn't feel this one, but man it did have potential. And it was interesting until 50% into the book. After that, it was just meh. So sadly, this was a bit of a bust, but it was still interesting. The concept that is. I'm not sure I'm continuing with the series as it centers around the captain and I didn't like the captain all that much in this one. I feel like everyone lack something. Or a lot of somethings... Other Characters: → Sebastian Garcia, Captain of the ship The Wayward Prince (male). → Magda ‘Mags’ Kandinsky, the second-in-command (female). → Simisola ‘Simi’ Njoku, the ship’s chief engineer (female). → Kaz O’Donnell, the pilot (female). → Dub, the AI/ship (female). → Lydia ‘Doc’ Stevenson, the doctor (female). → Bo Chen, the one mucking around with all the environmental controls (male). Bo and Mags are together; married? → Naree Yoon, Captain of one of the larger cargo bays in the Sprawl (a scrap heap, but it’s a very useful place for people who want to avoid Commonwealth scrutiny). She's also Garcia's ex (female). → Abrams, a Commonwealth agent and his agent partner, Digby (males). The Commonwealth, the rulers after the New Dark Age (after the war between the humans and the the Singularity (AI): was formed from a loose alliance of surviving governments. → Jonathan Gray, an up-and-comer top-drawer commander (agent) for the Commonwealth (male). (view spoiler)[Also Rylan's older brother. (hide spoiler)] → Xin, a bounty hunter (male). → Senator Aglukark (female) and Senator Cavendish (male), some of the people who are governing the humans; the Commonwealth. (view spoiler)[Cavendish shots Aglukark at the end of the book. He's a Purist (anti-tech). (hide spoiler)] → Descartes, a Singularity/AI. (view spoiler)[Not an ambassador but a defector. (hide spoiler)] “That’s an incorrect term that came out of the most superstitious and paranoid parts of the New Dark Age. I’m human, and there’s no such thing as magic.” “But you can talk to computers? Speak their secret language and bend them to your will? Is that not the gift of your blood?” The captain could be a bit poetical at times, but Rylan saw that Jaime had fallen silent and was looking at the ground. There was a slight flush coming over his light brown skin. Quick basic facts: Genre: - (Adult) Science Fiction (M/M). Series: - Series, Book One. Love triangle? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Cheating? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] HEA? - (view spoiler)[Yes, for the couple. (hide spoiler)] Favorite character? - No one. Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Unsure. Would I recommend this book/series? -Unsure. Will I read this again in the future? - No. Rating - 2.5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gerbera_Reads

    First time reading this author and I was not disappointed. Wonderful SciFi story. It was full of smart- a$$ed smugglers, two hot MCs, military intrigue, betrayal and all that jazz. Very fast paced, full of adventure and escape, many many untruths and one snarky lady-ship named Dub. This is enemy to lovers kind of story. The background and world building is wonderfully done, very detailed. I easily immersed myself in the world of crime and Singularity. The crew of the Wayward Prince really brings First time reading this author and I was not disappointed. Wonderful SciFi story. It was full of smart- a$$ed smugglers, two hot MCs, military intrigue, betrayal and all that jazz. Very fast paced, full of adventure and escape, many many untruths and one snarky lady-ship named Dub. This is enemy to lovers kind of story. The background and world building is wonderfully done, very detailed. I easily immersed myself in the world of crime and Singularity. The crew of the Wayward Prince really brings in fun and sass to soften the severity of the ship's situation. There are unexpected plot twists that make for a very captivating story. I highly recommend it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cadiva

    Oh this book is everything I love in a Sci-Fi story - a dastardly villain, clever plot, a brilliant ship's crew, marvellous adventures, strong commanding heroes with a soft side, and an element of suspense leading to a thrilling conclusion. It's my first book from Hanna Dare and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish as the story unfolded into a quite clever and complex plot involving sentient and deadly AI, humans with the ability to directly communicate with technology, and a bunch o Oh this book is everything I love in a Sci-Fi story - a dastardly villain, clever plot, a brilliant ship's crew, marvellous adventures, strong commanding heroes with a soft side, and an element of suspense leading to a thrilling conclusion. It's my first book from Hanna Dare and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish as the story unfolded into a quite clever and complex plot involving sentient and deadly AI, humans with the ability to directly communicate with technology, and a bunch of smugglers who got themselves mixed up in it all. The characters were fabulously drawn, each unique and bringing a depth to the narrative. It reminded me a lot of both Farscape and Anne McCaffrey's Brainship series, each having sentient ships with personalities of their own. Jaime and Rylan's romance was a classic frenemies one and I totally bought into it, each one finding an emotional strength in the other that they'd not realised they needed. I also totally loved bounty hunter Xin, who almost stole the show in his brief appearance. I'd love to read more adventures with this motley crew! #ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    3.5 stars... This one both exceeded and slightly missed my expectations. I was drawn to it for a couple of reasons: 1) the gorgeous cover, and 2) great reviews from my GR friends. Sci-fi isn’t my favorite genre — my eyes tend to go glassy when reading science-y details — but I was never bored here and I was left wanting more. I’m far from the first one to draw this parallel, but if you’ve ever wished for an M/M Firefly, get on this one stat. I have long been a fan of that series and have watched 3.5 stars... This one both exceeded and slightly missed my expectations. I was drawn to it for a couple of reasons: 1) the gorgeous cover, and 2) great reviews from my GR friends. Sci-fi isn’t my favorite genre — my eyes tend to go glassy when reading science-y details — but I was never bored here and I was left wanting more. I’m far from the first one to draw this parallel, but if you’ve ever wished for an M/M Firefly, get on this one stat. I have long been a fan of that series and have watched it many times. This isn’t an exact replica and I wouldn’t want it to be, but I can’t imagine loving one and not being completely drawn to the other as well. If this was a standalone, I think my rating would be half a star lower, but I’m making allowances for the laying of some groundwork. The plot was a bit rushed at times, because it takes time, pages, and scenes to do proper world-building. I think more suspense (both in the overall plot and the relationship) would have made it better. The chemistry between Jaime and Rylan was yummy and there was even a little creative positioning in the sex scenes (thanks to the small quarters of their living arrangement). But their character development in general was only okay, so if more focus had been put into that, their relationship would have been hotter. The editing wasn't perfect but it was decent, and there were quite a few funny lines, which always endears a book to me. So weighing the strengths and weaknesses, 3.5 stars, but I’m optimistic and excited for the continuation of the series. The author’s skills are strong and I think there’s a boatload of potential for this story. Buddy read with my speedy gonzales friend Hayley!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teal

    *** 3.5 stars *** Fun space opera featuring a crew of (mostly) good-hearted smugglers. If you've ever longed for a m/m variation of Firefly, this will be for you. World-building, characterization, plot+twists were all handled well. It looks like the author intends to make it a series, so I'll be watching for the next book. *** 3.5 stars *** Fun space opera featuring a crew of (mostly) good-hearted smugglers. If you've ever longed for a m/m variation of Firefly, this will be for you. World-building, characterization, plot+twists were all handled well. It looks like the author intends to make it a series, so I'll be watching for the next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't able to read this book all in one go because RL got in the way. So there was a large gap from when I started reading this and when I ended up finishing it. Which, grrr, I so didn't want that to happen. The beginning of this story is awesome! I mean, Jamie is so cute and funny (though it's unintentional), I loved to watch him and see what he would say and do. And then there was Rylan, all dark and foreboding, maybe even a A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. I wasn't able to read this book all in one go because RL got in the way. So there was a large gap from when I started reading this and when I ended up finishing it. Which, grrr, I so didn't want that to happen. The beginning of this story is awesome! I mean, Jamie is so cute and funny (though it's unintentional), I loved to watch him and see what he would say and do. And then there was Rylan, all dark and foreboding, maybe even a little mean at times. But though he would disagree, it's obvious from the start Rylan has a soft spot for Jamie, reluctant though it may be. I mean, it doesn't want Jamie to sleep on the top bunk because he gets nightmares and might fall out! How sweet is that?!?!?! Even though this story is sci-fi, I really didn't get that vice. It's not overly sciency (and that is so a word!), and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Rylan and Jamie, and Dub!!! Like, what is up with Dub? I really, really need to go back and read this book again all in one go because there are so many things I can remember. It killed me to have to put this down and I didn't want to take the time to read through from the beginning again because I am so past due on turning in my review for this ARC. But I still remember enough to say this book was brilliant start to end, and aside from typos (which weren't super bad), I have no complaints. There are some serious twists and turns that I never expected and this is another reason why I need to read this again because you have to pay attention. When I picked this back up I was a little lost but then I got back into the swing of things. :) 4.25 stars, which I might bump up upon re-read, lol.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)

    3.5 Neutron Stars THIS. WAS. SO. FUN. This was my first M/M Sci-fi and um, yes, I am a fan. *spends hours googling M/M sci-fi books* I don't read a ton of sci-fi, though I am interested and do love my Michael Crichton books and can get down with a good sci-fi movie, and I know AIs taking over the world has been done before but I don't care because I've never read it and I loved Hanna Dare's take on it. This made me think of Guardians of the Galaxy but gay, so I'm sold. It was super fun, interestin 3.5 Neutron Stars THIS. WAS. SO. FUN. This was my first M/M Sci-fi and um, yes, I am a fan. *spends hours googling M/M sci-fi books* I don't read a ton of sci-fi, though I am interested and do love my Michael Crichton books and can get down with a good sci-fi movie, and I know AIs taking over the world has been done before but I don't care because I've never read it and I loved Hanna Dare's take on it. This made me think of Guardians of the Galaxy but gay, so I'm sold. It was super fun, interesting and a little bit quirky. The world, with it's different planets and space stations, mutants with special powers and the threat of the AIs lurking in the background, was so much fun. Jaime and Rylan were both very enjoyable characters to read but honestly.. Didn't stand out that much to me? I feel like they could/would have if this book was LONGER! Which I will complain about below. I fucking LOVED the crew of the Wayward Prince. The captain was so fucking sassy and hilarious, he gave me serious Robert de Niro a la Stardust vibes. I also adored Simi. She was super inappropriate and crude and I really really want to be her friend. "It's my thinking wine," he said to Mags' disapproving look. "Then what was yesterday's?" "That was my relaxing wine." "Same bottle," she noted. #me The plot was super fun and engaging and made me want to be a badass smuggler hyper jumping across the galaxy. Seriously, I loved the fast-paced plot and science fictiony shit. So, even though I really really enjoyed this I do have one complaint and it's kind of a big one. It was too short, only 209 pages, and therefore everything felt like it was just skimming the surface. Jaime's ability to communicate with machinery is so fucking cool and though it was explained, it also wasn't really? It was just kind of skimmed over, I never actually saw the conversations he was having with the computers in his head. I did like Rylan and Jaime but I didn't love them. I just felt like I didn't know enough about them? I got bits and pieces of their pasts, thoughts, feelings, personalities, etc but I don't know.. I just think there really needed to be more. This goes with their relationship development as well. While there were cute, relationship development moments there was quiet a bit of telling and not showing which I don't like. Alsothesexsceneswerejustaverage. As I stated above I loved the world but even with this everything just felt a bit skimmed over. I would have like more details of what happened when the AIs took over, how it led up to that, how the Commonweath worked, life on other planets, etc. The ending, especially when Xin showed up, was a little cringy and felt (surprise) wrapped up too quickly. Everything felt a little bit lacking and a little bit rushed. Which makes no sense because this book could have easily been 100 - 150 more pages. I so badly wish she had added those extra 100 - 150 pages to add some more depth and shine things up a bit. This definitely would be a 4 star, maybe even higher. Ugh, it just all could have been so amazing if there were MORE PAGES. This is a series so I'm really hoping Hanna Dare will lengthen/detail things up a bit. Okay, okay, you're probably like "Wtf Hayley, you gave this 3.5 stars, neutron to be exact, but now you're just ranting about how short it is. Like, did you even like it?" YES I DID. It was super fun, and light and makes me feel happy inside, and I will definitely be reading the next one. I think if you like M/M and you want to try out some sci-fi or something different you should definitely give it a go. Honestly, how could you see that cover and read that blurb and not be like "I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!"?! Sidenote: I've seen a lot of reviews comparing this to Firefly, in a good way, so I'm definitely going to have to check that out. ___________________________________________ BR with Moony

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~

    3.5 stars I saw this described as Firefly-inspired sci-fi, and while I don't normally read sci-fi, I'm a huge Firefly fan so I had to give this one a try. There is certainly a strong Firefly influence, with a good dose of Skynet from Terminator. Basically, in a dystopic future, the machines have turned against humanity, pushing humans off Earth and out into the universe, where we've made a survival/living for ourselves in a system with moons we can populate and hide from the machines, here called 3.5 stars I saw this described as Firefly-inspired sci-fi, and while I don't normally read sci-fi, I'm a huge Firefly fan so I had to give this one a try. There is certainly a strong Firefly influence, with a good dose of Skynet from Terminator. Basically, in a dystopic future, the machines have turned against humanity, pushing humans off Earth and out into the universe, where we've made a survival/living for ourselves in a system with moons we can populate and hide from the machines, here called the Singularity. Some factions exist among the survivors wanting to take humans back to the pre-Industrial age. Other people have genetically altered themselves to be able to talk to computers. How that's a genetic ability, I don't know, but *hand wave sci-fi mumbo jumbo*. There's a big clash between these two groups. It's in this future that we find the crew of the Serenity...er, I mean, the Wayward Prince. I think this was a little too much like Firefly, but without the character building of the "side" characters that I would have expected. We know their names, what they do on the ship (kind of) and maybe one personality thing about them, but other than that, I really only got a clear picture of the captain, Sebastian Garcia and of Mags, the Mal and Zoe of the crew. As for the MCs, we've got Rylan, the newest member of the crew and his kind-of-but-not-really hostage Jaime Bashir, who joins the crew on a temporary basis. Jaime's a "wizard" and can talk to computers directly. Rylan has some secrets, and that's really all I can say about that. Oh, and he has an artificial arm with computer components and he's not that keen on the idea of someone being around who can manipulate his arm besides him. While their first encounter wasn't ideal, they quickly become allies and friends. This was a lot of fun, and the world building was more or less handled well, not too info-dumpy but sprinkled throughout as needed. Once the action starts, it doesn't really stop, but it doesn't really get going until the last quarter of the book when we find out more about what Rylan's actually up to. The characters are all lovable, as much as we know about them - but then I'm basing that mostly on Firefly as, again, we didn't get to spend a lot of time with many of them. And that's the main issue I had here. As much fun as this was, it really needed to be longer, to take some more time than it does between the action to show us who all these multiple characters are and why we should care about them. But this is the first in a series, and as an intro, it does a decent job of setting the board. Hopefully, we'll see more character development for everyone in future books. The editing is mostly good, but there are missing words throughout, pretty critical ones too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maygirl7

    At the end of the book I had a little chant going in my head. “Love, love, love, love, love!” Fortunately for everyone the chant is only in my head. Wow! This hit all my sweet spots. Space. Snark. Big, dumb, loyal guy. Vulnerable guy on the run. Finding home amongst a band of misfits. And the cherry on top is that the cold eyed killer is the older lady with gray hair. Go ladies of a certain age. We will cut you with no regrets! Uh, not really. But I like it in my fiction. This is like a sweeter, At the end of the book I had a little chant going in my head. “Love, love, love, love, love!” Fortunately for everyone the chant is only in my head. Wow! This hit all my sweet spots. Space. Snark. Big, dumb, loyal guy. Vulnerable guy on the run. Finding home amongst a band of misfits. And the cherry on top is that the cold eyed killer is the older lady with gray hair. Go ladies of a certain age. We will cut you with no regrets! Uh, not really. But I like it in my fiction. This is like a sweeter, shorter version of Turbulence. Running away to sign up for Hanna Dare’s newsletter to get the prequel and to buy the book. I know I’m going to want to read this again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    annob

    3.5 stars! I really liked the sci-fi adventure plot, even though initially I was a bit sceptical about the descriptions of how Jamie interacted with the 'mind' of computers. But after a while I got engulfed into the story. The setup of the different characters was good, and I loved how their motives and backgrounds were gradually revealed to the reader. In the beginning I enjoyed the romance between the two MCs, but I have to say as it developed that part of the plot became a bit predictable. Or 3.5 stars! I really liked the sci-fi adventure plot, even though initially I was a bit sceptical about the descriptions of how Jamie interacted with the 'mind' of computers. But after a while I got engulfed into the story. The setup of the different characters was good, and I loved how their motives and backgrounds were gradually revealed to the reader. In the beginning I enjoyed the romance between the two MCs, but I have to say as it developed that part of the plot became a bit predictable. Or something similar as I grew less engaged in their possible HEA rather than more as the story progressed. I had hoped for more when it came to the romance element, and since I'm mainly a romance reader I have to take half a star off for that. The writing style was excellent however, so I'm sure I'll read more books by this author in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    If you loved the TV show Firefly you'll definitely love this book. It's almost as an alternative Firefly universe... the same but not really. It was pure fun and the writing was great. Looking forward to the sequel! If you loved the TV show Firefly you'll definitely love this book. It's almost as an alternative Firefly universe... the same but not really. It was pure fun and the writing was great. Looking forward to the sequel!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisazj1

    4.5 stars. Loved the world and setting, exciting plot with a definite surprise twist and a great cast of characters. Thoroughly entertaining, I couldn't ask for more! 4.5 stars. Loved the world and setting, exciting plot with a definite surprise twist and a great cast of characters. Thoroughly entertaining, I couldn't ask for more!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meep

    I quite liked it, but could have loved it! This story has so much potential, interesting world and ship crewed by a ragtag bunch of misfits, then Wizards! Sadly nothing is developed enough, I wondered if it started life as a Firefly fanfic. There's plenty of fun ideas and some action but from the halfway point it started to drag a little. The crew are varied and fun, but barely step beyond colourful cameos. Some of this is due to the chosen povs (Jaime and a somewhat awkward Rylan) - we learn two I quite liked it, but could have loved it! This story has so much potential, interesting world and ship crewed by a ragtag bunch of misfits, then Wizards! Sadly nothing is developed enough, I wondered if it started life as a Firefly fanfic. There's plenty of fun ideas and some action but from the halfway point it started to drag a little. The crew are varied and fun, but barely step beyond colourful cameos. Some of this is due to the chosen povs (Jaime and a somewhat awkward Rylan) - we learn two are maybe married to each other, but it's never answered. Finding the second book stars the Captain doesn't encourage me to reach for it; in this he's a lush, there's a hint that he's far sharper than he seems but not enough to grab me as a reader. I couldn't get Jaime's timeline pre-discovery set in my head and Rylan is a cardboard character; all muscle and military values. There's no context for him, he doesn't actually do anything in the story except be big gruff guy. When the two get together there's no build of feelings but suddenly it's love. Skipped the sex scenes they seemed drawn out and paint by numbers. The appearance of Xin who I gather is from another story was cringeworthy. The big reveal was interesting but the way it played out didn't wow me. Hard one to rate. Happy to have read it but on finishing a bit disappointed over what this could have been had it been just a little bit more developed. Worth a look, but wont be continuing the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Great world-building, interesting and well-paced plot and flawless writing. For a moment, I was afraid it was steering into drama territory but fortunately it wasn’t so. I also loved the characters, Ryland and Jaime didn’t fit the same old mold, which was a pleasant surprise, and the crew captain made me laugh every time he opened his mouth. Overall, it was a very entertaining book and I look forward to the rest of the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    4.5 stars. I'm really impressed with the world building. I just would have liked a more detailed relationship between the MCs. (Maybe more of a slow-burn) But I really did enjoy the writing and everything else. 4.5 stars. I'm really impressed with the world building. I just would have liked a more detailed relationship between the MCs. (Maybe more of a slow-burn) But I really did enjoy the writing and everything else.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie GooglyEyes

    4.5* This is my first Hanna Dare book and I have to say I REALLY dig her style. This book flowed so well, I didn't feel any moments where the story lagged and there weren't any unnecessary dialogue/scenes. I adored Jamie, I thought he was a great character and he balanced Rylan out really well. Jamie is a sort of "machine wizard". He can use his mind to "talk" to technology. This isn't a great gift to have in the world he's in. They're considered "freaks" and by some groups, Purists, not even hum 4.5* This is my first Hanna Dare book and I have to say I REALLY dig her style. This book flowed so well, I didn't feel any moments where the story lagged and there weren't any unnecessary dialogue/scenes. I adored Jamie, I thought he was a great character and he balanced Rylan out really well. Jamie is a sort of "machine wizard". He can use his mind to "talk" to technology. This isn't a great gift to have in the world he's in. They're considered "freaks" and by some groups, Purists, not even human. If caught, he could be sold to the highest bidder, or even dissected by extremists. Rylan has the crew of The Wayward Prince on an undercover mission. No one knows what's in this cargo, not really even the ones he's undercover for. Of course nothing gets passed Captain Sebastian Garcia, even if he may come off as a bit "flighty" or "wreckless". I've also got to say that he is by far my favorite character in this story. I imagine him as Robert Downy in It on Man. Kind of cocky, but not arrogant, if that makes sense. He's just a fun guy and his crew is 100% loyal to him, for good reason. I just thought this was a great adventure story. Jamie and Rylan find each other, and themselves, with this whacky crew that you just can't not LOVE.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris, the Dalek King

    This was one of those books where I got three chapters in and was convinced I was going to be severely underwhelmed by the story. As I got further into it, though, all the things that I was so sure were going to make this yet another unimaginative scifi book that took absolutely no risks got nicely swerved around and I was left with a story that left me rather satisfied and intrigued. This book centers around a run-away tech “wizard” Jaime Bashir, who is trying to evade recapture from the governm This was one of those books where I got three chapters in and was convinced I was going to be severely underwhelmed by the story. As I got further into it, though, all the things that I was so sure were going to make this yet another unimaginative scifi book that took absolutely no risks got nicely swerved around and I was left with a story that left me rather satisfied and intrigued. This book centers around a run-away tech “wizard” Jaime Bashir, who is trying to evade recapture from the government. The facility where he had grown up and been trained had recently been bombed, and Jaime was the sole survivor. Not trusting the government–mostly because he is not all that convinced that they weren’t the ones to cut their losses in the most expedient way possible–he took the chance to run away. Unfortunately life outside the the facility is not all shooting stars, what with not having any money and trying to evade not only the government who no doubts wants his ass back where they can control it, but a group of human “purests” who are not down with technology on the whole and wizards like Jaime in particular. They seem to think it is their duty to rid the universe of anyone who dared to mix human and technology in one body, and Jaime with his inherited ability to manipulate tech with only a quick thought of his mind is the epitome of everything they hate. His life gets even more complicated when he gets “volunteered” to help a group of smugglers. Smugglers who seem to have a very mysterious package to deliver. I’ll admit that moment I came across the part of the book that mentioned Jaime having to run from the government vessel in pursuit of him, I sighed resignedly to myself. Because to be honest, I have had to read more than my fair share of Scifi and dystopian novels where the author gets so hung up on harping about the “evil government” that they forget to tell a compelling story. It’s why I don’t read dystopian stories anymore. I find it so absolutely unoriginal and boring. So, when I thought that this was going to be just yet another book set in the future that was going to spend its whole time beating the dead horse of “Lowly Man Fighting Off the Evil Government Overlords!!!”, I figured I was just going to have to get this book over with as soon as possible and then try to bury my disappointment in some other story. And yet the further in I got I started to see something well worth reading. It is not without its flaws (I rolled my eyes so fucking hard at the “New Dark Ages”) but by halfway thru the story I was actually invested with the characters and their various subplots. I’m not sure most scifi-smuggler books can get away from the comparison–at least not from anyone in my generation–but this story has a very Firefly feel to it. And yet is doesn’t feel like a carbon copy or a badly hidden fanfiction-rewrite. It simply has a few of the elements from that show that I enjoyed so much (though Firefly did have the Evil Government plot line which, yeah, still is disappointing to me). I like the comradery of the smugglers. I enjoy how easy the world building is built into the bones of the story so that there are not too many times the book feels like it is dragged down by exposition. I found Jaime’s and Rylan’s romance to be mostly believable (I just really don’t care for characters who have known each other less than a month declaring their love for each other–especially when it is clear they hardly know who the other person really is). And I was incredibly intrigued–surprisingly so–by the Singularity and how it will play out over the rest of the series. There were so many times I found myself getting sad because I figured that I knew where the story was going, and yet the book almost never went there. The twists were not surprises because they were so amazingly unexpected, but simply because in 80% of the scifi I read the stories tend to take the road most traveled, and this one didn’t. And I really fucking like that. This might not be the best scifi I’ve ever read, but is a very good one. And if this is where the story for these characters begins, I think this is going to be a series to watch out for by scifi lovers like me. Machine Metal Magic is an incredibly compelling scifi story. It has a rather interesting world that will no doubt be better fleshed out in later books, but easily exists in this story as a grounded and yet slightly mysterious backdrop for the characters to play against. I am really looking forward to getting to know these characters better, and seeing what else the author will allow them to do and see as the story progresses and the stakes get even higher. 4.5 stars This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.

  24. 5 out of 5

    RavenAngels

    I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! 4,5 -Stars Highly recommended to everyone that loves sci-fi! This book has it all! It’s a sci-fi, dystopian, romance with smugglers- not pirates! They insist on that distincition! The ship and crew of the ‚The Wayward Prince‘ reminded me a bit of 'Firefly'. I’d like to say I read it in one go, but life got in the way. It is a gripping story that draws you in. There are a few funny bits but mostly it is a thrilling read that had me I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! 4,5 -Stars Highly recommended to everyone that loves sci-fi! This book has it all! It’s a sci-fi, dystopian, romance with smugglers- not pirates! They insist on that distincition! The ship and crew of the ‚The Wayward Prince‘ reminded me a bit of 'Firefly'. I’d like to say I read it in one go, but life got in the way. It is a gripping story that draws you in. There are a few funny bits but mostly it is a thrilling read that had me peak at the last page, because I wasn’t sure how this could end happy. In a Commonwealth that relied heavily on machines and computers, everyone was caught off guard when the computers became sentient and began the uprising. In said uprising thousands of people lost their life to rebelling computers which merged to 'the singularity' before they vanished/retreated to other planets. Humanity now mostly without computers and most of the people that could repair them dead, plummeted into the 'New Dark Age'. Jaime is a MMI commonly refered to as a wizard, or worst a freak. He can 'talk' and connect with machines. Taken from his homeworld and family and raised and trained by the government since he was ten, Jamie is not a fan of the commonwealth. The only family he has are the other MMI trainies at the facility. On what was supposed to be a training mission a bomb by a radical group kills the last family that Jaime had. He finds himself the lone survivor of the terrorist attack and is on the run from the government. The story starts with Jaime running through the jungle of a moon, where he is discovered by Rylan. Whom has a robotic arm and in a struggle, in which Jamie takes controll of said robotic arm, finds out that Jaime is a wizard. And since Rylan and his crewmates have troube starting their ship they take Jaime, whom is all too happy to get off the moon himself, on for the ride. Rylan was military but after a traumatic event in which he lost his arm he signs on the 'Prince' a ship of smugglers. The cargo they currently hold is supposed to be a big pay out and Rylan brokered the deal but he hasn’t told them everything…

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caipi

    An entertaining sci-fi romance with an interesting world-building. Over a century ago, the Artificial Intelligences rose up, called themselves the Singularity, killed billions of humans and drove the remaining humans from Earth and the surrounding systems. Behind their new borders, the humans only way to escape the AIs had been to destroy any tech possible. Humanity descended into the New Old Age. Jaime Bashir, called a wizard because of his ability to connect to computers with his mind, is on t An entertaining sci-fi romance with an interesting world-building. Over a century ago, the Artificial Intelligences rose up, called themselves the Singularity, killed billions of humans and drove the remaining humans from Earth and the surrounding systems. Behind their new borders, the humans only way to escape the AIs had been to destroy any tech possible. Humanity descended into the New Old Age. Jaime Bashir, called a wizard because of his ability to connect to computers with his mind, is on the run from the Commonwealth after his training facility was destroyed. In the middle of a jungle he gets captured by Rylan Slate, a disgraced ex-soldier of the Commonwealth, who is now part of an awesome, quirky crew of smugglers, not pirates! First a prisoner, soon a guest with limited privileges, Jaime travels with the smugglers. But it turns out that Rylan has his own secrets! I enjoyed the story and loved Jaime, Rylan and the whole crew including "Dub". :) 4.5 stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elsbeth

    Now I really liked this. I do love me some sci-fi once in a while. And especially when it's not that hard to get. Usually the world building is so grafic and complicated, I feel I have to take notes. But this one? The world building was awesome. I could just picture it and I understood it - without notes!!! Yay me... Now I really liked this. I do love me some sci-fi once in a while. And especially when it's not that hard to get. Usually the world building is so grafic and complicated, I feel I have to take notes. But this one? The world building was awesome. I could just picture it and I understood it - without notes!!! Yay me...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Fun for the whole family! Well, maybe not the whole family, but certainly fun for any of the family that enjoys M/M Romance and Sci-Fi. So, in my family I guess it's just me, but still. Interesting premise. Solid worldbuilding. Competent, though not flashy, writing. Well-drawn characters. Double crosses, triple crosses, back-stabby twists and turns. There are enough threads left hanging that there could be more fun to come, and I'll definitely be checking it out when it does. Fun for the whole family! Well, maybe not the whole family, but certainly fun for any of the family that enjoys M/M Romance and Sci-Fi. So, in my family I guess it's just me, but still. Interesting premise. Solid worldbuilding. Competent, though not flashy, writing. Well-drawn characters. Double crosses, triple crosses, back-stabby twists and turns. There are enough threads left hanging that there could be more fun to come, and I'll definitely be checking it out when it does.

  28. 4 out of 5

    LIGHTSONG13

    True rating ... 4.5 beautiful, wonderful stars :-D <33333!! Might even make it a solid 5 stars, but I am definitely rounding up from 4.5 stars :-D!!! Thoughts to come ... however I have to say, HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 stars From reading the blurb on this one, I was quick to pick it up. The premise here is right in my wheelhouse and speaks to my geeky heart. However, I was a little nervous before I began to read. This is my first book by Dare, and that combined with how picky I am about world building, meant I was cautious. But right from the start, I was drawn into the world the author created, fully immersed in interstellar travel and the pirating ways of the crew. The world is lay A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 stars From reading the blurb on this one, I was quick to pick it up. The premise here is right in my wheelhouse and speaks to my geeky heart. However, I was a little nervous before I began to read. This is my first book by Dare, and that combined with how picky I am about world building, meant I was cautious. But right from the start, I was drawn into the world the author created, fully immersed in interstellar travel and the pirating ways of the crew. The world is layered, well built, and fully realized, and with compelling characters that had me hanging on to every word. I really enjoyed the cast of characters. Dare did a great job of fully fleshing out not only the MCs—who captured my heart right at the start—but also the unique members of the crew. Each secondary character had a distinct personality and a specific role to play. Though we only get the story told from alternating POVs of Jaime and Rylan, we are treated to the individual personalities of every member of the crew. It’s really an ensemble piece and it was incredibly well done. I loved both the MCs. Both Jaime and Rylan have a strong sense of themselves, though it’s different from each other. I liked the way they complemented each other and how they fit well together. Their chemistry was off the charts and their progression to love felt believable and natural. These guys drive the story and their individual journeys—as well as their journey together—make the story work. Jaime grew into himself as he was tested and tried, and Rylan really learned exactly who he was. Separately, they are compelling characters, and together it goes to a whole new level. Read Kris’ review in its entirety here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Sorry this got buried, and it took forever for me to get into the story. Artificial Intelligence, space pirates/smugglers, double agents...not a bad story. 3.5 stars rounded up.

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