Published: 24th July 2015
Publisher: Self-published (ebook)/ Penguin Random House
Source: Ebook (KU)
RRP: $5.81 AUD Ebook / $24.99 AUD paperback
Twelve humans are left stranded on a wintry alien planet. I’m one of them. Yay, me.
In order to survive, we have to take on a symbiont that wants to rewire our bodies to live in this brutal place. I like to call it a cootie. And my cootie’s a jerk, because it also thinks I’m the mate to the biggest, surliest alien of the group.
BARBARIAN ALIEN is a sequel to ICE PLANET BARBARIANS. You do not have to read both in order to understand the plot, but the story will be richer if you do!
‘I’m Liz Cramer. I’m twenty-two, just like you guys. I was a data entry clerk in a small machine stamping office. I grew up in Oklahoma and I like hunting and shooting things with a bow. And three weeks ago, I was kidnapped by aliens.’
Almost immediately after finishing book one in the Ice Planet Barbarians series, I downloaded book two and started it the same day. There is just something about Ruby Dixon’s writing, characters and world-building that I couldn’t help but dive back in almost straight away.
I’m pretty sure I’m crazy at this point, too. Heck, I’m trying to do a meet and greet on a crashed spaceship.
As with book one, Barbarian Alien is set on the planet Not-Hoth, where our protagonist Liz has crash-landed after being kidnapped by “little green men aliens”. After enduring a week of hardship in the freezing cold with barely any rations on a planet that is slowly killing them, Liz and her fellow humans are rescued by our Big Blue Aliens, the Sa-Khui. While the rest of Liz’s human captives are relieved to be saved, Liz is frustrated beyond belief at the primal behaviour of the Sa-Khui and their blind faith and obedience to something called the ‘Khui’ and the ‘resonance’, especially when a hulking broody blue alien hunter named Kaahosh starts throwing his weight around and claims his resonance beats for her. Before Liz knows what is happening, she has been kidnapped (again!) and whisked away to Kaahosh’s private cave and so the games begin.
“Before you arrived here in this world, I had nothing to live for. I hunted. I existed. I did not look forward to anything. But now you are here, and you might be carrying my child even now.” His jaw flexes. “I know you are more than capable. The problem is not with you. It is with me. This world is dangerous, and I think of you, alone, out in the wild, and it is more than I can bear.”
Holy crap Ruby Dixon … you have done it again. While this book is still heavily within the three-star territory for me, there were so many unexpected things that Dixon threw my way that I gobbled up like a starving romance reader. For starters, this book is not only enemies-to-lovers, but it’s a slow burn romance at that, featuring forced proximity, the caretaking when sick trope, with two really really strong and stubborn characters who will move heaven and earth for each other. Honestly, I loved the book for its escapism, its entertainment and its laugh out loud characters. Seriously, I LOVE Liz.
Unfortunately, I can’t give it five stars because the book (and series as a whole) is so far fetched, and a little bit too convenient at times, that I don’t have an emotional connection to any of the characters. I’m not learning anything from the books that is challenging and changing my perspectives, but you know what, that’s fine. Three stars is still a great book; and sometimes I read to be entertained, not moved or taught anything … and Ruby Dixon and her blue alien barbarians are most certainly entertaining.
I also really loved that there was so much more to Barbarian Alien than Ice Planet Barbarian. The book was roughly 100 pages longer and there was more plot weaved throughout the narrative rather than letting our heroines simply get as much smutty action as possible. Don’t worry though, there is still a lot of smut and spicy scenes scattered throughout the pages. Because of this, I felt there was a lot more character development between Liz and Kaahosh compared to Georgie and Vektal, as well as a lot more chemistry and relationship development.
Although technically book two in the series, Barbarian Alien can be read as a standalone without too much of the story being compromised. It appears that each book in this series will be following a different couple.