Thursday, January 27, 2022

Manview: Overlord (Galactic Kings #1) by Anna Hackett

Welcome to another Manview. For those of you who are new to Manviews,these are reviews of romance novels specifically from a man's perspective, the reader today is my very own Steve. You can find previous Manviews here.

Overlord by Anna Hackett

My rating: star star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame  

Overlord by Anna Hackett blurb

ManviewIn one or two sentences can you sum up your overall impression of this book and how you feel about it?
I loved the world-building and basic themes of good versus evil, brotherly love, and the relationships in the book. This book was believable and credible sci-fi.

What did you think of Mal and Rhain?
Both are characters I love to read about as they are strong-willed, well-principled, and confident in themselves. They were initially not trusting and skeptical of each other. Yet, they were vulnerable and fell for each other as the other proved themselves to one another. They developed the ultimate ying-yang relationship.

Since this is your first sci-fi romance, what did you think of it? How did it differ from the contemporary romance and romantic suspense you usually read?
Since it was so different from what I normally read (such as Hackett’s Norcross series, which is more my style), I was surprised, even shocked to find out how much I enjoyed it. The plausibility of the science (or at least belief in the science fiction) was credible and the world building clever.

What did you think of the alien world setting?
I really enjoyed it and how it sets up the entire GALACTIC KINGS series. Each planet in their system was unique. Rhain’s planet, Zhalto, had energy forces that could be harnessed by some of its inhabitants to varying degrees. The effect of being on Zhalton for the human heroine, Mal, and how it affected her and how her powers grew was well done, as was how the enemy beasts, the hexid, were created and got their power. The battles with the beasts and how to defend and then kill them was like real life and death battles that I could get my head around. I loved that there were classic good and safe regions of Zhalto and also evil and dangerous regions.

Did you think there was much conflict or tension with Rhain being an alien overlord and Mal being a human? Cultural differences or problems understanding each other?
This book had major conflict that needed to be resolved, starting with the tension between father and son, then between the Overload, Rhain, and his doctor and bodyguard, and of finally with Rhain, being the alien Overload, and Mal, being human. I felt it was more trust and confusion causing their initial problems in understanding each other and creating the conflict but once they understood how the other was affecting them and how being on Zhalto was effecting Mal, their differences became strengths and their relationship made each better than they were as individuals.

With Rhain being the Overlord, how do you think Mal matched up to him?
Anna Hackett writes strong, sell-assured heroines, and Mal is among the best. Mal never faltered in her decision-making and pursuit of her goals by deferring to Rhain or anyone else! She was his equal and, in some cases, his superior. And give her a Zhalton sword and some energy to draw from and you have a female superhero you have to admire! I loved that she saved Rhain’s life as often as he saved hers.

What are some of the universal romance tropes or fantasies you noticed in this story?
While Mal did not consider herself beautiful or anything special, Rhain clearly did, and she felt the same about Rhain in reverse. I loved the sex scenes, and the amount of sex. I gave the book 4-flames, which is what I think is the perfect amount of sex in a book. A lot of hot, bilateral sexual enjoyment and pleasure giving and taking! I have read a few books that I gave 5-flames, and frankly, it was too much sex that got in the way of a good romantic suspense story. I need the suspense and the tension as well. The care and concern they had for each other exploring their lovemaking combined with their lack of control and thirst to devour each other sexually was perfectly balanced.

Do you have a favorite scene or moment in the book?
Yes. Having Rhain come to understand what a human clitoris was and what it provided Mal really amused me! I kept picturing nubbing the clitoris like a controller button on an X-box or Playstation controller to ramp Mal up and down and drive her crazy!

What did you enjoy about this story?
It was believable sci-fi and great suspense. It surprised me as to how much I enjoyed reading it. I gave up on sci-fi a long time ago as too many authors used the sci-fi aspects to easily resolve plot problems or as a substitute for good plot. But the worlds, the Zhalton people’s characteristics in harnessing energy, and all the world building was brilliant. And the human / alien interaction as an evolving relationship to provide a happy ending was surprisingly plausible.

What's your next read?

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About the author

Anna Hackett

Anna Hackett: 
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About the reviewer

Steve Shipley

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  1. Yes, that was a great book. I love all her books but the scifi ones are my faves. And as for Brodin in the next

    1. Lordy, I LOVE Brodin. I posted in Anna's group that I love Brodin more than Vander and some people said "them's fighting words". LOL.