Queen and Commander was part of a first-in-series set from storybundle.com. It filled the bill for a Q in my Alphabet Soup reading challenge, as well as adding to my Mount TBR. But I nearly dropped it when I had a crisis over reading content in June. I’m glad I restored it to its rightful place!
Queen and Commander (Hive Queen #1)
by Janine A. Southard
On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably obtained spaceship will take them.
Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s smarter than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career possible: Hive Queen.
Gwyn & Victor are madly in love, but their Test results will tear them apart. Good thing Rhiannon is Gwyn’s best friend. Rhiannon can fix this. Queens can do anything.
Gavin is the wild card. Raised off-planet, he can’t wait to leave again… and he’s heard of an empty ship in orbit. The Ceridwen’s Cauldron.
Both Luciano and Alan fit in the system. They don’t need to leave. Only their devotion to Rhiannon spurs them to join the Cauldron’s crew.
Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here. [goodreads]
This nearly got thrown out of my reading pile because it looked very YA, coming-of-age and teen angst. And it was, but it was done very well!
There is a story, and having thrown these people together and put them in a manky spaceship, but hey, it’s their manky spaceship, they get conned into something vaguely mysterious so that they have to find out what is going on.
The story is told from clearly defined multiple points of view, so that even though I was slightly put off by the adoring wimp that a Devoted has to be, when the story got into their heads, their POVs, they were really, really well written, with great backstory and sound personalities. Victor is the weakest link, but he comes through in the end…
Except it’s just the first part of a longer series. It’s like episode one. It definitely isn’t a complete story. So the downside is you finish a chapter and instead of what’s happening next, you get the credits. It’s not even really cliff-hanging. In fact, I know flash fiction with more satisfying endings.
Am I reading more of this series? If I was a gullible teen, I might. But I’m not. There are lots more fish in the sea.