Amber Quill Press, $4.00, ISBN 1-59279-390-8
Sci-fi Romance, 2005
The best I can say about this book is that you can do a lot worse if you are looking for that Dara Joy fix since who knows when Ms Joy will ever come out with something that is edited and doesn’t require ten years of printing problems before the patient reader will receive it. Chella’s Quest is short, frivolous, and offers a quick shot of space-age sex.
Our heroine Dr Chella Ter-Baron, when she is not researching futuristic romance authors’ inability to come up with names for their characters that don’t sound like something out of Fraggle’s Rock, realizes that someone has stolen a very important drug that will stop us from ever feeling pain. (“Oh dear, I didn’t even realize that I’ve accidentally cut off my pinkie until I’m this close to bleeding to death – but at least I didn’t feel any pain in the process!”). She has to retrieve this formula for the sake of mankind – or rather, universe-kind – and if she has to pretend to be some space-age sex worker and pod around (don’t ask) to get it back, she will.
Kain Suvan stole the formula but now it’s been stolen from him. He decides to ask Chella to help him track down the formula, but he will only do that after sleeping with her, naturally. Maybe I could use some of that formula myself – I have a feeling that it will be a big help when it comes to reading romance novels and I can update this site more frequently as a result.
I have a hard time buying that the couple are in love by the end of the story but I don’t think that is the main reason this story exists. I have a feeling that this story exists to deliver fun in the quickest way and the most painless manner possible, designed to make readers who are familiar with the formula Dara Joy started not to feel too afraid that they make find anything terrifyingly new or unexpected, and when they are done with this story, move on to the next one without having too much lingering memories about this book to bog down their next read. “Quickie reads”, if you will, with every possible sense the word “quickie” conveys. Perhaps, in a roundabout way, Dr Chella Ter-Baron discovers the most effective way to dull pain after all – with plenty of liberal doses of familiarity designed to numb the senses and set them on autopilot.