Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Gynocracy (The Phoenix Chronicles Book 4) - K.J. Blaine

Title: Gynocracy (The Phoenix Chronicles Book 4)
Author: K.J. Blaine
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 2012
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK

When I first agreed to read “Gynocracy” by K.J. Blaine I didn’t realise that this was actually the 4th novel in series known as “The Phoenix Chronicles”. However, despite a few issues related to this that I will get onto later, I still found the book to be perfectly readable as a standalone novel. So don’t worry to much if you haven’t read the other books as it isn’t required to enjoy this story.

In the story, a young man called Steve is kidnapped and taken to the Juno Colony on the moon where he is forced to sign himself into slavery. Juno Colony is quite unique in that men on the colony have no rights at all and are the property of whatever woman owns them. Of course some men are there by choice, especially those who appreciate the BDSM lifestyle, but others like Steve do not share that viewpoint. When his friends and colleagues aboard the spaceship Phoenix discover his predicament then soon put a plan into place to get to Juno undercover and find a way to get Steve back, all the while trying to avoid a diplomatic incident.

I was a little bit worried when I first started reading the book as the plot line sounded like it belonged in the mind of some teenage boy and the cover didn’t do much to dissuade me from that opinion either. However, despite my reservations I actually found the story to be an enjoyable light and easy going science fiction adventure. I was also happy to see that whilst the story did delve into BDSM it is not portrayed in a disturbing manner and there were no descriptions of sex at all. So don’t pick up this book expecting it to be the new “Fifty Shades of Grey” because this is definitely not an erotic novel.

Overall, the story flowed well although it did find it could stutter at times due to various references to events that I assume occurred in other books. I will admit that this does help to ensure a new reader has a vague understanding of why the characters may act in the way they do, but it does break the flow and I suspect someone who has read the previous would rather have seen this left out.

As I said earlier, there are a few issues with the novel in regards to it being the 4th in a series. These are mainly centred on the large quantity of characters present in the story. They are all introduced very quickly and I did find it quite hard to keep everyone straight in my mind. In addition Blaine also refers to them in different ways as the story progresses, at first it might be their first name, then their surname and sometimes also their stage name on the colony. This just added to my overall confusion as I tried to follow and understand who was doing what.

Despite this I still found the characters to be incredibly likeable with their honesty, loyalty and determination really shining through. It did feel like a tight knit family who would do whatever was necessary to save one of their own. I don’t think there was one character I disliked out of the “heroes” and I can’t remember the last time I ever said that about a book.

In summary this is a light and fun Science Fiction adventure that doesn’t try and come across as hard or serious. The range of characters can be a bit confusing for a reader that is new to the series but this is easily overlooked because they are all so likeable. Personally, I will probably now read the other books in the series just to see what other adventures that the crew of the phoenix get up to.