Ice miner Riley works alone in the depths of space, and that’s the way she likes it. She’s proud of her independence, and when her ship gets destroyed by raiders on the icy surface of Galileo, she’s not sure she wants to rely on rakish trader Leo and the kindness of a band of settlers to survive.
Despite her attempts to keep her distance, it’s not long before Riley warms to the family atmosphere of the settlers’ station. As Galileo’s Holiday approaches and she develops feelings for the handsome, charming Leo, she questions whether she really wants to remain alone.
But Leo is hiding cargo the raiders want, and when they come back for it, everyone on the small station is in danger. Riley will risk anything to protect her new friends—because if the raiders succeed, the choice between Leo and a life alone won’t be Riley’s to make.
- File Size: 221 KB
- Price: $2.99
- Print Length: 76 pages
- Publisher: Carina Press (December 3, 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009FWZ1C6
- Buy Galileo’s Holiday at Amazon
World-building: One of the great things about this novella is that it takes place mainly in two locales: the settlers’ station and the surface of the ice planet. That makes the physical world-building of what we see very tight and understandable, which I loved. The general world-building of how things work was equally simple in that the story deals specifically with traders, raiders, tuggers, and settlers. Because it isn’t overwhelmed by a ‘verse huge political backstory, the world-building has a lot of focus, so it’s easy for the reader to feel part of the world rather than struggling to understand it.
Characters: Riley… I love that chick. She’s teeny-tiny and tough as nails. As she rails against the destruction of her ship, she still manages to find the fortitude to save the one piece of her ship that survived: the booster. She’s a loner and has no problem with the idea of spending the rest of her life alone in the black–as soon as she figures out how to do that without a ship. Leo is a little harder for me to speak of in specifics. I mean, he’s yummy and brave and strong and all the good stuff, but as the story is told from only Riley’s point-of-view, we only see him through her eyes. (More on this in a minute.) There were a few secondary characters, but not so many that they became lost in the story, and each was developed a tiny bit so they stood out on their own.
Romance: This is where the single point-of-view hurt the book the most, in my opinion. I very much understood how Riley could fall for Leo and the way of life on the station in her short time there because as a reader, I saw and felt it all through her. She’s been alone since her mother died–loneliness is all she’s ever known, so when she’s presented with this gift of seeing love and relationships and a man who’s really into her…duh. I get it. What I didn’t understand so much was Leo. Because the reader spends no time in his head, it very much comes across as he likes Riley because she’s tiny and beautiful and different and makes sex noises when she eats. It makes his half of the relationship seem really superficial. But… it might not be. Because we don’t see in his head at all, it’s hard to say one way or another for certain.
Plot: The plot devices that drive the story are nice and simple, befitting a novella. Raiders destroyed Riley’s tugger, leaving her trapped on Galileo. Leo’s trapped there too because raiders were after medical supplies his ship was hauling. He stayed on Galileo with the supplies while his ship led the raiders on a wild goose chase. I liked how simple and contained the plot was. Again, for a novella, it meant there weren’t a lot of tangential things to worry about and the focus could be on the characters and their growing feelings.
I really enjoyed Galileo’s Holiday a lot. If there hadn’t been that disconnect from Leo’s character and his feelings for Riley, I would have loved it more. However, if nothing else (and there was a lot else good in this story), picturing the expressions on his face as she was eating made this one well worth the ride.
***FULL DISCLOSURE: Seleste also writes for Carina Press.***