Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell – Book review

I enjoyed this science fiction featuring two very different people packed with action, intrigue and romance. Here is my review of Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell

Rich socialite, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe.
Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, and the son of a notorious traitor. Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “architects,” he can impose his will onto others, and he’s under orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.
Surit accepted a  promotion-track request out of desperation, but he refuses to go through with his illegal orders to sync and control an unconsenting Tennal. So they lie: They fake a sync bond and plan Tennal’s escape.
Their best chance arrives with a salvage-retrieval mission into chaotic space. And among the rubble is a treasure both terrible and unimaginably powerful.
Tennal and Surit can no longer abandon their unit or their world. The only way to avoid life under full military control is to complete the very sync they’ve been faking.
Can two unwilling weapons of war bring about peace?


I loved Winter’s Orbit ( review here ) by Everina Maxwell, so I was so pleased to have my request to review Ocean’s Echo approved on Net Galley.I have to say I enjoyed Ocean’s Echo more than Winter’s Orbit-this had more science-fiction and action with just the right amount of romance for me.

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Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell- Book review

I really enjoyed Winter’s Orbit by Evernia Maxwell ,  science fiction, space opera with intrigue, mystery, romance and the impact domestic abuse can have.

Genre: science fiction/romance

Source: My own book

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.


I don’t generally read romance but occasionally I do like to read a genre book with a strong, romantic thread. I saw this book on another blogger’s Top Ten Tuesday and it fit the bill.

The romance isn’t too heavy and the main plotline is the mystery around Taam’s death the need to sign a treaty, so that Iskat isn’t thrown out of the resolution and what is going on with the Kingfisher project. I had to keep reading to find out more.

The world-building is good but familiar with good representation which is deftly woven into the story. Jainan and Kiem are the third points of view characters and it was easy to tell them apart without reading whose chapter it was. 

I liked Kiem voice, fun but thoughtful, a good counterpoint to the more serious and wounded Jainan. The romance between them is slow but realistic ( although the insta attraction is still there) and any steamy scenes are off-page.

The main difference between Winter’s orbit and the usual science-fiction or romance book is the description of the aftermath of domestic abuse. There are very few overt scenes in the book describing this but we know fairly soon that Jainan has been in an abusive relationship by his behaviour and his need not to upset anyone.

This seems to be a recurring theme with me at the moment but I seem to love the secondary characters more and I would have loved to spend more time with Kiem’s very efficient assistant Bel and the scatty but brilliant Professor Audel

Content warning

d Past descriptions of domestic abuse, cohesive control

Perfect for fans of 

Ancillary Justice ( but would have liked a little more romance) or anyone who likes science fiction romance.


Five stars-I enjoyed the mystery and the romance was just right- I will be keeping an eye out for more books by Everina Maxwell.