Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews is a romantic science fiction story set in the same world as Silent Blade. I gobble up everything written by Ilona and Gordon, the power couple behind the pseudonym Ilona Andrews. I’m so glad they decided to revisit this world because I thoroughly enjoyed reading Silent Blade and I even reread it a few weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to read Silver Shark ever since Ilona first posted snippets on their blog. So when she offered review copies on Twitter, I jumped at the chance to read this. In this futuristic setting, kinsmen with enhanced biological abilities are the most influential people and they’re grouped by family similar to the mafia. I loved the Hispanic/Italian heritage evident in this world. Kinsmen who can read minds and are mentally capable of attacking other people are called psychers. Claire Shannon is a psycher living in a planet colony torn by war that has been going on since before she was born. She’s been trained to fight for something that she doesn’t believe in and that has made her weary. When the war ends, she’s forced to pretend to have no special skills to live as a civilian on a new planet. She ends up as an admin assistant for Venturo Escana, a powerful psycher and the head of a company that provides cybersecurity.
I’m constantly surprised at how much worldbuilding can be packed in such a short story. I think it was a great idea to write the story from Claire’s point of view because we get to see Silent Blade’s setting through the eyes of a foreigner and I feel like that added depth to my perception of the world. It was easy to fall into the lush and vibrant setting in this novella because there weren’t that many technical ideas to complicate the story. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not such a big fan of sci-fi, I usually don’t want to get bogged down with stuff that I don’t understand. No need to worry about that in this one! Plus, I always enjoy romance in my fiction and Silver Shark is based on the Billionaire and His Secretary trope. Kinsmen are ruthless people but because this is a romantic story, we get to see Claire and Ven’s softer side and that’s something that I was able to appreciate. Sparks fly the moment the two of them meet but there was enough time for the romance to fully develop. There’s mutual admiration between the two main characters based on their working relationship. I also liked that the authors continue to build into the world that they created because psychers weren’t even mentioned in Silent Blade and look how fascinating their abilities are.
Silver Shark occurs a few years after Silent Blade and both Meli and Celino appear in this story (loved that scene, by the way) but both novellas can stand well on their own. I was really excited to read this and it lived up to my expectations. I would gladly read anything else set in this world. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ilona and Gordon would continue the series because these novellas are satisfying reads and they tide me over until their next book is released. More please? Highly recommended for Ilona Andrews fans or anyone looking for a romantic read, I promise the sci-fi elements are easy to understand even for non-sci fi readers. I keep meaning to read more books like this ever since I discovered Silent Blade so if you have recommendations, feel free to list them in the comments section.