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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

Medic to the Hivemind by Kayla Bashe

Medic to the Hivemind - Kayla Bashe

Tash Blumenthal, a medical student, is the only survivor when the research ship she's on crash lands on a planet swarming with the Sprawl, an alien hivemind that can forcibly take over other beings' bodies. She'd have died, maybe even been taken over herself, if it hadn't been for Soleil's help. Although Soleil was just a voice coming from Tash's comm pendant, her advice, encouragement, and general presence kept Tash alive long enough for a ship to arrive and rescue her.

Tash is both nervous and excited at the chance to finally meet her savior. She's attracted to Soleil and hopes the feelings are mutual – but can Tash's budding feelings for Soleil survive learning the woman's biggest secret?

I picked this up because I heard it was sweet f/f sci-fi romance. The short length concerned me, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

While the romance was sweet, the execution didn't work for me. The short length really did hurt this story. Most of it took place after Tash's rescue, with brief flashbacks to Tash's time on the planet. I loved the flashbacks and wished they'd been longer. However, the parts set after Tash's rescue moved a bit too quickly. Bashe didn't manage to convince me that Tash was truly in love with Soleil, and not just crushing on the woman who helped her during the worst and most dangerous time of her life.

Also, Soleil's secret was revealed to Tash and the rest of the ship's crew too soon and too suddenly (readers were told fairly early on, which was probably a good thing, since it was pretty obvious). Tash went from “OMG, am I being too annoying and nerdy, and does she like me the way I like her?” to “I hate her and hope she dies” in an instant. The emotional whiplash was rough. Her subsequent confusion and uncertainty made sense, but everything seemed to move just a bit too quickly. I needed more time to get to know these characters.

A question I was left with, that Tash should have thought to ask but didn't: if Soleil eventually

gathered more minds for her hivemind, would her and Tash's bond mean that Tash was bonded to the whole hivemind, or would Tash still just be bonded to Soleil's individual mind? The first option seemed like something Tash might have trouble with, while the second option seemed like it could cause problems with the hivemind.

(show spoiler)

In general, I felt that Tash didn't ask enough questions, period.

I wish this had been longer and more fleshed out. It also had some awkwardly phrased sentences that could have used more work. One example: “I outrank you – do you know how much I am your superior in terms of age and experience?” (24) Oh, and the publisher really needs to be more consistent. The publisher site and cover state that the title is Medic to the Hive Mind. Smashwords and the book itself say that the title is Medic to the Hivemind.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)