Silver Shark (a novella) by Ilona Andrews – Advance Review

Novella Jacket:

Claire Shannon is a killer. She uses no weapons, only her mind.

Born on a planet locked in a long war, Claire is a psycher, a woman with the ability to attack minds and infiltrate a biological computer network where psychers battle to the death. But when the war abruptly ends, Claire must hide her psycher’s ability to survive. She is deported to a new planet, a vivid beautiful place, where she meets Venturo Escana, a powerful psycher, whose presence overwhelms both her mind and her body.

She thought she had left war and death behind, but now she must fight for her new life and this battle might just cost her everything…

You can buy this e-book here.


Not since Anne McCaffrey has sci fi been this fun to read.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but it has become ridiculously hard these days to find science fiction that isn’t DENSE and WEIGHTY. I like fathomless space drama as much as the next sci fi nerd, but as a girl who grew up on Anne McCaffrey, I love nothing more than a science fiction story that is smart AND fun, a story with solid science and tech that gives equal weight to characters – a story that doesn’t feel like work to read but is still eminently satisfying. Silver Shark is exactly my kind of story.

So yes, as an unabashed fan of Ilona Andrews’ urban fantasy series(es), I am biased – but it also means I expect a high standard from this husband and wife duo, and this story, novella though it may be, was definitely up to snuff. The world building was fantastic – I loved the stark contrasts between the two worlds of this story, and the perfectly seeded details that highlighted Claire’s sense of dislocation. No mean feat for a story that weighs in at 96 pages!

Claire is the perfect blend of strong and vulnerable – a highly trained killer who has to grit her teeth and endure barbs about her capabilities – oh, I loved it. So often this type of character seems to come in the cold-and-mechanical variety, but Claire feels and reacts in a wonderfully real way. She has plenty going on in her head, even without bringing her fearsome abilities into play, and I love how her sense of honor draws her into danger. And really I can’t help but adore a female lead who can be bowled over by her feelings for a guy while at the same time mentally slapping some sense back into herself.

As for Claire’s romantic foil, well, what’s not to like? Sure he’s rich and powerful, but I love that Claire fell for him because of his consideration, and the ways in which he treats her with respect. Personality based attraction always makes me happy – and yes, sparks are most definitely flying between these two. So maybe it was more than just a tad coincidental that Claire landed a job with such a hunky new boss, but hey, it’s a novella.

As for the telepathic side of this story, it reminded me of Anne McCaffrey’s Talent series in all the best ways, while being entirely its own creation. Telepathic hacking is just fun, and the visualizations of code and data strayed into the fantasy realm in enjoyable ways.

Okay, yes, I’m gushing – but can you blame me? This is such a fun story, and it’s of a kind that I just can’t find anymore. I mean, seriously – in the last five years, can you name more than one author who has penned this kind of sci fi? Because I’ve got exactly one – Sara Creasy. Ilona Andrews to the rescue! 

Silver Shark is EXACTLY the kind of story I have been missing. Can I please have some more?

Byrt Grade: A

As Levar Burton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

Chachic’s Book Nook says:

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.

Literary Escapism says:

…all I can really say is that I want more. The enivronement sounds fascinating, the characters have a lot of hidden depth and we have totally not seen everything there is in this new world.

The Bookacholic Cat says:

Silver Shark is a great and fun read, a book I recommend to anyone who would want a quick, fun, sexy and well-written story.