Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Breaking Out: Part I and Part II by Michelle Diener

Science Fiction/Science Fiction Romance

From Netgalley:*

Breaking Out: Part II is the sequel to Breaking Out (now called Breaking Out: Part I) which was a short story included in two anthologies. Breaking Out: Part I is included in this special NetGalley reviewers edition, but will be sold separately on the retail sites.

About Breaking Out: Part I
Kelli Barrack has spent the last three years imprisoned in Dr. Greenway's facility plotting her escape, but when her chance comes one Halloween evening, it's in a way she never expected.

Nate Halliway is being removed from the facility, but he refuses to go without his special forces team-mate, Giles. When his resistance lands him in Kelli's cell, they both get a chance for freedom, a chance they take with both hands.

But as Giles, Nate and Kelli fight their way out, Kelli discovers that the most insidious danger to her freedom might lie within her, rather than in the small army out to stop them.

(Breaking Out: Part I is a 11,000 word short story.)

About Breaking Out: Part II
Kelli, Nate and Giles know what it is to be imprisoned. They spent years locked away in a secret research lab. But now they're free, and they stole something important just before they escaped – a list of others like themselves, sent to other facilities for further experimentation.

Their plan? To break out every single one.

Nina Calvados has been in a new facility for four months. She's kept a low profile, been careful to be cooperative and helpful. And so far, she's been mostly left alone. So when two other inmates appeal to her for help, her heart may want to oblige but her head is screaming walk away.

Only, something bad is going down, and Nina realizes she's been fooling herself. No one's bought her low profile act. And if she's going to crash, she might as well crash hard. After all, it's not as if anyone's coming for her, is it?

*I usually go to Goodreads for the blurb but thought Netgalley did a much better job of explaining the story.

I loved both Breaking Out Part I and Part II.  Part One is a short story and Part II is a novella.  They are published separately but review much better together.  Every main character in both stories has a special talent.  That is why they are locked up and being experimented on.  Part I is more adventure with a hint of romance.  Part II has a lot of adventure but the romance moves beyond the hint.

The beginning of part one was perfect.  Kelli Barrack is just sitting in her cell when Nate Halliway comes crashing in through the door that has just been opened by her jailers.  Her special abilities are revealed as she helps Nate subdue the guards.  What follows is a great story filled with danger and tension as Kelli, Nate and his friend Giles escape.  I could immediately see why people kept asking for additional stories featuring these three great characters.  While these three are free others are not and as the story ends Kelli is determined to rescue as many of the others as possible.

Part II starts months later as Kelli, Nate and Giles plan their first rescue.  Of course it does not go as planned.  It seems more that Kelli and group have plans for Nina Calvados.  Nina’s reaction to those plans gives her the opportunity to try her escape on her own.  That stirs everything up and makes it much more dangerous than expected.

I liked how I got to know Nina before the escape started.  Like Kelli, Nate and Giles she has a special talent.  She seems a little passive at first but she is really just waiting for her opportunity to escape.  It comes when she is pushed to defend another prisoner.  Then her talent comes out full force allowing her the opportunity to try to escape. She just needs some help and it turns out there are three people there ready to help see that she gets away.  Not without a lot of trouble though.  Their plan to break Nina out does not survive the first contact with reality.

I love the characters and would love to see them have additional adventures.  There is certainly room for more world building and back story.  Hopefully I have not seen the last of Kelli, Nate, Giles, and Nina.

Eclipse published Breaking Out by Michelle Diener in 2015.

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