Queen & Commander (The Hive Queen Saga) - Janine A. Southard

I received a copy of this book to review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl

Queen & Commander is a novel that has everything I love about science fiction - action, drama, great characters, and romance. Each character is fully his or her own person with individual characteristics, both positive and negative just like people possess in real life. And just like in real life, sometimes their personalities didn't mesh well, lending great drama and conflict to the story. 

I was so nervous for this group setting out on this adventure! They're so young and such a loosely formed Hive with secrets to keep and much could go wrong. Here's a breakdown of how I felt about the characters: 

Rhiannon - She was my favorite character, and her best friend, Gwyn, was a close second. I admired the sacrifice she made for her friend and couldn't imagine anyone else as Queen. She was young when her mother died and ended up clinging tightly to Gwyn. It made perfect sense to me why she sacrificed her own plans to help Gwyn. She yearned for what she had lost when her mother died. She made a wonderful Queen. I adore her. 

Gwyn & Victor - Ah, I love stories with forbidden lovers! Don't you? These two make a fabulous pair, and I rooted for them all the way. They have a lot to face - the stress of keeping their relationship a secret, doubts they have of staying in love, and normal couple issues that crop up. 

Gavin - My third favorite character, Gavin is deliciously eccentric and provides comic relief during those times when the situation gets too intense. He couldn't be more different than the other characters - he's had different life experiences. 

Luciano - I felt bad for him because he was so in love with Rhiannon, but those feelings weren't reciprocated. I feared a bit for his sanity when he found out the true situation after meeting everyone on the ship. It had to have been a shock to find out he wasn't going to live the way he previously thought. 

Alan - I found him annoying yet admired his intelligence and sharp wit. He's confident to the point of arrogance, and I enjoyed the banter between him and Rhiannon. 

The dynamics of the group were fabulously written. This Hive is brand-new and young, and since two members were brought on without a clue as to the plan that had been hatched, things realistically became complicated. Their personalities clashed at times, especially, in my opinion, Alan's because he's just such a know-it-all. 

I'm excited to find out what happens next because these were characters that I didn't want to leave behind when I reached the last page.