The Ruins of Karzelek (The Mandrake Company #4)

She's holding my hand, Tick.

The Ruins of Karzelek
Ruby Lionsdrake
The Mandrake Company, book four
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published December 22nd 2014

Kalish has been a successful treasure hunter for years, relying on only herself to deal with deadly predators, impenetrable jungles, and diabolical booby traps. But with her father kidnapped, and a notorious pirate demanding an ancient alien artifact that may or may not exist, Kalish needs help.

She hires a mercenary company because she needs their combat experience and their piloting skills—the intelligence officer with the background in translating alien hieroglyphics could come in useful too. Sedgwick Thomlin is charming and handsome, when he isn’t busy sneezing at something from his long list of allergies. But she’s not sure if she can trust him or the mercenaries, not when the most valuable and coveted relic in the galaxy might turn out to be real.

The Ruins of Karzelek is a 95,000-word novel of space-based adventure and romance that can be read as a stand-alone. It is also part of the Mandrake Company series and brings back characters from the other books, such as Val, Gregor, Tick, and Striker.

I've read books one and two-and loved them!-but when it came to continuing the series, I decided to skip book three-for now-for a number of reasons. In doing so, I realized something about myself that I hadn't before. When faced with the choice between an assassin and a geek, I'd choose the geek. And I so didn't expect that.

Sedgwick Thomlin has allergies. A long list of allergies, including: Dust, moss, mold, pollen, dogs, bees, perfume, gold, chromium, shellfish, sulfides, peanuts, mangos, strawberries, and, of course, cats.

But Thomlin is also a man with one hell of a mind, utterly addicted to (and dependent upon) technology, and can work a keyboard faster than a machine. Seriously, what the hell was with that password?

Unfortunately, for him, he's no Gregor Thatcher. Gregor still takes the crown as my lord god of SciFiRomance geeks and there was nothing Thomlin did nearly as well or enough to take that role away.

When reading this series there are a number of things one can expect. Highly intelligent, educated characters for one. And, until now, a completely believable love affair with a natural and logical progression. This one had that, up until Val bought out Thomlin's contract and the two practically ran off together. Yes, it's romantic. But just not a tidbit I've come to expect from this author in regards to this particular series.

3 out of 5 stars.

Two questions to end this post.. 1) We now know Willow and Ankari get a sequel, do Gregor and Val get one, too? And 2) What's number seven?!

Previously in the series:

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