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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

©2019 Valerie Valdes (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Chilling Effect

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

Yes, there are some basic Spanish words and phrases included in the book which add to the depth of the characters. Anyone who can even just recognize that it's Spanish and not "some foreign language " should be perfectly able to understand given the context of the story.

19 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Unfunny mashup of other people's ideas

I'm not sure where the line between "inspired by"/"is a reference to" and "just plain copied off of" is but I'd be willing to bet this book pole vaulted over it. It's a mismatch of other sci-fi franchises. Mass Effect mostly but I've also noticed Futurama, Portal, and a bunch of others. I'm not sure where the "hilarious" descriptor in the description comes from and the pop culture references weren't really references. They were just plot points and characters lifted from other works.

I can tell that Becky Chambers is a big influence on the author but shit is too bad for it to be a Chambers work. The story begins with the Protagonist's sister getting kidnapped by a galactic-wide crime ring then she almost gets kidnapped and forced into some despots harem and then things get WORSE. I just want her to have a nap.

This book's other big failing is that it introduces some really interesting characters and then does nothing with them. There's a girl who has basically uploaded her consciousness into a ship and you're not going to explore that?

Edit: I would like to specifically call out the other reviewer who left this one star just because they're racist. The book is in English, the protagonist is Latinx and occasionally peppers her language with Spanish phrases. I don't speak Spanish but I can easily tell from context clues you can easily tell that these are mostly curses. That other commenter should be ashamed of himself.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Solid listen

Overall this book is pretty good. You can find a bunch of parallels to other Sci-Fi influences in the story so it's pretty easy to relate to the world and the characters. My biggest issue is you could tell some story beats are coming and how they would play out and the end seemed to drag for me a bit. Not a game changer but its there. As for the other reviewer that was pointing out "Some foreign language", Clearly this character is speaking Spanish. I've never spoken it in my life but I was able to gather what was going on and what the gist was. I chock that up to the Awesome Narration.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A rollicking space adventure

Captain Eva Innocente and her crew of misfits bounce from mishap to adventure in just the way the crews of Serenity or Moya did, but with an added twist of wry humor.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start that picks up

I originally started this book because I was excited to see a latinx presence in sci-fi. I was not disapointed with the representation in the book, and there is not so much spanish used that you can't figure out by tone and context what is being said. The story does meander a bit at the start, but it does eventually take off and is very engaging once it does. I wanted to know what happened to the captain, her family, the crew, the cats, etc. It's worth the read if you're okay with a slower start to the real story.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not at all humorous, difficult book to finish.

First, Kudos to the author for creating something and getting it published.
Second, when I discovered this book it was under science fiction humor. This book was definitely not a comedy, it was closer to a depressing drama with an occasional joke.
I felt the character development was terrible. So much time was spent on focusing about who's lying to who, that I thought it was listening to a PSA on the dangers of lying.
Character motivations were not fluid and there was no growth throughout the book.
I think a good science fiction book is something that makes you feel like the described future technology technology makes sense.In this book I felt it was more like hey let's throw a super gadget at this okay now let's throw a super gadget at that.
- obviously the author enjoyed playing the Portal.

The voice actor was good.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

basic fun

It was alright. I tend to prefer my sci fi either much meatier, or much funnier. This was a cute, light adventure, with aliens that look/smell whacky, but basically all behave like humans, and humans that behave predictably but entertainingly.

*vague spoiler* I was a little disappointed by the ending--the main character's conflict with a major criminal organization was never really resolved, so I guess this means sequel? Jury is still out on whether I will be picking that up.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very well done as sci-fi and audio book

Space opera with a distinct Latina flavor. Far better than many titles I have heard recently. Lots of cats, psychic parasites, family squabbles but a lot of fun. Well written, insouciant, humorous, charming

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well actually... it is hilarious

This is a fairly light sci-fi romp. A found family on an adventure to make a buck and or save the world. I thought it was funny and clever and I really enjoyed the listen. The author has a knack for pointing out the comic in the infuriating.

The main character, who is Cuban, occasionally swears in Spanish. I don't think there's a single whole sentence in Spanish in the entire book. Just swears and the occasional insult where it's perfectly obvious that it's a swear or insult. The reader who complained about it is clearly insulted that other languages exist.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story; Good narration

Very good story. The author must love cats! Each character well developed. Plot twists were fun.