by Linnea Sinclair

April 2002
ISBN: 1-59105-064-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Novel Books Inc.

Take one dashing, astoundingly talented starship captain, who just happens to be petite and blonde, give her a best friend who is also gorgeous, well-endowed, and the empathic Chief Medical Officer, and you have a recipe for trouble! Certainly Sass and Eden, the two women in question, have done their fair share of hellraising on an assortment of planets and in an assortment of bars!

Now throw one cybernetically enhanced Admiral and one wanted telepathic space-pirate into the mix, and what do you have? You have Command Performance, an enchanting science fiction romance from the talented imagination of Linnea Sinclair. There is always a danger, when writing science fiction romances, that the fascination with the “stuff” will obscure the story and characters, but that certainly doesn’t happen here! It takes only the first few pages for the reader to become solidly enmeshed in Sass’s world aboard her ship, and her irritation at the pesky Admiral Kel-Paten who haunts her every move. Kel-Paten is close to a human-cyborg hybrid, efficient, possessed of unique talents, and supposedly limited emotionally. Sass never realizes he’s actually a mess of seething lust for her! Eden picks up on it through her empathic talents, but gets seriously sidetracked with the arrival of wounded pirate Jace Serafino, who has some pretty impressive talents of his own.

It’s hard to decide which of these couples one likes best – I found it easier to root for all of them! The story is solid and well thought out, an absolute necessity for good science fiction. The characters are likeable, warm, confused and very real – they are faced with many challenges, physically and socially, and it’s comforting to find that they are all, human and non-human, possessed of a basic goodness which helps them triumph over adversity. To go further into the plot would be to spoil it, and it’s too much fun for me to do that! I will simply give it my highest recommendation, and note that the sequel Command Decision (which, given the ending of this book is an absolute must-read) is already in the works. Good news for all of us sentients, who can’t wait to wrap our multi-tentacled antennae around it!!

(This review refers to the eBook version; I note that Command Performance is currently available in paperback as well - ISBN#1-59105-089-8.)

Reviewed in May 2002 by Celia.

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