SFRB Recommends 41: The Corwint Central Agent Files Series by CE Kilgore #spaceopera #scifi #romance
About The Series: Corwint Central Agent Files
Corwint Central Agent Files is set in a galaxy far, far away. Various planetary systems and alien species, some human-like and others very unique, offer a backdrop to the adventures, struggles for power, character development and romance. As a space opera, character development and world building are the key ingredients. As a romance, ideals of love and relationship development are what drive the stories forward.
The Corwint universe is a constantly growing, changing and evolving universe. From space stations to newly discovered planets, each story in the series adds to a universe rich with life, struggling with conflict, and evolving its own sense of existence.
Love is the key theme in the series. Each book explores different aspects of love; from 'love at first sight' to unrequited love, from 'friends to lovers' to 'opposites attract', and everything in between. It also explores both sides of love - the good and beauty that can come from it, as well as the destructive force it can unleash when love turns to obsession.
Everything, and everyone, in the Corwint Universe has a past, present and future. Nothing is stagnant or an island. Every action, or inaction, has the potential to cast stones across the universe, creating ripple effects that may not be realized until years later. Fate mingles with choice, and consequences follow every decision.
What I liked:
When I read a science fiction romance, I'm after four things. A romance that makes me cry, some great world building with an emphasis on the scifi, good tension and at least a bit of action. This series provides them all. The varying cultures, both human and alien, have real depth and individuality. There's a sense of the mystical woven through them by the ethereal Vesparians. There are Mechatronic Automatons fighting for their rights to be recognized as something more than just machines. Multiple cultures, and multiple romantic threads weave throughout the four main series books and their associated side stories, including mixed race, mixed gender, and organic/android relationships. The science fictional elements aren't so heavy that they should put off even the SF-phobic romance reader while satisfying a reader like myself who leans more to the SF than the R in SFR. The sex scenes vary between the sweet and the outright carnal but are not overly explicit (which I prefer), and occur naturally throughout.
There is something in each book to satisfy the die-hard SFR lover, whatever trope or gender pairing you prefer (but always couples). The tension and intrigue build over the four current books, and have a satisfactory conclusion in book four with a huge, huge revelation, while leaving the series open for yet more books (which I can't wait for!).
While I would recommend not reading the side stories between the main books (mainly because it can interfere with the complexity of the overall story arc and multiple POVs and minor storylines in the main books, leading to confusion), they do help build on the universe and provide much of the back story for the series without weighing it all down, so definitely worth going back to read. I've only read those between book one and two because I found they distracted me too much from the central story, but fully intend to go back to the others now I've finished the main books. Recommended for those who love SFR and space opera along the lines of Farscape/Star Trek, and even for those curious to see what the genre is all about but aren't sure where to start. Highly recommended!
Main books - Ghost in the Machine Whispers in Exile Tracing the Stars Breathe Into Existence
Side stories -
(Between one and two) To Even Have Dreams According to Plan
(Between two and three) Awake My Soul Unbound Instinct
(Between three and four) Violet Haze Terms for Surrender