It has become more common for authors to invite others to play in their sandbox and create original stories based on their worlds, especially in the romance community. Charmaine Paul’s <i>The Krinar Experiment</i> steps into Anna Zaires’ sci fi world as a prequel novella to the invasion of Earth that plays a major role in the primary series. It is one of several works that are part of Amazon’s Krinar Kindle World and will be available for purchase on September 12, 2017.
Drako’s mission was to observe Earth to decide whether or not the Krinar might live peacefully along with the current inhabitants. However, when his space pod crashes in Johannesburg, he gets captured by the South African Secret Service, who don’t seem very open to the idea of meeting another sentient species or even asking reasonable questions. The only thing that goes right is the arrival of pretty human nurse, Ilse, to tend his injuries. Drako’s attraction grabs him from the moment she steps into his cell, but why is she there at all?
I have never read any of the other novels in the Krinar series, so some of the things that bothered me in <i> The Krinar Experiment</i> fall under creations by the original author. Maybe I’m just a little old fashioned but extraterrestrials that are basically vegan space vampires (except for the part where they do enjoy human blood even though they don’t need it to survive) shatters my suspension of disbelief so quickly that I can’t even buy into the world. The technology introduced by Anna Zaires intrigued me though, and I actually would have enjoyed more focus on Krina rather than Earth.
However, I mostly enjoyed the characters created by Charmaine Pauls to inhabit this world. Ilse was sweet, caring, and surprisingly tough when she needed to be (although she does stray a little close to unrealistically wonderful given that pretty much everyone wants to protect her/be with her/care for her). Drako is physically an incredible specimen, but his stubborn moral code creates a deep flaw that prevents him from being overly perfect. I’m not a huge fan of insta-lust/attraction, but Pauls plays it as a subconscious recognition of something in each party that fulfills unacknowledged needs.
Obviously, many readers coming to this novella want to know if the sex is worth the read, and I unequivocally say that it is. There is a hint of dub con (dubious consent), but overall the power dynamic didn’t bother me because I never felt that Ilse was truly in danger or threatened by Drako. I mainly felt frustrated that lack of using their words left a major misunderstanding brewing between the pair, which caused heartache, bad decisions, and almost prevented a HEA.
Overall, <i>The Krinar Experiment</I> is a nice light read that balances Chamaine Pauls’ love of her native South Africa with both sci fi and the dark side of the country. Being a novella the resolution felt a little rushed, but it is hard to develop a plot fully with a limited number of pages. I don’t know if it inspired me to check out any other books about the Krinar (I have a huge stack of things in my to be read/reviews pile), but it was a fun diversion. I’m sure fans of the universe will find this a pleasant addition to tide them over for more full length novels.
4 Bargains for Articles of Clothing out of 5