Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Tour for Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad (Review)

As a fan of the sci-fi genre I'm excited to bring an exciting story with a sweetly sexy romance, Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad.  Keep reading to get my impressions of this enjoyable story......

Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. With all our technology incapacitated, everything changes. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. Rachael struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.
On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more world on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.
Rachael’s neighbor Ryan hounds her to join a brewing resistance movement and make a stand against the newcomers. She still befriends Peter, enthralled by his enigmatic personality and hypnotic golden eyes. Would falling in love with an alien be treason against humanity? When the rebellion gains momentum and open conflict with the newcomers is a fact, Rachael’s personal insurrection might be her doom, or bring salvation to us all.


As a fan of sci-fi stories I was drawn to the premise of this story and applaud the author on her overall presentation with just a few flaws along the way.  While this story is reminiscent of the TV show V the author was able to separate her work through some clever worldbuilding and the overall desire to integrate through the power of the protagonist's love.

Rachael is a clever girl with a bubbly personality who has the tendency to think the best of everyone until proven differently.  She's not the kind of person who likes violence but when it comes to the man she loves she'll do anything necessary to see him safe, even if it means turning on her slightly unhinged neighbors.  From the moment she meets the alien Peter she discovers someone charming who she enjoys showing her world to.  Though he seems different in so many ways, there's still much that brings them together.  From this burgeoning friendship, that her neighbors give her much grief over, a sweet yet subtly sexy romance is created that becomes the catalyst to saving the Earth from annihilation.

Peter has gone through the process of resettling many planets but this time it feels different once he sets eyes on Rachael.  She welcomes him without fear or anger and introduces him to many forbidden things like cake, chocolate, coffee, and love.  He realizes how special and precious Rachael and others are as he interacts more and is willing to make the ultimate commitment himself to integrating Earth with his people.  I adored him from the start seeing the wonderment of Earth's delights in his eyes.  He's sweet, sexy, and will do anything to keep her safe.  The closer he gets with Rachael the more questions he has about how his people act and cleverly makes them reconsider their actions against Earth in a way that gives a sense of hope for all their futures.

The start of this story is very rushed and I wish that more time could have been spent on the emotional implications of the alien's arrival and the real reasons for their arrival.  The progression of Peter and Rachael's relationship was delightful in its playfulness and the slow build-up made their love believable.  Their sexual interludes were steamy but not too hot and balanced well with the action scenes of rebellion.  I enjoyed some of the secondary characters though most of those glimpses were brief.  I enjoyed seeing the other aliens and the sexy and charming natures of each and would love to see other stories with those boys in the lead.  I did find one secondary character particularly over-the-top and that was next door neighbor Ryan who epitomized the worst of people who become too carried away with fear.  He became more dangerous than the aliens in my opinion.  The worldbuilding was unique and cleverly depicted with its matriarchal society that put women in control.  With unification on the horizon and tensions still running high there's still much story left to tell and I hope to return to this world in the future.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.
As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

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