Review + giveaway: Queen & Commander by Janine A. Southard

June 26, 2014 giveaway, Lindsay's reviews, Uncategorized 6

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + giveaway: Queen & Commander by Janine A. SouthardQueen & Commander by Janine A. Southard
Series: Hive Queen Saga #1
on May 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: the author
Buy on Amazon

**WINNER 2013 IPPY AWARD -- Silver Medal for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book**

On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably obtained spaceship will take them.

Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s smarter than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career possible:Hive Queen.

Gwyn & Victor are madly in love, but their Test results will tear them apart. Good thing Rhiannon is Gwyn’s best friend. Rhiannon can fix this. Queens can do anything.

Gavin is the wild card. Raised off-planet, he can’t wait to leave again... and he’s heard of an empty ship in orbit. The Ceridwen’s Cauldron.

Both Luciano and Alan fit in the system. They don’t need to leave. Only their devotion to Rhiannon spurs them to join the Cauldron’s crew.

Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here.

What a fascinating story! Coming from someone who has spent twenty years reading sci-fi novels, it should really mean something when I say that it was a unique twist on a classic story. The story is pretty standard space travel, but the very nature of the societal roles takes the story to a whole new level.

The whole story pivots around Rhiannon. She is the group’s queen, although she isn’t exactly your standard monarch. She’s more like the queen of a bee hive, and the other members of her hive have a unique connection with her, and with the other hive mates through her. I absolutely adored this approach to a group dynamic, and even after finishing the first book, I feel like I haven’t nailed down all the minute details. The relationships in this book are complex and ever changing. I’m not sure if I have a favorite character among them yet, but the shifting points of view have given me a lot to think about. Each character has a different reason for being in the hive, but motivations are adapting. While loyalty is solid on one page, the next I can feel the doubt. I think a major betrayal is just around the corner…

Trust is definitely one of the big issues in this book. There simply isn’t enough of it to go around! I always love a book where the characters aren’t black or white. Most of this story is told in shades of grey, and I was drawn into the shadows to see how deep they go. There were some seriously brilliant moments, but there were also moments where I was jolted from the story because something wasn’t smooth enough. The pace certainly isn’t breakneck fast, but there is plenty of personality for the story to be largely character driven. Having finished the first book, I’m left with loads of questions, and a healthy dose of speculation. Book 2, Hive & Heist, is calling to me… can’t wait to dig in!

Follow along with the tour —>HERE<— for reviews of book 1 & 2!



Janine A. Southard writes and edits speculative fiction in between working on videogame projects. She’s attended more than the average number of universities, which she claims is a FEATURE. (“Oxford educated, but Californian at heart.”) She’s also lived and traveled in Europe, the United States, and Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle with a husband (and a cat) and sings with a Celtic band.
Author Links:
Tour wide giveaway
Open internationally
–3 x Signed copies of both books in the Hive Queen Saga
–1x ebook copies of both books in the Hive Queen Saga + an unrelated novella

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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One woman stuck in a house full of boys, I immerse myself in books and save my sanity by reading, writing and blogging. I'll read just about anything, from any genre, and LOVE supporting Indie authors. <3

Latest posts by Lindsay (see all)

  • I’ve been eyeballing this one, so thanks for the great review, Linds!

    • Lindsay Galloway

      I wish I could say that I’ll get to sequel right away, but we all know how that works… next year maybe? 😉

  • Huh. This sounds really cool. And I love it when an author gives attention to detail like that especially when it comes to culture and how society works. This one sounds unique for sure! I’m new-ish to the sci fi genre but I really enjoy it I find the ideas can be so fascinating! Great review, Lindsay!

  • marypreston

    This does sound exciting.

  • celeste

    Thanks for the chance!!! the books look amazing!

  • Betül

    Sounds really good, thanks for the giveaway!