If there were a snowball’s chance that you could travel to distant galaxies, would you take it even if that meant having to be kidnapped by a heartless made-soldier that shouldn’t care if you survived the trip or not? That’s the question that’s taken out of our heroine’s hands in Maria Hammarblad’s “Kidnapped”. Call it a case of being in the wrong place at the right time, but Patricia Risden soon finds herself taken aboard an Alliance vessel piloted by the feared Travis 152… and somehow changes his heart. I love a tale that sees both characters becoming better together than they were individually, and this book is definitely centered on that premise. Not only does the Earthling begin to crack the robot-like attitudes of her captor through honest enthusiasm and love, Travis in turn, having always been something of a rebel, finds himself learning to care for the sweet, ‘harmless’ human in his care so much as to defy his Supreme (and sadistic) Commander to be with her. Sigh, anyone?

Although I could not identify with the heroine as much as in other books, I felt that Patricia was shown to be both a strong and courageous. She is always a loving character that not only drew people to her but reacted very naturally to the tons of new experiences- from captivities to rescue missions- she was introduced to. Travis, surprisingly, was the character I really empathized with! Instead of being a cookie-cutter tortured hero, he was surprisingly self-aware, humorous, and (dare I say?) sweet, besides the programming that made him a death-taker in very little disguise. His voice was always original and honest, and his interactions with all characters, from the Resistance crew members to his doctor ‘friends’, was never forced or off-character, a tribute to the author. My only caution would be that, though the love scenes are appropriate for just about all ages, there are parts that describe both violence and some rather vivid amputations that would not be appropriate for the young or squeamish reader. The fact that the story is set in the stars, takes place across the span of over a year versus a few weeks, and even ends with a refreshing knot all lend it an added uniqueness that is rare in many novels today. I happily recommend this to most readers if you’d like a well-crafted story of both love and dependence, life and death, and overall, redemption.

Book Blurb for Kidnapped

It's a late winter night when Patricia Risden heads home in her car, on a road she's driven many times before. She doesn't have a care in the world, that is, until a man appears from nowhere, right in front of her.

The next thing she knows is being a prisoner of the unscrupulous Alliance Commander Travis 152; an intimidating man who demands information and complete cooperation. Travis soon realizes his mistake; Tricia doesn't know anything, and she is incapable of even getting a glass of water from the ship's computer.

Infamous for being a ruthless executioner, conditioned since childhood to feel nothing besides fear and pain, he still deems her harmless, and finds enough pity for the lost young woman to let her out of the cell. It's a decision that will change both their lives forever.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2012 4.00