Title: The Lasaran
Series: Aldebarian Alliance Series #1
Author: Dianne Duvall
Format: Kindle Edition, 460 pages
Published: April 21st 2020 by Dianne Duvall
ISBN: ASIN B085KW6R28
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Wine Glasses
New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the first novel in a thrilling new sci-fi series full of action, intrigue, humor, and romance.
Taelon searches the galaxy for his younger sister, who mysteriously disappeared while on a diplomatic mission. When an ally reveals that she was seized and is being held prisoner on Earth, Taelon descends upon the blue planet, intent on freeing her and exacting vengeance. However, all does not go as planned. Before he can find her, Taelon is captured and becomes the subject of torturous experiments. For what feels like an eternity, all he knows is pain and fury… until a mind tentatively touches his own and a woman’s voice forever changes his world.
After suffering tragic losses, Lisa is finally beginning to carve out a future for herself when chance sends her to the Anomalous Cognition Research Institute. What at first appears to be a benign organization seeking participants for a psychic study instead turns out to be a government facility harboring a much darker intent. Lisa discovers this too late and soon becomes the unwilling subject of a terrifying experiment. Just as fear and desperation threaten to consume her, a deep, compelling voice penetrates the looming insanity and lends her hope.
Having seen only the worst of humanity, Taelon is shocked when Lisa risks everything to free him. Together the two make their escape, and Taelon finds himself fascinated by the small human woman who—despite all she’s suffered—can still laugh and tease and lure smiles from him. Friendship swiftly grows between them as they work together to evade soldiers intent on capturing them and find themselves hunted by mystifying preternatural beings. Through it all, Lisa steadfastly remains by his side, stealing more of his heart each day while she helps him unravel the mystery of his sister’s fate. Can they find his sister before the hunters find them? If they survive their quest, will Taelon have to bid Lisa farewell… or can he coax her into leaving her planet and joining him for the adventure of a lifetime?
Dianne Duvall’s The Lasaran is the brilliant, out-of-this-world opening salvo in her new paranormal/sci-fi Aldebarian Alliance series. If you are a fan of Dianne’s, you’ll be thrilled to know that this ingenious series is a spin-off from her amazing Immortal Guardians (IGs) series. Dianne gave us a hint in Death of Darkness (IGs#9) as it featured a teaser referencing the Aldebarian Alliance.
IF you are a newbie to Dianne’s books, you absolutely could start with The Lasaran as it provides a brief introduction to the IGs before it whisks readers away on an adventure across the galaxy to the planet of Lasara. Although I can’t imagine condensing the complex world building, lore and vampire virus history in the IGs series-to-date into a pivotal bridge book between the two series; Dianne pulls off a tour de force as she accomplishes exactly that – adeptly trekking the fine line of not boring her legion of fans whilst not losing newbies.
As the story opens, we meet our hero, Prince Taelon of Lasara, as he assumes the mission of finding his missing sister, Amiriska. Prince Taelon reminds me of a knight of old – strong and protective. IGs fans will know Amiriska as Ami. Ami was captured and tortured on Earth before being rescued by Seth and David, the leaders of the IGs. IF you have read The Lasaran and want to go back to read her story, she is briefly introduced in the first IGs book while the second IGs book focuses on her story.
The Lasaran’s heroine, Lisa, is shanghaied after participating in a fictitious research study on psychic talents. She is a student alone in the world and in need of funds. One of her trusted instructors had recommended that she check out some research studies for extra cash. If you are an IGs’ fan, Lisa is the missing "Gifted One" Seth was searching for in Death of Darkness.
Fans of the IGs will find that The Lasaran provides a different perspective of the military base besiege than was previously relayed in the IGs books. Lisa and Taelon who have been held and cruelly abused in that same facility are able to gain their freedom in tandem with the IGs assault of the facility. Not knowing who is good and who is bad, Lisa and Taelon escape and go on the run in an action-packed, hair-raising and heart-rending journey. Taelon still must find Amiriska.
I experienced a myriad of emotions while reading The Lasaran. One moment I’d be on the edge of my seat barely breathing, then swooning, then laughing and crying. Taelon and Lisa were from two different worlds, but they clicked like two adjacent puzzle pieces. They met under horrible circumstances and were bound by horrific circumstances not of their choosing. The chemistry between them was clear from the beginning and it was apparent that they genuinely cared for each other. Their romance was sweet and steamy. Their banter was entertaining and their endearments cute – like when Taelon fondly called Lisa “my little Earthling.”
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from The Lasaran. The book contains many more:
“She drew her hand down over his biceps.
His Adam’s apple bobbed, and something she couldn’t identify flickered in his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice hushed while the alarm continued to blare. “Did I hurt you?”
“No. It’s . . . You’re the first person who has touched me—not with intent to harm, but with kindness—in a very long time.”
His words broke her heart.”
“He shook his head. “You’re making me revisit my opinion of Earthlings,” he admitted,
Her lips turned up in a faint smile. “Then we’re even. Because you’re making me see aliens in a whole new light.”
“Are you bonded to another for life?”
Her brow furrowed. “Do you mean romantically? Are you asking if I’m married?”
“No.” She returned her attention to the road.
“Are you?” “No.”
A hint of humor entered her expressive features. “Then I don’t have to worry about some alien woman coming down and beating the crap out of me for seeing her man naked?”
He laughed. Again agony shot through him. “No.”
“Amiriska continued to gently comb her brother’s hair back from his face as she met Seth’s gaze. A muscle twitched in her cheek. “I want to kill the bastards who did this.”
“We already did,” Seth said.
“Then bring them back so I can kill them again.”
“Would that I could,” he muttered.”
Please know that I have lowered my rating slightly because I found the scenes at the military base depicting Taelon’s torture to be a bit more horrific than I normally read. However, there was no way that I wasn’t reading every word that Dianne wrote- so I persevered and am glad that I did as the rest of the story is FANTASTIC. My son says I’m super sensitive. (For example, I had to leave a movie theater during The Dark Knight Rises because I couldn’t handle Batman was being tortured.)
As this amazing story unfolds, readers will meet a slew of cool paranormal and alien beings – who I would assume and hope will be featured in future Aldebarian Alliance installments. Words cannot express my delight as favorite IG characters played integral roles in The Lasaran. The Lasaran is a fast-moving tale which ensnared my imagination and heart. It’s difficult to put down evidenced by the fact that I spent two days as a zombie with little sleep because I couldn’t stop reading it. The wonderful, feel-good ending still gives me a warm glow when I think of it.
The Lasaran includes a sneak peek into The Segonian, the next installment. Normally, I don’t read sneak peeks preferring to wait for the full book. However, I was so excited after finishing The Lasaran and didn’t follow my normal protocol. I can attest that the sneak peek ending will leave you screaming in frustration. I cannot wait for The Segonian and will be picking it up as soon as it’s available!
Suggested Reading Order:
#1 The Lasaran
#2 The Segonian – Coming soon!