White Christmas by Ros Baxter

In brief: After a force landing on the planet Tyver, Tabi finds another person has crash landed. To avoid being eaten by ice vampires, she and Asha need to make extreme heat…

The good: Quirky and a light read.

The not-so-good: I’m not very good with other planets and creatures.

Why I chose it: One of the Australian Romance Readers Award finalists.

Year: 2013

Pages: 27

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Planet Tyver

My rating: 7.5 out of 10

White Christmas is a short read – easily read in one sitting. Despite Christmas being in the title, I read it after Christmas with no problems. (Christmas is linked to the main characters but it is not the main focus). This was out of my comfort zone – I don’t tend to read anything that involves aliens or other worldly experiences (with the exception of Harry Potter and The Bone Season). However, as it was free on Amazon at the time and a finalist for sci-fi, fantasy or futuristic romances in the Australian Romance Readers Awards, I decided to give it a go. (It is also part of the ARRA finalists challenge –how many finalist books you can read – something that I have no chance of winning!)

Ros Baxter is an excellent writer in that she can develop a whole other world involving ice, space ships and aliens and make it believable in so few pages. It didn’t take long for me to picture the alien planet Tabi, our heroine, had crashed on. The tension when the aliens are about to eat Tabi and her comrade is palpable. (Actually, the aliens are ice vampires – I’m not sure what that entails but it sounds creepy to this chicken hearted girl). The steam building up between Tabi and Asha (who is her former lover) blows off the page. Then there’s just one thing they have to do to conquer the ice vampires because they really, really don’t like it when humans get it on. This bit was written well, but the premise for the sex was initially a bit weird to me. This could be because this genre is a) pretty foreign to me and b) it’s a short story, so things need to move at a cracking pace. I can’t really spoil the ending, but…I was satisfied.

The world building that Baxter does is fast, yet detailed. This made me wonder if there was more to come for Tabi, Asha and the new interplanetary world they find themselves in. I did like how this doesn’t fit into the usual Christmas fiction genre – kudos for that. I’d definitely read more of Ros Baxter in genres I am more comfortable in.

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