Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: BAYNE by Misa Buckley

       Title: Bayne

       Author: Misa Buckley

       Release Date: May 4, 2013

       Publisher: Champagne Books

       Category: Sci-Fi, Romance

       Type: Kindle



Malia dreams of a life less ordinary but when her planet is visited by the Bayne, Destroyer of Worlds, she surrenders herself to him in order to give her people time to collect the tribute that the Overlord demands.

Despite Bayne being as much machine as man and having a violent temper, he rescues her from the unwanted attentions of his second-in-command and gives Malia a glimpse at the battered heart lying beneath the steel and scars.

As they start their relationship over, Malia discovers a man very different to the reputation that precedes him and probes deeper. However, her investigation uncovers a dark truth: a truth that someone wants to remain hidden no matter what the cost.


Malia looked around. None of the soldiers paid her the slightest attention. Feeling distinctly foolish, she put down the device and wiped her hands on the skirt of her dress. 

She chewed at her lip, no idea as to what they were doing. In moments, they had achieved more than she had in months and her stomach sank. How could she have ever believed herself to be a technician? She truly was the foolish child her uncle often berated her as.

Silence fell like a blanket as everyone stopped what they were doing. All their attention was on the wide opening between the doors. In the center stood a man, unremarkable except that he exuded an aura of power that rose gooseflesh on Malia’s arms.

She shivered and he looked at her. His uniform was black edged in white, his dark hair loose around his sharply angled face. A neatly trimmed beard framed lips thinned in a taut line. On his left hip hung a scabbard, the handle of his sword banded red and black.

He stepped into the room and every soldier snapped to attention. One moved forward, a silver grey rectangle in his hands. “My lord Bayne.”

There was more, but Malia didn’t hear it over the rushing of blood in her ears. Bayne? This man was Bayne? She stared, unable to tear her gaze from his unassuming face. He appeared to be no more than thirty; much younger than she’d imagined him. Much younger than anyone with the epitaph ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ had any right to look. Why was he here?

Lord Bayne looked at her. Stared. She realized she’d spoken that question aloud.

“I am here as Overlord of Sytharion, the system to which this world belongs. I am here because this world owes its Lord tribute.”

Cold knifed down Malia’s spine. It had been years since they’d last paid tribute—so many that she barely remembered the event, as she barely remembered her mother’s face. How much would Terranis owe him now? More than they had spare, that was certain, and Lord Bayne only had one way of dealing with worlds that defied him.

He destroyed them.

Dialogue Highlight:

Never in all his years had Bayne met a woman—met anyone—like the young thing quivering before him. Despite her fear, and with little idea as to what she’d agreed to, she offered herself in exchange for a half-forgotten world at the edge of his territory. It was a thing that piqued his curiosity. He could not remember that having ever happened before.

“Name,” he demanded.

Her hands clenched one another, the knuckles white. Yet her voice remained steady, though soft with respect. “Malia, my lord.” He smiled and walked around her again. The drab gray dress did her few favors, but she had enough curves to intrigue him further. 

Her hair was tied into a rough plait, held back from a face that was aesthetically balanced if not actually beautiful. Bayne stopped in front of her and lifted her chin with one gloved hand.

Eyes as blue-green as the ocean outside the station blinked at him, trepidation in their watery depths.

“And why, Malia, would you sacrifice yourself for this world?”

A flicker of sadness crossed her face, then she blinked again.

“This was my parents’ home,” she replied. “They were happy here, my lord, and I… I would not have those memories destroyed.”

Grieves made a rude noise. Bayne stared at the captain until the man looked away with a mumble of apology. No, the idiot would not appreciate that statement—he lacked the finesse—but Bayne himself did. He understood.

“I see.” His reputation was one of uncompromising hardness, and yes, he held onto his position, his power, with an iron fist. That did not mean he was an unreasonable man.
“Very well, Malia. I accept you as tribute.” He motioned at his captain. “Grieves, escort her onto the ship and to my chambers. Extend her every courtesy. She is not to be harmed.”

The soldier’s mouth was a flat line of disapproval, but he bowed his head. “Yes, my Lord Bayne.”

She offered no resistance as the captain took hold of her arm, but did not move. “Will you tell them, my lord? Will you assure them there is time to make tribute?”

He held her gaze. “I will.”


I have had the pleasure of reading Ms. Buckley’s work before and found it enjoyable. So when I was asked to review this book, I didn’t hesitate. BAYNE is a bit different from the last book I read, with SciFi elements paired with a story of romance. I wasn’t sure what to expect due the genre switch. And I haven’t read very many SciFi themed books, so this was new territory for me. While the book wasn’t a bad way to pass some time, I had difficulty getting into it. Some of you may ask why I would even bother with a review if it wasn’t to my liking. My answer to that is that everyone has different preferences. I have, on occasion, been told that the components I disliked within a story have actually attracted others that have read the review. Therefore, I proceed with a review for every book that I complete.

Malia is a bit of a dreamer. Orphaned at a young age, she now lives with her Uncle. But he little use for besides menial tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Consequently, she cannot read anything except food words; words that enable her to cook for her Uncle. She has always been fascinated with machinery. A self-taught mechanic of sorts, she longs for a life of wonder. A far cry from the less than desirable life she currently leads. When Bayne shows up intending to collect on tribute payment far past due, Malia quickly offers herself to him in an effort to save her planet from eradication. And before too long she begins to see something in Bayne; something thought long dead – his humanity.

Bayne is the Destroyer of Worlds. Feared throughout the universe, Bayne has had no difficulty creating a name for himself. He sees  himself as fair in his punishments despite the oftentimes harsh manner of the orders. When he arrives on Malia’s planet and the girl quickly offers herself as tribute, Bayne is caught. Accustomed to the fear of all who come before him, this girl’s proposal intrigues him. She definitely fears him, but never has he witnessed such determination and love that comes with sacrificing one’s self. He agrees to her offer and rapidly discovers that she may provide him with much more. Far beyond the simplicity that should be their association, Malia may have the ability to show Bayne who he truly is.

I had a hard time with this story for several reasons. The first reason is because I could not create a clear image in my mind of Bayne. He is part machine. The closest I came was Will Smith in iRobot with his mechanical arm; except that Bayne does not have the badass spray that Detective Spooner did, providing the illusion of skin over the apparatus that is his arm. I also disliked that when Malia discovers a piece of Bayne’s past, she immediately takes to calling him by his birth name. This seemed out of place and unrealistic because of its quick delivery and acceptance. I felt that for Bayne to allow such a thing to occur was outside of his character’s nature. Also disturbing was the lack of response from a character known as a Destroyer when the extent of his commander’s misdeeds becomes known. Another issue I had was the abrupt ending that wrapped everything up in a nice little bow. Given Bayne’s history of violence and Malia’s blind commitment to him, an abrupt, pretty ending seemed like an insult to the characters. Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy SciFi. I was raised on Star Trek, Star Wars, and more recently shows like Farscape and Stargate. My enjoyment of such things has opened my eyes to the possibility of anything within the unknown. Ms. Buckley could have used the space setting to her advantage, but instead chose it as nothing more than a simplistic backdrop.

Overall, the story was just too rushed. There were several subjects barely glimpsed over that did not allow time for the reader to properly absorb. I believe that this story should have been a full length novel, but was instead crammed into the confines of a novella. Consequently, the characters were not allowed to grow at a pace that hooks the reader and the storyline ultimately suffered because of the short cuts taken to meet the requirements of a short story. Had I been able to become involved in the characters more, I might have been able to relate a bit more, thus providing the connection that I lacked from the beginning. I believe that my inability to connect with the characters also made the limited number of intimate scenes less enjoyable as well.

BAYNE is a rapid read which primarily takes place in space. For the SciFi buff who enjoys a quick HEA without having to dive into the characters, this story will likely please you.

 (eBook copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.)

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