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Review: “Translucid” by Zen DiPietro

Title: Translucid
Series: Dragonfire Station #1
Author: Zen DiPietro
Genre: Science Fiction Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Parallel Worlds Press (buy link on Amazon)
Pages: 228


What if you woke up knowing how to do your job, but not your own name? What if you had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

What if you thought they were wrong?

Emé Fallon is the security chief of Dragonfire Station, and does a damn good job of it. That’s where her competence ends. Outside of work, she has a wife she doesn’t know, a captain who seems to hate her, and a lot of questions that don’t add up.

Without a past, all she has is the present, and she’ll stop at nothing to ensure she has a future.

Fans of Star Trek, The Expanse, and Firefly will love this new series.


This story 100% worked for me, and both books in the series took a spot in my Top Ten Books of 2016. Considering I read about 170 books last year, that’s saying something. Translucid had a great protagonist, an engaging plot, unique and humorous characters, and hard as nails sci fi.

I’m a huge fan of the amnesia trope, not necessarily in a romance setting but more in a mystery/thriller, which this work resembled, and I’ve been hankering for a mystery set in space. This book satisfied my every craving deliciously. The plot was engaging and fast-paced, the mystery elements kept me in the dark for just the right amount of time, and there were enough surprises to keep me interested but nothing shocked me to the point where it became unbelievable.

The protagonist, Em, is bad-ass. She’s a professional, she has some crazy skills and makes rational and informed decisions, and she has a soft spot for kids. She’s also pansexual and finds certain lizard aliens pretty dang impressive and sexy. I loved being in her head.

There are some romantic aspects to the work, but I thought they were well thought out and not overbearing. I don’t want to get into spoilers, because the romance elements tie into the mystery of Em’s past, but I got everything I wanted out of her entanglements.

There were a lot of characters, but not too many for me to keep track of. As Em unlocks the secrets to her new world, we meet some very interesting people and go to strange new worlds. I’ll probably save my analysis of the main characters for book two, so I don’t give anything away, but I enjoyed them all.

I agree that fans of Star Trek will love this novel. Because it isn’t a Romance, I had my husbear read the book, and he actually said it was less like Deep Space Nine and more like Babylon 5. If you ask me, that makes it even better.

When I write a review for a book I adore, such as this one, I try to make my review that much more awesome, to try and show you how I felt about reading it. Unfortunately I’m looking back on this review and it seems uninspired. Please don’t let my terrible review keep you from this book. I loved it so so so so so so so much. Just trust me–it’s awesome. Thank you.

Ben Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys running, whisk(e)y, the mythical gluten-free donut, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is You can find him on Goodreads:

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