It might end up sounding like I didn’t like Chilling Effect, but I want to be clear from the beginning that this was a fun and mostly entertaining read.
The basic premise might sound familiar: space-ship captain and rag-tag crew/found family go about their existence but then everything changes when they are faced with a seemingly impossible mission and chaos/adventure ensues. The same goes for most of the characters, including Eva Innocente, tough captain with some sort of tragic past who can’t seem to get a break, the quiet engineer who might have some kind of secret (Vakar belongs to a species that expresses emotions via scent and Eva cannot figure out one smell in particular), the super competent doctor Pink who is the voice of reason and skepticism in the face of Eva’s often risky plans, Leroy the muscle who has some serious PTSD and struggles with it but is otherwise kind of likeable, and the ship’s navigator/pilot Min who is mentally/psychically linked into the ship which is basically her entire world. There is very little character development for anyone except Vakar, partially because he’s the only one whose back story is even a little filled out. This gets to be a little problematic since Eva is supposed to be the hero, but how can she be so confident when all she does is fail her missions even when she thinks she knows how important the stakes are? She tries to be good, but often isn’t at least according to herself and some of the other characters around her including her sister Mari; that said, Mari, when we finally meet her, is not especially likeable either, and neither is their father Pete.
The plot is pretty episodic with a kind of stupid time skip that never really gets addressed since Eva doesn’t go after one member of her crew in particular when she’s ready to get the gang back together for revenge against those who have caused her so much trouble. Adventures include what to do with a cargo full of somewhat psychic cats (a running gag that should be more annoying than it is), an mysterious evil kidnapping organization called The Fridge (so called because they cryogenically freeze victims and hold them for major ransom and the threat of forcing the victim into slavery upon being woken if demands aren’t met; this is a stupid name and does not fit the supposed threat they represent), and possibly the most surprising entertaining yet annoying figure of Glorious Apotheosis who shows up randomly to be the worst kind of obnoxious but it’s so ridiculous after a while that it’s almost funny.
This was a quick and fun read, but I should warn you that if you don’t have some Spanish (and I do) that you might need to use Google translate (and yes, the profanity usually does mean something reasonably strong) for a while to get a handle on some very commonly used phrases.