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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Cherry Pickers by Bonnie Milani is a short story set in the penal colony of Sisyphus. Nikki Sotolongo is 17 years old and, as far as she is concerned, she is no longer a child. She wants her gun license, but her mother isn’t giving in. Hell-bent on proving that she is adult enough, she comes up with a plan to lose her virginity and the perfect opportunity arises when a supply ship docks. Jake is hot and Jake is handsome, everything that Nikki thinks she wants. Sam is Nikki’s adopted brother, a hopeless romantic who has been chosen by the local Sissy warlord for marriage, and this could be a fate almost worse than death for Sam, a native arachnid Sisyphus. Together, Sam and Nikki try to save themselves by kidnapping a cherry picker, but Jake has other plans in mind. And Nikki is fast heading towards being the next meal for Sam’s bride-to-be. Can Sam get out of the marriage intact? Will Nikki get what she wants to prove she is an adult? Or is it all about to come crumbling down around them?
Cherry Pickers by Bonnie Milani is a good story, although I did struggle with it at first. Once I got into it, though, I found I couldn’t put it down. This is a well-developed story, highly descriptive and with plenty of information to help a reader along. It isn’t a fast-paced book, but it does move along steadily. There is plenty of action in it, no real dead spots, and there are a few twists and turns that stop it from being a predictable story. It is difficult to place this story squarely into any one genre because it is a fair combination of several. It’s a kind of romantic science fiction mystery but, it is fair to say, it is a unique story line and that is rare these days. Very well-developed characters and the plot is good, something different and highly enjoyable.