Audiobook Review: The Kinsmen Universe (Kinsmen #1-3) by Ilona Andrews (Narrator: Samantha Cook)

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The Kinsmen Universe Book Cover The Kinsmen Universe
Kinsmen #1-3
Ilona Andrews (Narrator: Samantha Cook)
Science Fiction Romance - Novella
March 08, 2019
7 hours and 15 minutes


This is an anthology edition of the Kinsmen Universe, which includes Silent Blade and Silver Shark, plus a new short story.

Family is everything. Talent is power. And revenge is sweet.

In a distant, future world Kinsmen - small powerful groups of genetically and technologically advanced families - control vast financial empires. They are their own country, their own rulers, and their only limits are other Kinsmen. The struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport: in business, on the battlefield...and sometimes in the bedroom.

Silent Blade
Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder. 

On the planet Rada, Meli Galdes' family is of minor rank, and were relying on her marriage to Celino, the razor-smart, ruthless leader of the powerful Carvanna empire. When he abruptly breaks their engagement, he ruins her family and guarantees that Meli will never marry, as no suitor will oppose the rich and influential Carvannas. 

But Meli has a rare, secret, lethal - and valuable - talent. As a melder of energy, she's capable of severing anything in her path. So she "leaves" her family and trains to become one of the best and most lethal of assassins, all the while covertly guarding her family's interests. Now she's ready to quit; but she has one more assignment. 

To kill the man who ruined her life. 

Silver Shark
Claire Shannon is a killer...and her weapon is her mind. 

Born on a planet torn by war for over 300 years, Claire is a soldier: a psycher, with the ability to read, control, and destroy the minds of enemy psychers and to infiltrate the biological network where they battle to death. 

When Claire's faction loses the war, she barely escapes extermination from both sides, as her talent brands her as too dangerous to society. By so-deeply burying her ability that she avoids detection, Claire is instead deported to Rada as a refugee, where she must find work to remain. She finds a job as personal assistant to Venturo Escana, a premiere kinsman; one of Rada's most wealthy entrepreneurs - and most powerful psychers. 

She thought she had left war behind, but now she must hide her skills and her growing feelings from Venturo...and this battle might just cost her everything....

"A Mere Formality"
The leader of the fierce Reigh people expires during an intergalactic summit, putting 30 million colonists' lives and livelihoods in jeopardy. When the new heir to the Reigh throne, Lord Nagrad, demands restitution, the phrase "'a life for a life" turns the intergalactic calamity into an arranged marriage contract between Lord Nagrad and sharply intelligent diplomatic analyst Deirdre Lebed...and the negotiation of terms becomes anything but formal!


I’m a HUGE fan of the Andrews team and I’ve been doing a re-read of their works. I’ve actually never read or listened to the Kinsmen series until now. 

We are treated to 2 novellas, Silent Blade & Silver Shark and a short story, A Mere Formality in this bundle. Each title is previously published individually and you can buy them singularly or in the bundle.

I do want to point out that The Kinsmen Universe has some similarities to the Hidden Legacy series. In a distant future humans went into space and colonized many areas, but they needed enhancements. Some of those enhancements where to be stronger, faster, & heartier. In doing these changes some ended up being tech-based and others were biological. Like in the Hidden Legacy series they learned that exclusivity to these enhancements is key, so the families ended up arranging marriages for their children based on bloodlines and to make business alliances that would benefit the family legacy. 



Silent Blade is a quick, fun and sexy read. We get haters to lovers romance with plenty of twists. We also get a small amount of world-building and history. 

The story that unfolds is snarky and fun. Meli plots the demise of Celino the man who jilted her and took her freedom and choices away all so he could have his freedom. Things wrap up nicely and it was enjoyable.

Rated: 3 Stars



Silver Shark is the second novella in the Kinsmen series. It starts us off on a mining planet at war where we meet Claire who is a talented psycher ripped from her mother at a young age to train and battle in the bionet. 

We get a little suspense when Claire agrees to help a young boy from her home planet. Their was intense moments and a nice build up with the chemistry and secrets. 

I liked this one more than the first. I think it had to do with the Bionet and the psycher power. I found these aspects to be fascinating. The story wrapped up nicely and I enjoyed. 

Rated: 4 Stars



A Mere Formality is a short story written on a dare and given away for free. It’s a silly and quirky story. It’s got no sex, but lots of dirty talk of smutty things in a very vanilla way. Those parts made me laugh. The plot is weak and the romance doesn’t really come through. There are some nice details and I liked smutty talk moments, but I’d have liked more for this story. 

You can read it for free here or read it in the bundle.

Rated: 3 Stars


All in all I enjoyed The Kinsmen Universe. It was nice to read the Andrews earlier work. The downside to this Sci-Fi series is that I wish the stories had been longer, so things could be flushed out more. I wanted more world-building and a deeper dive into the world, characters, the clan rivalry, and the genetical and tech talents. The Kinsmen Universe doesn’t have that in-depth development that the later works have for the Andrews team. 

Audio: Samantha Cook narrates The Kinsmen Universe. It took me a bit to get into the narration, but when I did, I liked. The author changes up her voices well for each character and story. 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!




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[su_note note_color=”#b49a71″ radius=”4″]Family is everything. Talent is power. And revenge is sweet. Jump into a futuristic world where power is everything. The Kinsmen Universe contains 3 stories all in one. Click To Tweet[/su_note] 

I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

6 comments on “Audiobook Review: The Kinsmen Universe (Kinsmen #1-3) by Ilona Andrews (Narrator: Samantha Cook)

  1. Like you, I’m a huge fan of IA and I’ve never read this series. I was thinking about looking into it, and I like that they’ve put out a set. Does this contain ALL of the Kingsmen work, or are there others out there, too?
    Jen recently posted…#FitReaders Check-In: February 5, 2021My Profile

    • This continues all of the Kinsmen Universe. It’s only 2 novellas and a short story. They didn’t write much in this world, but it does have some similar aspects to there works published as I noted, but it’s not related to any of their series’s. It doesn’t coincide with any of there other works. It was interesting to read/listen, but not something I’d visit again unless it’s flushed out more.

  2. Oh fun! I didn’t know about this one. I still have the last book to read
    Melliane recently posted…Blog tour : Interview d’Eden – Une Furie en Ville d’Annabel ChaseMy Profile

    • It’s not my favorite of their work and something I won’t go back to, but it was nice to listen to the stories and see their early stuff before the hit it big with Kate Daniels. Hope you are enjoying whatever book you are reading of theirs.

  3. I’ve read the 2 novellas. It’s also a favorite author for me also.
    Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted…Read-along & Giveaway: Visions of Heat by Nalini SinghMy Profile

    • It was nice to try out their earlier work. You can see how much they have grown in their writing. Thank’s for visiting!