Review: Only Bad Options by Jennifer Estep

Posted September 14, 2022 by Jen in Rating B, Reviews, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , ,

Book cover of Only Bad Options by Jennifer EstepOnly Bad Options
Jennifer Estep
Rating: B-

What I’m Talking About:

Vesper Quill works hard as a lowly designer for the powerful Kent Corp. When she points out a significant design flaw in their new star cruisers, she’s surprised to find herself on the run for and fighting for her life. Kyrion Coldren is from a Regal family and leads the Arrows, the imperium’s elite force in the war against the Techwavers. When Vesper saves Kyrion, something happens linking the pair, and now they need to uncover the truth together before they are discovered, or worse.

Only Bad Options is the first in Ms. Estep’s new Galactic Truebond series. The book does a wonderful job of building this new world and laying out the deadly political atmosphere. Overall, I enjoyed the story as the first book in a larger series. I enjoyed watching Vesper learn how to maneuver among the Regals. I also appreciated the potential romance between Vesper and Kyrion, loving that there isn’t any insta-lust and that they are taking time to develop a partnership – even friendship first. 

Here’s the thing… I went into this book expecting a sci-fi story, but it’s not really. It’s a blend of sci-fi (distant planets, space travel, gadgets) and fantasy (magic, little-to-no explanation of how tech works, truebonding). I call it tech-fantasy. I was expecting more science and less magic, so I found it difficult to put aside the fantasy aspects of the book and just enjoy the sci-fi story. My engineering brain had too many questions, and I was frustrated with how Vesper’s seer magic seemed like a cure-all for all of the issues that were thrown her way. 

With that said, I did enjoy the story. I liked the politics and conflicts. I was excited to see Vesper get angry and want revenge for everything that’s happened to not only her, but Kyrion and other innocent people. The author left several clues within the story about things to come, things that I find interesting and exciting. And now that I’ve experienced the world and have an understanding of the blend of magic and tech, I should be able to enjoy the story more. 

My Rating: B- Liked It — But I had a few small issues

About the Book:


Few people know the name Vesper Quill. To most folks, I’m just a lowly lab rat who designs brewmakers and other household appliances in the research and development lab at the powerful Kent Corp. But when I point out a design flaw and a safety hazard in the new line of Kent Corp starcruisers, everyone knows who I am—and wants to eliminate me.

I might be a seer with a photographic memory, but I don’t see the trouble headed my way until it’s too late. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by enemies and fighting for my life.

I don’t think things can get any worse until I meet Kyrion Coldren, an arrogant Regal lord who insists that we have a connection, one that could be the death of us both.


The name Kyrion Coldren strikes fear in the hearts of people across the Archipelago Galaxy. As the leader of the Arrows, the Imperium’s elite fighting force, I’m used to being a villain, as well as the personal assassin of Lord Callus Holloway. Even the wealthy Regals who live on the planet of Corion are afraid of me.

But everything changes when I meet Vesper Quill. I might be a powerful psion with telepathic, telekinetic, and other abilities, but Vesper sees far too many of my secrets.

Thanks to an arcane, unwanted quirk of psionic magic, the two of us are forced to work together to unravel a dangerous conspiracy and outwit the dangerous enemies who want to bend us to their will.

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Jennifer Estep
Galactic Truebond #1
Sci-fi, Fantasy
paperback (398 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)