I don’t know if this is a common gut reaction, but I know – as a reader myself, I’ve hated a book because I hated the character. Which is why I had a lot of reservations writing Vivra.
Vivra is one of thirty-six survivors on Garna the star carrier. The ship contracted a deadly disease and killed thousands. (You can read more about that here). In the prologue, you see her at her worst. Not in a ‘screaming, angry at life kind of way’, but in a ‘this is unfair, I’m cold and hungry and why is it taking so long to die’.
As an author I know the value of a great first impression.
Vivra is a new character / team member, and you deserved to see a strong and confident woman from the start. You might have even enjoyed if she had cleverly figured out a way to cure the disease – but it was unrealistic and would have contradicted her character.
If you read book 1, you will already know Pax, my hero. Hopefully, you love his jovial and witty personality. That way even if you can‘t connect to Vivra, at least you still have Pax. However, as the story unfolds, you will get to know Vivra better and see her strength were not in disaster situations, but in her work abilities.
Vivra’s a Bolark. And Bolarks are an alien race that values, success and reputation. Which is why she’s a hard worker. It‘s also why she‘s not inclined to be warm and friendly to the new crew. To be fair, she wasn’t friendly to the previous crew either.
The romantic twist is that the crew, is not overly fond of Bolarks. Specifically Pax.
In Book 1, the Admiral on Pegna‘s space station was a Bolark that went out of his way to make life difficult for the crew. Both Pax and Captain Rannn had made several comments about Bolarks being scumsucking bastards.
Vivra does not know this, but in Unexpected Demon she knows that her race is viewed of poorly because they are rank climbers. But the Bolark culture is far much more complex than that.
I love Vivra and her ingrained qualities such as career driven, ethical, resourceful, nonapologetic, confident, and willing to confront issues. She may rub you the wrong way but I’m hopeful that in the end, you’ll love her as much as I do.