Genre: space opera
Length: 321 pages
Setting: far future, various Paradoxian and Terran colonies
Interest: I was looking for a book to put on my Kindle for a trip to Philadelphia. I was reading Lonesome Dove, which is way too thick to pack. This book (and series) had been recommended as a space opera to read while waiting for the next Imperial Radch book. The series was described as a cross between Star Wars, Firefly, and Iron Man, so of course I wanted to read it.
Summary: Devi is a mercenary, but she has dreams of being the best of the best and becoming a Devastator for the King. In pursuit of that goal, she signs up to be a security guard on the Glorious Fool. While security would normally be beneath her, Caldwell, the captain of the ship, is said to be cursed and his ship sees an insane amount of action. Caldwell’s crew is also unusual in its makeup, including an aeon and a xith’cal. The ship does see more than its share of action. Things come to a head when Devi is sent onto a dead xith’cal hive ship. She is bitten, but survives the encounter because she’s saved by Rupert, the ship’s cook who is also a symbiont. They have a brief affair, but call it off on Caldwell’s orders. Another group, lead by Brenton, a rogue symbiont, tries to take Devi and learn what happened on the xith’cal ship. Devi fights and almost dies (and her partner does die). Caldwell is ready to kill Devi because Brenton told her about his organization. Rupert saves her by wiping her memory and making her hate him.
Final thoughts: A fun, action filled book. There’s so much I enjoyed about this book – the strong female character, who knows how to dominate a situation, the action, a good conspiracy, and even a bit of romance (and sex) thrown in for good measure.
Poor Devi got in a little deeper than she expected in her new job. But, you have to take some risks if you want to get noticed by the best. Of course, you also have to stay alive to enjoy the reward of your actions. Good thing she spent so much money on her armor, or she would have been dead several times over. I loved how she names her armor and weapons and loves them best, over any person. The book starts out as just a shoot-em-up alien romp, but we soon see there’s more to Caldwell than we first assumed. He’s actually high up in a secret government group fighting phantoms, invisible creatures that can only be killed by plasmex. Unfortunately, in this case, knowledge is not power – it’s very often a death sentence.
I’m just glad I didn’t read this book when it first came out because it ended on a such a cliff-hanger. I had to immediately get the next book in the series to find out what would happen to Devi.
Title comes from: Not an obvious one. Caldwell’s daughter, a passenger on the ship, was always playing chess. Devi was the pawn being played with by Fortune.
Reading challenges fulfilled: an F in my title Reading the Alphabet Challenge, #16 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!