Genre: space opera
Length: 359 pages
Setting: various locations, immediately after the events of Fortune’s Pawn
Interest: It’s the second book in the Paradox series. I read the first one so quickly and it ended on such a cliff-hanger that I had to get the next book in the series right away. I had put a different book on my Kindle to read next, but I needed to know what happened to Devi.
Summary: The prologue shows the abduction of a girl skilled in plasmex manipulation who is turned into Ren by being exposed to Ma’at, the strongest human plasmex user in existence. We then jump back to the present where Devi is hiring a replacement for her head partner. It seems that Devi now has the ability to see phantoms and possibly kill them. That would give Caldwell’s Eyes a new weapon against the phantoms other than the unstable Ma’at and her “daughters”. Caldwell tells her details and now she’s not sure she wants to stick with his organization. With Ma’at and her new partner’s help, she runs to Brenton so his group (the xith’cal) can evaluate her abilities. Unfortunately, she threatens the lelgis, so they take out the base to get to her. She runs back to Caldwell, but he (and his crew) are captured by the Reaper (a different xith’cal tribe, one with a feud against Caldwell). Devi and Rupert engineer an escape for everyone.
Final thoughts: The prologue of this book totally changed my opinion of Caldwell and the Eyes. He had been portrayed as one of the good guys, but turns out he’s kidnapping girls who are then subsumed by Ma’at to get a temporary weapon against the phantoms. Now Brenton’s opposing group trying to free Ma’at daughters seem like the good guys. Devi (and the readers) don’t know who to trust.
We still get lots of action and fighting. Devi gets her memories back, so she knows why Rupert’s been staring at her. She’s not sure she’s still on kissing terms with him, though, after his actions. Poor Devi is in way over her head and has to figure out what the best course of action is and whose side to be on, when she’d rather just fight bad guys.
Title comes from: We’re sticking with the chess theme. Devi is becoming more important and trying to figure out the most honorable course of action.
Reading challenges fulfilled: an H in my title Reading the Alphabet Challenge, #17 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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