Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fortune’s Pawn

Rachel Bach
Completed 11/26/2016 Reviewed 11/28/2016
4 stars

I was really surprised by this book.  It’s space opera and I enjoyed it.  As my followers know, I generally don’t like space opera, but I seem to be warming up to it.  I think it depends on the book.  This one has a pretty good in-your-face kick-ass female main character and a good beginning.  Oh yeah, and I need to mention it’s the first book of a trilogy.  It’s a pick from my book club.  I usually don’t like reading books from series for book club because then I often feel the compulsion to read all of it.  But this one was so fun, I just might.

The book follows the adventures of Devi Morris, a mercenary who has risen high in her career.  Her goal is to get into the King’s elite corps, the Devastators.  You can’t join the Devastators, you have to be chosen.  A great way to get noticed is to get a security job on the Glorious Fool, a trade ship that gets into trouble so often that a one year stint on it is equivalent to five years anywhere else.  She takes the job and of course trouble ensues.   

Devi is a great character.  Her narrative is told well in first person.  I really got into her character with the narration.  I could understand her drive for perfection in her job, as well as her distraction by the handsome Rupert.  The same way she goes after her career, she goes after her men.  It was hilarious and heartbreaking.  I’m not positive, but I think this book passes the Bechdel test:  Devi converses with another female character and it’s not about men, which is so interesting to me because so much of the book is about her chasing a man. 

The plot is fun, it’s basic space opera, although being the first third of a trilogy, it doesn’t get too far into all the subplots.  The book is basically about Devi getting used to the motley crew of the Glorious Fool, her obsession with Rupert, and the introduction of the aliens of the universe.  Three of the four races are on the ship.  One is not, but we meet them farther in.  There’s an invisible monster that Devi has to fight and a mysterious monster that seems to be helpful and powerful.  They’re all pretty cool.

 This book gets an easy four stars.  It’s fun, it’s an easy read, and it was the sort of fluff I needed after a couple of good but heavier books.  As I started out this review, I may just follow up and read the rest of the trilogy.  The conspiracy plot was just beginning at the end of this book and I didn’t find it tedious the way I often find conspiracy and politics in space opera to be tedious.  Instead it set me up to want to finish the trilogy.  So surprise…I enjoyed a space opera and highly recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. I thought she did a great job with this book. It was my first experience reading her work and I was impressed. Admittedly, space opera is my favorite subgenre of science fiction, but it can be done very well or quite poorly, and I think this one skews towards the well done end of the spectrum.

    I was surprised by how quickly I was pulled in to the story and did not want to put it down. What I've read of book two feels the same way. Sadly even the very best books sometimes fall victim to my episodes of distraction and I have yet to get back to it, although this post has me itching to do so.