Title: Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox Book 1)
Author: Rachel Bach
Published: November 2013
Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.
That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.
Note from Zen:
If you’ve never read any of my book recommendations, read this one. I mean it. If I found out you read this review and did not read the book, I’d have to be mad at you. I might have to find Devi Morris and send her out to get you. You do not want that.
I love sci-fi but it’s tough to find this kind of heroine in this genre. It’s pretty special, and I really hope it takes off as a sub-genre of its own.
Characterization and badassery
Devi Morris is a muscle head. She’s not dumb, but she’s no academic. She lives to fight, to fight and, oh yeah, to fight. She has her eyes on a job as her planet’s most exclusive variety of fighter, and she’s not going to let anything get in her way.
Rarely have I seen a heroine so bloodthirsty, so unapologetic, and so sure of herself. She makes her own rules and has no problem mowing down anyone to gets in her way. I love her. Could she get more badass? I don’t see how.
Plot and pacing
I inhaled this book. Seriously, it’s not a skinny novella and I do not have nearly as much time as I’d like to read, but I burned through this like a white-hot poker through a stick of butter. Each scene in this book leads organically to the next and the flow is wonderful. You can tell that the author has really thought out the worldbuild and all of the characters. Everything makes sense and you’re never left puzzling over a bunch of foreign terms and wondering what the hell they’re supposed to mean. (I really hate that.) Though Bach has developed an intricate worldbuild that is wonderfully fleshed out, she artfully weaves the worldbuild into the story, so you never have to work for it. It’s just the enjoyment of reading. Perfection.
Prose and editing
This is a completely professional package. Every nuance is well planned and executed. The voice of the story fits the main character precisely, and the flow is effortless. Every book should be this well done.
Devi is not perfect, and it does provide some opportunities for just enough humor to make her lovable.
It’s about damn time we see heroines like Devi. She’s not infallible, she’s not “the one,” and she doesn’t have any special powers. She’s just tough as nails and not sorry for it. She takes whatever comes her way and deals with it. If I were going to make a team of badass women, Devi would be my pick for their captain. So read this book. Read it. Read it or I might have to hunt you down and shame you in some unspecified way but I promise it will be pretty mean.