Review: Fortune's Pawn
Title: Fortune's Pawn
Author: Rachel Bach
Genre: Science fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: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.
If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you'd get Deviana Morris -- a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.
I heard nothing but good things about this series before I picked it up. The description I heard most often was This is the sci-fi version of urban fantasy. It's a pretty accurate description: this book has a kick-ass heroine, snarky main characters, mysterious and hot love interests, and terrifying strange creatures. It's funny at turns and intense at others. If you enjoy urban fantasy, you'll definitely enjoy this book, and if you enjoy science fiction, you'll probably enjoy it too.
Devi is incredibly arrogant and full of swagger, but the great thing is that she really is as good as she says she is. It's fun seeing a woman with her swagger, since usually she'd be type-cast as a bitch, while an arrogant man would somehow be portrayed as attractive or ambitious or anything else more positive. I really appreciate how Rachel Bach plays with gender stereotypes in this book: Devi knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to go get it, which is usually such a stereotypical masculine attitude.
This book also has some really cool science fiction elements. On one hand there are some really terrifying aliens and on the other mysterious mind-reading lunatics that might not actually be as crazy as they seem. I really liked the world-building and the way we discover more about how Devi's cut-throat world works. It's tough being a mercenary, but it's even harder when you're tasked with protecting cargo ships from ferocious creatures like the Reavers from Firefly.
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it had way more romance than I was expecting. I'm not much of a romantic, but I can appreciate a romantic sub-plot. At times it felt like the romantic sub-plot started to become the main storyline, and especially after the end, I'm really not on board with the main "ship". I did like that Devi has a prominent sexuality since most women in science fiction aren't portrayed that way, but I just felt like her constant worrying about her love interest took away from her otherwise awesome personality.
Overall, this is a fun series and I'll probably be continuing!
Thanks Ginger, my #otspsecretsister, for sending this awesome book my way :)