A very exciting space opera debut
I was very impatient to read this book because, well, “lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space!” And it has everything I was hoping for and more: spaceships, rebels, forbidden love, horrible villains, flawed heroines who kick ass…
In a universe in which three factions are at war, two stories are told in parallel. The main story is that of Rig, formerly known as Traxi, whom the Pyrite faction is looking for after she deserted with schematics for weapons she created. Pyrite took Rig’s twin sister and in her efforts to save her, Rig finds herself accompanied by an unlikely partner, in between stops in Ascetic to spend time with her sexy librarian girlfriend. The second story, told in interludes, is that of an Ossuary bounty hunter who broke the rules while never losing her loyalty to her faction. Yeah, it’s complicated. As the book progresses, the two stories intermingle in a very organic and satisfying way.
The worldbuilding is very efficient, very rich. The characters are diverse, the various species reminiscent of classic space operas (my Star Wars-loving self was delighted with the descriptions), the worlds distinct enough to reflect their philosophies while proving that different rules, different modi operandi can lead to the same deadly results.
The pace is uneven (which often happens with debut novels) and didn’t keep my attention at all times, and as a consequence, this book took longer to read than I expected. Despite this, I’m sure the characters will stay with me for a long time, and that’s what I’ll remember.
Once again I want to say a lot more but I don’t want to spoil, so I’ll stick to this: the plot is complex and deep, the characters are multidimensional and as relatable as alien gunslingers can be, the atmosphere and tone are awesome and exciting and I’m looking forward to the author’s future books. 4 stars.