Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach

Fortunespawn

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.
Find the book on Goodreads.

Everything I have seen about this book points to a badass, powered armor wearing space merc who cares little for anything except making her ambition of joining the elite Devestators a reality.  Sure enough, that’s where things started out.  Not too far into the story though, Devi becomes rather attached to the handsome and mysteriously strong and martially capable cook Rupert, and all of a sudden I feel like I’ve been duped.  This isn’t a space opera about a determined soldier, this is a paranormal romance with a space backdrop.

Or is it?

From then on, the story picks up, the intrigue develops – no one is quite who they say they are, and Devi is off fighting invisible space slugs.  We’re introduced to the different cultures and worlds, and my favourite, given insight into the way space travel, weapons, and powered armor actually function.  And for all certain aspects seem quite… convenient at times, there are also often real limitations and consequences to Devi’s actions that keep things interesting.  There are a couple of really cool encounters/battles, including the Big Finale, but unfortunately by this point, we’re back in paranormal romance territory.

Initially I thought, great, there’s no reason Devi can’t be a sexually liberated  badass, powered armor wearing space merc, but this all lead to something akin to insta-love.  I like Rupert but I don’t see the depth in their relationship that Bach is telling me is supposed to be there.  I don’t care if Devi spends every night in his bunk, but don’t tell me they’re essentially soul mates only to drive the plot forward.  Which is all I can think of to explain it.  And the erasing of Devi’s memory and her unnatural aversion to Rupert at the end of the book left a weird taste in my mouth; spoiling what was a really fantastic read for me.  Thankfully, all of this is sorted out early on in book two – which I loved – but that’s another story.

four

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