Before i begin, i just want to let you know that Kathleen sent me a free copy of this book to read and review . . .
. . . which, having totally and absolutely enjoyed every other book of Kathleen’s that i’ve read (and i’ve read a few) i was soooo excited to do.
And also to mention that this is a review of the second edition, as the book was rewritten after The Libra Gambit was released.
And so, moving onto the review: having read all of Kathleen’s Fortune series, which are so seriously good books, the bar for this book was set quite high with my expectations and, free or not, it would still have to earn a good review on it’s own merits. But, i’m very pleased to say that this book didn’t disappoint me in the least.
Once again with Kathleen, the reader is thrown straight into the action, mayhem and shenanigans of the main protagonists, and once again, it just doesn’t stop until the end of the book. It’s just full on, turned up to 11, from beginning to end.
The characters were great, even the bad ones. And that’s something that Kathleen gets so right. For me, it’s a fine line to tread with baddies in books: if you make them so awful i just don’t want to read the book, and some writers really do make the baddies soooo cringeworthy i just delete the whole book. But if the baddies aren’t awful enough then the whole thing just doesn’t work and you might as well delete the book and find something else to read that’s more exciting. So yeah, Kathleen really gets her baddies at that perfect level of badness.
And the web of relationships between the characters that slowly gets revealed and built upon as the story goes on is seriously good also.
As a Trekky, one thing that i really, really enjoyed about this book was the Rasalkans. They’re like the Betazoids in Star Trek but they come in factions called houses and they have Rasalkans with all kinds of psychic abilities within each house. Which, giving us a deeper look into Betazoid society, is something that i think Star Trek seriously missed out on. This book, i think, fills in a lot of those gaps as to what a highly psychic/empathic/telepathic society would possibly be like. But similar to the Bene Tleilax in Dune where no one knows about the females, in this universe no one seems to know anything about the Rasalkan males. Hard core matriarchal society, Yeah!!!
All in all, this is fast paced, character driven, sci-fi story telling at it’s best. If you’ve enjoyed Kathleen’s Fortune books then you’ll certainly enjoy this, and if you haven’t read any of Kathleen’s books at all then i seriously suggest you giving one a go, you’ll have a great time.
Best of all, Kathleen also sent me the next book in the series, The Libra Gambit, to read and review, which, having enjoyed this book so much, i’m having no hesitation jumping straight into to see what our seriously enjoyable protagonists are going to get up to next. And i’m also hoping we’ll see some of those wonderfully bad baddies that got away make an appearance at some perfectly inopportune moment.