Review: Fortune’s Pawn

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Fortune’s PawnFortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach
Series: Paradox #1
Published by Orbit on November 5, 2013
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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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.

Ohmagoodness, this was so unexpectedly amazing. Lately, I’ve gotten so into my YA cave that I’m really hesitant to leave it for any adult novels, even though intellectually I know how good they can be. This. This is the amount of good they can be. Much as I wanted to read Fortune’s Pawn and even requested it, I was still a bit wary of it. However, within a couple of pages, I no longer had any reservations. Fortune’s Pawn is the beginning to what is sure to be an excellent science fiction series, and has made a Rachel Bach fan out of me.

Devi, the heroine of Fortune’s Pawn, charmed me immediately. She’s a badass warrior, and she loves being a soldier and killing enemies. I know some people are tired of the physically powerful female heroine thing, but I am not, especially when this futuristic society seems to be totally cool with a woman who liked these things. The book opens with Anthony, Devi’s long-time occasional lover, trying to talk her out of quitting her dangerous job in hopes of a more dangerous job. She basically laughs in his face. And when he asks her to move in with him, she politely declines because she doesn’t want to settle down. I was in love on page two. PAGE TWO.

My girl Devi’s not just brawn, though. She tempers her strength with intelligence, though, when push comes to shove, violence is her gut response to things. Anything else wouldn’t be convincing, honestly. Though Devi’s only 5’6″, that doesn’t matter so much, because she fights in this battle suit, like all warriors from Paradox. Lady Gray may not be the biggest suit around, but she’s one of the best, custom made and worth every penny. By the way, Devi also names her weapons; her guns are Sasha and Mia, and her knife is Phoebe.

Here’s where I need to make a comparison, because I cannot help it. Firefly. No, this isn’t exactly the same, but it’s a ship with a ragtag crew doing things! Devi’s more like Jayne than anyone else, which is actually awesome. There are also these aliens called the xith’cal that remind me heavily of the reavers, especially in a particular scene and yiiiiikes that was creepy. Oh, and there’s a pretty man who looks out for an odd, staring girl. Unlike Firefly though, it’s really hard to tell who’s good and who’s bad. Rarely have I been less sure of whether the heroine made the right choice there at the end.

Also, I am seriously spaceshipping Devi and Rupert. FLY, SPACESHIP, FLY. Rupert’s one of those guys that doesn’t show his emotions too much on the surface, keeping it all under a pleasant veneer. This means, of course, that when he does show an emotion, I’m a-swooning. Plus, they took their time. Though I sometimes forgot in the deceptively fast pace, they’ve been on the ship for months with little to do in free time but talk to the other people (or aliens) on the ship, and there are not many of them. There’s one other reason I ship this so hard: View Spoiler » However, things are tense and I really need everything to be okay.

In case it’s not already super clear, I am VERY impressed with Bach’s debut. The only reservation I have is the ending, which was actually really intense, but I want to know everything will be okay so much. I am so grateful Orbit publishes their series so quickly, because waiting a year for the next one would be painful.

Favorite Quote:

“Where do you get off being such a bossy bitch?”

I looked him dead in the eyes. “I was born a bossy bitch, so you can either roll with it or get rolled over.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

time for some thrilling heroics

13 responses to “Review: Fortune’s Pawn”

  1. Angie F. says:

    I hadn’t heard of this one until now, and honestly, it probably wouldn’t have grabbed my attention based on that cover. But now…it sounds really exciting! I tend to stick with Urban Fantasy and paranormal and contemporary romance for adult books, but perhaps it’s time to branch out into some Sci-Fi! 😀
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: Trance (MetaWars, #1) by Kelly MedingMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The covers are pretty boring, sadly, but the book inside is NOT boring. It’s fabulous. This is a good place to branch out. It’s very action-packed and the characters are fabulous. It’s not OMG SCIENCE because that’s not how Devi is.

  2. Kayla Beck says:

    Okay, I’m sold. I’m off to find me a copy. I love love love me some grown-up scifi, and I’ve actually been craving it. I’m reading it next week on my blogging break. Merry Christmas to me!
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Interview & Giveaway): The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn KlehrMy Profile

  3. Nafiza says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Devi was a bit difficult to get used to in the beginning but then I just rolled with it and things started happening. For a debut novel, it is fantastic. I can’t wait to see what happens with that shady captain.
    Nafiza recently posted…Neverwas (The Amber House Trilogy #2) by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed: A ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Really? I LOVED Devi from the start. She’s basically my favorite. Also, it’s apparently not a debut, as this is a pen name. :-p

  4. Morgan says:

    This sounds fantastic! I haven’t read a lot of adult sci-fi but I love sci-fi movies and I love action (and I did play all the Halo video games). Definitely have to pick this one up, I’m glad you reviewed it because I probably wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise! Reminds me a little of the Starkillers Cycle that Sarah Maas and Susan Dennard are writing on Tumblr, have you read that yet? They publish it in free installments and it is VERY kick ass!

  5. You had me at “Firefly”!!! I haven’t heard of this book, but you can bet I’m reading it after reading your review. Thanks for the heads up!
    Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy recently posted…Interview with Wayne Simmons, Author of PLASTIC JESUS + Giveaway!My Profile

  6. So excited for this one! I’ve got a copy heading my way and after Wendy and now your rave reviews I have a feeling I’ll be reading it immediately.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Book Review – Burial Rites by Hannah KentMy Profile

  7. A reference to BSG’s Starbuck? A GIF from/comparison to Firefly? Though Jayne isn’t my favorite character from that series, I’m still very much intrigued.
    I do love strong fighting females myself. I don’t see that trope ever getting boring for me haha so Devi really does sound like a protagonist I’ll quite enjoy.
    I’ve been getting a bit restless with reading primarily YA and have been looking for good excuses to try new books, so this one sounds like an absolutely perfect excuse. 🙂
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Top Ten Books On My Winter 2013/2014 TBRMy Profile

  8. Devi IS a lot like Jayne, hah. I never thought about it before, but I like the ragtag band of space adventurers comparison to Firefly.

    I’m glad you loved this! It was such an awesome surprise. I read even fewer adult books than you do, I think, so I was even more skeptical than you. Thank goodness we were both put in our places. 😀 Can’t wait for book two!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Dickens Christmas Séance: event recapMy Profile

  9. I LOLed at Devi being ONLY 5’6″ lady that is NOT short said the blogger who is 5’2″.


    I love ragtag crews (Holla MISTBORN).

    SPACESHIPS!!! I see what you did there!!!
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Sleigh Bells In The Snow | Sarah Morgan | Book ReviewMy Profile

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