by Ann Aguirre
No guards. No escape. Only the strong survive.
A huge ship at the corner of the galaxy filled with the worst criminals. There is no escape, there are 6 rulers of their own little fiefdoms and the Dread Queen is one of them. Jael, a guy from the Sirantha Jax books, ends up in Perdition and recruited into Dred’s territory right as two of the other psychopathic leaders decide to team up and take over her area. It is full of machinations, destruction and mayhem and lots and lots of skirmishes and full on battles. It is kind of a strategy book, but you come to care for the characters as, even though they are the dregs of society and the worst of the worst, there is humanity and friendship and caring amongst some of them. It is also hard to peg to a genre, because it isn’t really science fiction because you don’t get the science behind stuff things, more of an urban fantasy because the ship is nearly as much a character as the people running around on it. Then it is sort of a battle book with lots of maneuvering and strategy.
Whatever it is, I enjoyed it, as there was lots of interpersonal stuff going on as well. Masks, persona’s and posturing took up a lot of the thought and action. Emotions, well hidden, were explored and loyalty’s tested. You get enough psychology and interpersonal play to keep the battles exciting and worrying.
The battles are bloody and gross. People die. People you come to care about die on you, it is sad. But ultimately the book is satisfying and feels a bit realistic. The situation is scary and I am excited for the next book because I am HOPING they will find a way off the impossible to escape ship. Anyway, even though it was a lot of battles and skirmishes, the character development is great. 4 stars flickering in the hallway, who knows how much longer the power will last.