Fortune’s Pawn

Rachel Bach. Orbit, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-22111-5
Ambitious career mercenary Devi Morris, believing her advancement stalled in the prestigious Blackbird company, accepts a security position on the notorious trade ship Glorious Fool, a ship so prone to interesting times that one year served there counts as five years served anywhere else. Devi discovers a diverse crew of aliens and humans under a demanding master, and a ship full of secrets worth killing to protect. Swarms of alien slavers and predator-infested derelict ships lost in the depths of space are dangerous enough, but can Devi survive the Glorious Fool herself? All of space opera’s conventions make appearances, including violent aliens, mysterious powers, high-tech weaponry, powered armor, sympathetic mercenaries, and feudal societies. What Bach fails to demonstrate is much ability to blend her stock set pieces into a coherent whole or put a new spin on familiar clichés. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
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