cover image Seven Devils

Seven Devils

Laura Lam and Elizabeth May. DAW, $26 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1580-8

This first collaboration from Lam (Goldilocks) and May (The Falconer) revels in the frenetic energy of its girl power–infused, space operatic premise but suffers from overwritten worldbuilding and underwritten characters. Eris, the former heir to the Tholosian imperial throne, and Clo, a mechanic raised on an imperial farmworld, both recently defected from the empire to join the Novantea resistance, becoming key operatives—and bitter rivals. They’re assigned to intercept a mysterious Tholosian cargo ship that resistance commanders notice because of its disproportionate security. Yet Eris and Clo conveniently encounter only two badly trained guards when they infiltrate the ship’s hangar. As their mission continues, they acquire more team members, all painted in broad, badass strokes: there’s Ariadne, the engineer; Rhea, the courtesan; Nyx, the soldier; Kyla, the resistance commander; and Cato, the pilot. The points of view multiply with each expansion of the cast, and the story jumps through time to accommodate their backstories, leading to narrative confusion. Still, a cliff-hanger ending will have readers eager for the next installment. This epic, if occasionally bumpy, voyage will appeal to fans of underdog stories and bombastic feminist sci-fi. Agents: (for Lam) Juliet Mushens, CaskieMushens; (for May) Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Aug.)