Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Orbit
Source: Net Galley
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.
I usually shy away from science fiction (or should I call it space fiction?) because they use technical terms and all of them seem to be set on a space ship and things can get repetitive when the settings remain identical in different novels. Fortune’s Pawn, however, promised me something different, something new so when I saw it on NetGalley, I pounced on it with a lot of zeal. I like the word zeal unless it’s being applied to cult leaders. Anyway, as I was saying, it looks fun and the main character, Devi Morris, seems to be a new brand of protagonist. And she is.
I mean, she is unabashedly ambitious, vain and open about her desires, sexual or otherwise. She knows her flaws and she is okay with them. And while she is ambitious, she is not obsequious. She operates within a certain set of codes and I like that while she is brave, she is logical and works within reason. I also really like that she doesn’t let romance interfere with her life – she’s not mercenary about it but she knows what she values more and I really appreciated it. And therein lies the secret to the success of the novel with me – I liked Devi, I empathized with her motivations and I backed her choices. A successful novel for me is one which makes me love the protagonist and this one did.
The pace is fast and furious and the action is plentiful. There are slower moments but they are interspersed throughout the novel and add to the plot rather than take away from it. The romance is steamy and rather sweet. Unexpectedly so, in fact. The plot has many twists and the mystery deepens at the end after only giving a glimpse of the facts. My attention has definitely been caught and I can’t wait for books two and three in the series. I recommend it if you are looking for something sort of urban-fantasy-ish, only set in space.