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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 8 February 2014
Here’s a book that blindsided me. I went in thinking it would be just about “okay” – and came out frothing at the mouth for the next one! Already preordered. But let me not get ahead of myself.

Deviana Morris is a gun-toting mercenary, with a hankering for danger and blasting pirates, who is ambitious as hell. While most mercs are happy to move up the ranks until they hit a cushy office job, Devi isn’t like that – she wants to be a Devastator, the most dangerous job in all of Paradox, and she’ll do damn well anything to get it.

Which is precisely why she gets herself a job on the Glorious Fool, captained by Caldswell, which is said to be cursed. After all, the Devastators count one year on the Fool to be the equivalent of five years service elsewhere. And since mercs don’t usually live for long, Devi decides to fast track her career.

But there are secrets aboard the Fool, ones she shouldn’t stick her nose in – but pigheaded little Devi can’t help but poke her nose in, endangering her life and, more importantly to her, her career. As if it wasn’t complicated enough, she finds herself ridiculously infatuated with Rupert, the ship’s cook – who seems to have some secrets of his own.

You can see why I was a little hesitant, right? Love and secrets – could be a Nora Roberts novel in space. Except, it’s not. Devi is a believable character – hardened from years as a merc, ambitious as anything, who answers violence with violence and puts her career before anything. She has never dated – only slept with casually – men before, so her reaction to Rupert’s soft kindness is understandable.

It’s also not as if she falls heads over and becomes reliant on him as a character – not at all! She feels like an idiot for her feelings, and she takes what she wants, whether it gets her into trouble at all.

I really loved Devi, but Bach’s secondary characters are colourful too – a bird navigator, who is bristly and has a superiority complex, an know-it-all alien doctor with a sense of humour and a sweet, if a bit kooky, hippy roommate. They provide a great backdrop for the novel, and I’m hoping to hear more out of them in the future novels – particular Hyrex. I loved him.

The mysteries come in midway through the book, and I’ve got some (what I think are) fairly good guesses towards them, but I’m anxious to find out. They aren’t overdone, and there are plenty to sink your teeth in to. I’m particularly intrigued as to what the hell the bugs are.

The prose is solid – nothing to write home about, but it does the job, moving the story about. The plot does meander in places, but it’s a nice break from the sometime relentless action in others.

Like I said, I’m pumped that the next two books are both coming out this year, and can’t wait to find out where Bach takes us next with the crew of the Glorious Fool.
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on 18 March 2015
Devi is a merc, a highly armoured security guard with ambition. She wants to reach the most respected rank of Devastator and is willing to put everything else aside to get there.

The first thing that struck me about the world building, and in fact the way the book is written in general, was that there's little extraneous information. Everything you need to know to get a clear picture is there but no overly long descriptions. I thought this really helped the pacing of the book, along with the fact that the author didn't feel the need to keep hammering home the fact that the majority of these characters aren't human. "I didn't know what Christmas was" was all that was needed instead of some great explanation of what may have been similar on Paradox.

This book is first and foremost a sci-fi book that just happens to have a romantic element. Just as well because once the sexy times appear they are, to be honest, a little disappointing.

However I definitely appreciated a strong female lead who didn't need any overly 'male' traits to make her strong and, also, a world where her ambition and drive were accepted with no negativity about her gender.
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on 7 May 2014
The writing in Fortune's Pawn is tight enough. But I found the story of a space marine on a deep space trader a bot bland. There was very much a feeling of seen it before. Nothing wrong with that if it is written in an entertaining or engrossing way. But I did not see that in this book. I found it a perfectly average read.
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on 11 May 2015
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the idea of the armoured suit that was Devi's pride and joy. I thought the weapons and suit were described with just enough detail on how they worked without being too techy.

The book did scream out Firefly to me a lot though. There was the questionable motives of the captain and the similarities between River and Ren being the main ones. That isn't to say that it put me off the book though.

The one thing that did put me off was the romance between Devi and Rupert. I found it completely unnecessary and im worried about how it will progress through the rest of the books in changing Devi's character. I liked the fact that she started of as a strong, goal driven character. I would those traits to become completely swallowed by her feelings for Rupert.

I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series!
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on 7 August 2014
A very entertaining novel. It definitely surpassed my expectations after some of the sci-fi drivel I've tried to plough through recently. This author can write and knows how to use description really well and to keep the reader engaged. It's a good adventure story, with interesting characters and some unexpected twists and turns. It has a bit of something for everyone really. Action, humour, romance, mystery. I read the book in two days flat and left all my housework to rot in the meantime. However the reason I haven't given it 5 stars, is because I'm not great on the action side and some of the fighting was just a tad long winded and repetitive for me, although nowhere near as drawn out and tedious as a lot of other books I've read. Also I felt that perhaps the thread of the ongoing mystery suffered a little at the expense of this and I would have liked to see the plot move along just a little faster. Also and I'm being really picky here, credibility was stretched a little thinly in places. In any case I have already downloaded book two to my kindle and can't wait to see if it's at least as good as this one. Could do with an injection of new characters now and a few more twists and turns and maybe a little less fighting.
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on 30 May 2014
I don't know who this trilogy is supposed to appeal to. It has both Love Story, and Military Sci-Fi sides. Those who want to read a love story would surely be put off by the military sci-fi; conversely those who want to read the military sci-fi would be put off by the love story … I know *I* was. I felt the whole love story got to be tedious, and slowed the overall plot down a lot at times, as we got pages of "mushy stuff", so my rating is lower because of that.

Another aspect which I found tedious by the second book, was that there are so many reversals of viewpoint about who are the 'goodies' and who are the 'baddies', that I didn't know whether I was coming or going, or who to root for. Every 'betrayal' usually turned out not to be, and this plot device therefore lost its impact after the first couple of uses.

The writing is good enough, the heroine suitably kick-ass, and there are some good characterisations and nifty ideas. BUT. I had to struggle to get through the trilogy … I did, but it was hard going.

If you want to read this kind of thing done properly, read Tanya Huff's "Valour Confederation" series. Much better than this one.
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on 4 February 2014
I can't wait for the sequel. Rattles on at a good pace, with twists and turns. This is a classic "who's really the good guy?" story, where you're not sure where your loyalties should lie, and who anyone really is - themes I'm sure will be developed further in the rest of the series.
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on 25 November 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to the next in the series. The main character is a female mercenary soldier with a driving ambition, which leads her into trouble. It's well written with a fast pace and enough plot surprises to keep me intrigued. I genuinely didn't want to put the book down.
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on 11 April 2015
Not what I was expecting from an armoured combat point of view, being a fan of starship troopers, armor, halo and such genres I was not expecting what I got in 'pawn'. having said that I thor enjoyed the writing style, speed and direction of the book!
Pride, power, pain and love make their way to the fore in this wonderful addition to the military sci/fi pantheon
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on 11 December 2014
Devi is a skilled and ambitious mercenary with top of the line equipment and a career plan that needs the boost of a lot of death and glory. Her glory, other people's death. But her new crew mates are stuffed with toxic, shape changing, career killing secrets.
The space armour is nearly a character in its own right, and the gadget freaks love of a really top line, brilliantly designed gadget is a great story element.
This book finished on a cliffhanger, and didn't feel like a complete book in its own right. Fortunately the next book is written so I can move straight on with the story.
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