Book review: Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach

heaven's queenTitle: Heaven’s Queen

Author: Rachel Bach

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: SF

Available now

Blurb:

From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell’s doomed ship, Devi Morris’ life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that’s eating her alive. 
Now, with the captain missing and everyone — even her own government — determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi’s never been one to shy from a fight, and she’s getting mighty sick of running. 
It’s time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.

My thoughts:

I should preface this review by saying that Heaven’s Queen is book 3 of a trilogy, and I missed book 2 (Honor’s Knight), so there was some plot info that I was missing. That said, this book does a pretty good job of standing by itself, especially because it was book 3. In a lot of trilogies I’m completely lost if I’ve missed the middle bit. In this book, though, it was fairly easy to pick up on the plot, little holes notwithstanding.

This, like the first book in the trilogy, Fortune’s Pawn, is a fast-paced, actiony romp through space with some romance thrown in. It’s super fun. There are aliens, spaceships, explosions, gun fights, hot shapeshifting man-reptile (I know, right?), etc etc.

Like I said, it’s super fun.

I quite liked the characters in the book. Most of the supporting characters have personality and depth; I really enjoyed the Church of the Cosmos. They’re basically space hippies, but their space station commune seems pretty neat. Some of the supporting characters from previous books take a backseat in this one (ie. Hyrek, from the first book — remember, I missed the second book).

Devi is an interesting character. She’s equal parts annoying as hell and someone you root for. She’s headstrong, stubborn, prideful, and incredibly reckless. Basically, she does whatever the hell she wants, regardless of the outcome or consequences. However, those same qualities also make her a very strong, very independent person. As a character, she’s quite layered, very nuanced, and rather realistic.

Annoyingness aside, Devi’s pretty awesome.

I did, however, dislike Devi’s occasional navel-gazing. The plot is so fast-paced, her moments of introspection brought the book to a screeching halt. But other than that, she’s pretty cool, as far as ass-kicking heroines go.

This book is lots of fun, and is a fast read. The book isn’t short, but it clicks along pretty quickly. I read it in two sittings, heh.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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I’m Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I’m part of the group that’s almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I’m waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa’uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first.

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