Fortune’s Pawn was an excellent sci-fi adventure with a kick-butt heroine. Devi Morris is an ambitious mercenary and she is not ashamed to admit it. Everything that Devi does is with one goal in mind: to become a Devastator, one of the elite soldiers of her people, the Paradoxians. When she signs on with the Glorious Fool Devi thinks she’s found her ticket into the Devastators, only to find all is not as it appears on this seemingly unassuming trader ship.
What stands out in Fortune’s Pawn is the character of Devi herself. Devi is unapologetic about her ambitions and she’s not about to allow anyone stand in the way of her ultimate goal. It would be easy for Devi to be a one-dimensional character, but that is clearly not the case. Devi may name her weapons, but she’s not a trigger-happy mindless soldier, she cares about what she’s sent to do and because of that she gets curious. And in this case, curiosity is not necessarily a good thing. Devi lands herself in the soup by the end of Fortune’s Pawn and it’s anyone’s guess exactly what Devi has gotten herself involved in by signing on the Glorious Fool. The captain clearly has more authority than a simple trader. The handsome cook has skills more suited to the battlefield than the kitchen. And then there’s the captain’s silent daughter. What aren’t they telling Devi and why does her knowledge put her in even more danger?
The unanswered questions in Fortune’s Pawn will keep me coming back for the next book. Devi is clearly being used, but I can’t see Devi allowing this to continue. The question is why Devi is being used? What is the big secret? Readers are only treated to small snippets of what this secret is. There’s a mysterious big bad out there and Caldswell and his crew seem to be doing something about it, but that doesn’t make them heroes. What side Devi is going to come down on is anyone’s guess.
While there is a lot of action and guns blazing, there was a strong romance throughout Fortune’s Pawn. Rupert, the mysterious cook, attracts Devi’s eye from the moment that they meet. It’s very clear that Rupert is hiding something and it doesn’t play out well for their budding relationship. But, never fear romance readers, this is the first in a trilogy, so I suspect there is more to the end than meets the eye, and hopefully a happily-ever-after is in store by book three. Although since Devi is a warrior woman, I’m rather sure this happy ending is going to be anything but conventional.
Fortune’s Pawn was a fun, action-packed read, filled with mystery and romance. I loved the space setting, the aliens and the characters. Devi Morris was one determined woman, and I loved the fact that readers really get inside her head. I can’t imagine that this super soldier will be kept down for long. On to book two!
I went through a bit of phase reading a ton of sci-fi romance, so it wasn’t really surprising that I really liked Fortune’s Pawn (although I could have used more in the romance department). The characters of Rupert and Devi put me in mind of the duo in Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command. This is another fantastic adventure, and it’s a perfect follow-up, especially if you don’t want to invest in another trilogy. Games of Command is blessedly a standalone novel.
While Eve Kenin’s Driven isn’t set in space, it’s another futuristic romance read that reminded me of Devi and Rupert, especially because of all the secrets that were flying around. And, the hero’s name is Wizard, which I think it kinda cool.
And, finally, a list of similar reads wouldn’t be complete without Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series. Space adventure, romance, kick-butt heroine, a pretty close match to Fortune’s Pawn. Start with book one, Grimspace.