Fortune's Pawn - Rachel Bach

"Dominance is an animal game. You’ve got to give the animal part of your enemy time to understand they’ve been defeated, otherwise you’ll end up fighting the same fight a dozen times before they get it."

Mercenary for hire, Devi Morris, will let nothing stand in the way of her ambition to become a notoriously tough and prestigious Devastator for the King. To get there however, she has to catch the attention of the people that matter. Long after accepting that the life of a merc is commonly a short one, Devi seeks a job as security on the infamous <I>Glorious Fool</I>, which is cursed with the worst type of luck for finding trouble - but the security men that make it through a year alive on the cargo ship are catapulted to glory, and garner the interest of the people she needs to attract most to achieve her goal.

I honestly don't know when I'll tire of kick-ass heroines. Devi isn't exactly everything I'd ever want in a character (she's impulsive and socially inexperienced), but her smarts and gritty-determined will make her oodles of fun to root for. Couple that with some really exciting technology in the form of her armored suit, Lady Gray (think Ironman here...), and this read was a really fun ride.

And the best of the fun is when we get to the action. The <I>Glorious Fool</I> does find trouble. This time, it's in the form of universe altering shenanigans by the creepiest lizard creatures I've ever read about. There are scenes that are very reminiscent of <b>Alien</b> and <b>Aliens</b> in this book, which is less of a detraction and more of an atmospheric thumbs up.

The downside for me was the romance. This book is foremost a sci-fi fantasy, with a small side of romance. Unfortunately, the romance is like plain mashed potatoes instead of the fancy kind with cream cheese and garlic. We should have gotten further into the story before the <spoiler>I love yous</spoiler> were exchanged. It was all a little too convenient and contrived.

Of course that didn't slow down my excitement to read the next installment at all - no matter what happens with the love of Devi's life, the ending leaves lots of questions worth answering.