Author: Rachel Bach
Publication: Orbit (November 5, 2013)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: FORTUNE'S PAWN was a great space opera novel. The main character - Devi Morris - is a larger-than-life, kick ass mercenary soldier who, nonetheless, seems very real and well-rounded. Devi is ambitious. She wants to overcome her peasant roots and become on the god-king's elite warriors - the Devastators. Unfortunately, you have to be asked to join and you have to be at least 10 years older than Devi is. To, hopefully, shortcut her path, Devi applies for a job on the spaceship The Glorious Fool because she has heard that one successful year there is like five anywhere else. The captain has also promised to recommend her to the Devastators if she does a good job for him.
The ship has a very interesting crew. Among them are two aliens including one representative of a race that thinks humans make great food and is currently serving as the ship's doctor. The captain is very mysterious and has an even stranger daughter. But the character that most intrigues Devi is Rupert Charkov who is the ship's cook. Devi is intrigued by him and decides to hit on him. He is wonderfully polite but manages to dodge her increasingly blatant hits. She thought she had read him wrong when she finds him holding a gun to the captain's head one day. However, when she shot him without hesitation, she learned that it had all been a test to see if she could kill a friend who had gone bad.
They do manage to get over their bad start and have a romance. However, the captain says that they can't and plays on Devi's ambition to get her to break off the relationship. Rupert is also constantly telling her that he is dangerous. That doesn't deter Devi much. After all, mercs aren't know for being danger-averse.
Devi has lots of questions about Rupert and about the ship and is determined to satisfy her curiosity. But questions can be as dangerous as the alien Xith'cal and too many questions could get a girl killed.
I enjoyed the world building in this story. I also really liked the characters. I can't wait to read the next book in this series to find out more and to get some of my many questions answered. The only bad part about reading an ARC is that it seems so much longer until the next book in the series is ready to be read. Hurry up, Rachel! I need to know what happens next.
As the scalding steam rolled over me, I peeled off my wet dress, balled it in my fists, put it to my mouth, and screamed into it until I was reasonably sure I wouldn't shoot something. Needless to say, I screamed for a long time.I got this eARC at NetGalley from Orbit. You can buy your copy here.