Thursday, January 14, 2016

SFRB Recommends 49: Perdition by Ann Aguirre #scifi #romance #sfrom

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…

This book is dark and gritty.  Tensions and brutality run high: a fight-to-the-death dueling pit addresses grievances, and Dred has to do some extreme deeds to keep order in her territory while she and her allies fight off threats of other criminal fiefs. There's plenty of gunfighting and concerns about provisions, weaponry, the basic survival needs. 

Dred's the star of the show, hiding herself and some of her talents behind her persona because to show weakness or difference means the crumbling of any kind of civilization on the ship. Jael has never known loyalty or much about friendship, but the way Dred and her crew treat him inspire him to be a more worthy person. Dred, Jael, Dred's inner circle, and even the enemies are all memorable, multidimensional characters. They're not nice people: they're convicts on a prison ship. If you can live with that, you're in for an intense read! The romance is well-integrated into the plot, and I loved how Dred and Jael come to respect and care about each other through their actions.

Author site: Ann Aguirre Author

Recommendation by Lee Koven.

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