I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach
Series: Paradox #3
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on April 22nd 2014
Genres: Adult, Dystopian
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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.
*reins it in*
(Because I am a kindly sort of person, this review will be as spoiler free for the entire trilogy as I am able to make it).
I have made no secret of my extreme love for the Paradox trilogy and I had high, high hopes for the conclusion. It is with great pleasure that I tell you my hopes were not in vain. Heaven’s Queen is everything I wanted and a beautiful conclusion to what has become one of my favorite series. This quote perfectly surmises what this series has been building to and what goes down in this book:
“In chess, the queen is the most powerful piece, but even she is still just a piece on a board. For all her power, she is trapped by her role so long as the game is in play. If she truly wishes to be free, she must change the game.”
Devi is done playing around. Much like the escalating chess pieces worked in to the titles of the book, she has risen from a simple merc to one of the most valuable players on the board. She is out of options and the situation passed dangerously serious several hyperspace jumps ago.
Devi continues to be the heart and soul of this series. I haven’t imprinted this hard on a woman since Jennifer Lawrence showed up on the red carpet talking about how much she wanted a cheeseburger. In no particular order, here are a handful of reasons Devi is and always will be my girl:
- Totally armor-less, she shuts down a death-match between an enraged, ass-kicking-robot-suited up soldier and an incredibly peeved, super-strong, basically invincible alien assassin.
- As BAMF as she is, she’s still human. She recognizes that sometimes, when shit gets dark, you need to get your drunk on and allow yourself a momentary wallow before getting back on your feet and stomping fools.
- She does not let people make dramatic sacrifices for her.
“You want to protect me? Then stay here and help me see this through. That’s what I need from you, not some self-sacrificing bull about leaving me for my own safety.”
- View Spoiler »THIS: “Halfway through, he switched from Universal to a beautiful language I didn’t know, which was a bit of an ego boost for me. I’d never screwed a man into his native tongue before.” « Hide Spoiler
- She takes great, almost gleeful joy in destroying her enemies.
- She does not settle for good enough. She is determined to do the right thing and backs up that determination with every shred of her strength and firepower.
- She does the saving.
I reluctantly concede first half could be construed as slow if you’re not into these books for the character arcs. However, one of my favorite things about this series is its excellent balance between pulse-pounding action and rich, satisfyingly-developed characters, so I counted this as a win. I’ve always preferred my scifi to be more on the space opera end of the spectrum simply because all the brilliantly-written action in the world is wasted on me if I don’t have characters to make me care.
And anyway, action fans take heart! The second half of Heaven’s Queen is non-stop. The trilogy comes to an epic conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down (seriously, I went to work the next morning on three hours of sleep, shit was serious). I laughed, I cried, I was legitimately terrified. The last hundred pages or so were a complete roller-coaster.
I honestly don’t know what else to tell you and it’s getting harder and harder to not dissolve into the giddy gibberish I opened this review with. If I haven’t convinced you that the Paradox series is worth a shot by now, I don’t think I’m going to.
Good-bye Devi, good-bye Rupert, good-bye crew of the Glorious Fool, I’ll miss you guys (even you Brenton and Caldswell, you morally-ambiguous curmudgeons). I’ll be seeing you guys again soon because now that I have my set of shiny, new physical copies sitting right here, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist breaking them in with a reread for too long.