AUTHOR: Ann Aguirre
DATE FINISHED: March 9
BLURB: 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…
REVIEW: I've been reading Aguirre since she started out publishing erotic romance under the pseudonym Annie Dean in 2007. What I loved about her then was why I followed her when she went more mainstream - the woman knows how to paint pictures with her words. I've always really enjoyed her voice, whether it's romance, sci-fi (with her Sirantha Jax series), or romantic suspense (which she wrote under Ava Gray), so it's easy for me to pick up one of her books and enjoy it. That level of enjoyment varies, depending on the story she's telling. In this case, I had a blast.
Though it's a spinoff from her Sirantha Jax series, it can completely stand alone. It's been a few years since I read that, and I barely remember Jael from it at all. That didn't stand in the way of enjoying this story. It's dark and action-packed, and nobody is a good guy. Well, Dred isn't quite so bad since all the terrible things she did were against bad people. But she's still pretty rough around the edges. The men are varying degrees of horrible, who don't really apologize for their pasts. That didn't matter to me. I ended up like them. Some more than others. But what's important is that I enjoyed the ride.
It's not a book for everyone. It's very violent and incredibly bleak. It's also not a redemption story. There's a romantic subplot which purists might have a problem with. But I'm going to keep going with the series. It's only three books, and I want to know what comes next.
SQUARE: Fantasy/Sci Fi/Paranormal