Book Review: Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

I’m on something of a science fiction kick right now, as the novel I’m currently working on started out as a space adventure kind of thing. When looking for a new series to read, I picked up Fortune’s Pawn (Science Fiction 320 pages) by Rachel Bach.

“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 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 anywhere 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.”

This book was more addictive than I thought it would be. I figured I would read a couple of chapters on the porch and then head back inside to get some mandatory housework done. The next thing I know, the sun is setting and I needed to come back inside to get better lighting and to make my tea.

I’m not sure if this is a good series for me to be reading right now or not. I relate entirely too much to the main character and the end sections got a lot harder for me than I was anticipating.

“Oh, I was still furious with myself. I’d lost my cool and acted like an idiot over a guy in a way that endangered my career, something I’d sworn I would never do. But as I’d fought tears and pitched a fit, I’d slowly come to a new understanding of why. The reason getting dumped by Rupert had affected me so much more than ending things with any of my other lovers was Rupert wasn’t like my other lovers, and I didn’t know how to deal with that.” (Rachel Bach, Fortune’s Pawn page 256)

The mentality and the character of someone like Devi is something that I relate to very well. Devi is someone who is used to having temporary people in her life and her life starts getting really difficult when she starts having real, genuine feelings for someone who she has to work with. That’s where her life starts getting complicated. When she meets someone who she has an instant connection with, and it’s a connection that’s deeper, more intense, and more powerful than anything she’s ever faced before and she has to acknowledge that she’s actually falling in love.

“But the mess I’d made with Rupert dwarfed everything that had come before it, only this time, it looked like the one left in the mud was me. After years of perfect performance, I’d slipped up big-time. I’ve never exactly been great at being honest with myself, but I could no longer deny that I was falling in love, and I was doing it with the worst man possible.” (Rachel Bach, Fortune’s Pawn page 257)

“It was enough to make me spit. Love was the last thing I wanted. I had ambitions, I had a career ahead of me. Love ruined careers. It certainly seemed to be ruining mine, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I felt helpless, like I’d just taken a sucker punch for a fight I hadn’t even known I was in, and that made me feel more murderous than anything else. Nothing pisses me off like being weak.” (Rachel Bach, Fortune’s Pawn page 257)

Falling in love isn’t something that you can control. You can’t change who you love. It’s not your choice if you love someone or if they love you. Either your heart is on fire or it’s not. These are things I’ve experienced all too keenly lately, and it very similar circumstances. I fell in love with someone who was not someone I was supposed to develop feelings for and it combined with some other factors to seriously impact my career. I guess the big difference between what I’m going through and what Devi is going through with Rupert is that at least Devi knows that Rupert also loves her. I have no such satisfaction. All I know is that the person I love wants me out of their life completely.

“My relationship with Rupert was clearly over. Even if he hadn’t said so yesterday, I would have ended it now that I’d realized I was falling for him. But much as I wanted to, I couldn’t just make myself stop caring, so as I walked, I set down firm guidelines.” (Rachel Bach, Fortune’s Pawn page 258)

The story and the characters in this novel are really fascinating. And as much as I completely relate to everything that Devi is going through, I also relate to her as a character. Eventually, though, that kind of lifestyle will take its toll. She will have spent so much time living a life of action and saving the galaxy in the name of a ruler she believes in that it’s going to be really heart-breaking for her if/when she realizes that the ruler and system she believes in doesn’t believe in her. And she will struggle to find herself when she can’t participate in the action anymore. She’ll struggle with her own individual identity and her place in the world. And that’s likely to break her even more. So. Yeah. I relate to Devi in a huge way.

I like the different alien species in the story and the ships and the action. The end of the book was really frustrating, but I do own the next two books in the series, so that should help a bit. Overall, I’d say this book is a high three on my scale. It’s interesting and a giant mystery that had me flipping pages to attempt to figure out what exactly is going on.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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