Book Review: Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach

Yesterday, I spent the day reading on the porch again and I read Heaven’s Queen (Science Fiction 373 pages) by Rachel Bach. This is the third book in the Paradox series and I enjoyed it greatly. Thankfully, this book wraps up the events from the previous two books rather nicely. Though, there was quite a bit of time near the end where I wasn’t sure I was going to be thrilled with how this book ended.

“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 Devi’s 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.”

It’s both good and bad, but I spent the entire series being positively jealous of Devi’s armor and her weapons. It made me wish desperately that I lived in a time and world where I could have super amazing space armor and go into battle to save the universe. I think the descriptions of the armor and weaponry were fantastic and I really appreciated how much Devi loved her armor. And that’s exactly as it should be. Any soldier or mercenary worth their paycheck should put their gear and equipment before everything else because properly cared for equipment can easily save you and your team. The part where Devi got upset because of how dirty her boots were was absolutely fantastic. And how heart-breaking it was when she’d thought she lost Lady Gray was amusing to me because it made me pretty heart-broken, too.

The section where Caldwell is talking to Devi about Rupert hit me really closely because I can see a lot of myself in Rupert. On page 204, “‘No matter how long he worked or how many languages we made him learn, his Svenyan accent never faded. Not because he couldn’t lose it – Rupert can speak perfect Universal if it suits him – but because he wouldn’t. That’s what Charkov does. He clings. He holds on to what’s important tooth and nail. No matter what we asked of him, he did it perfectly. He never argued, never abused his power, because all he cared about was clinging to what he’d lost and making sure no one else suffered that way again. That was his purpose, his all-powering drive, and it allowed him to do anything. He was the best of all of us, and then he met you.”‘

I am definitely, one hundred percent incapable of doing anything partially or halfway. When I fell in love, I fell whole-heartedly without any reservations. I was so intent on following my heart, the heart the screamed at me all day every day how much love and hope would turn my dreams into my actual life, that I pushed too hard and became kind of psychotic. And that’s exactly the kind of love that Devi and Rupert have in this series, which made this all the more powerful to me.

And then I related to Devi even more on page 356, “Now it was my turn to look down at my hands. For being such a glory hog, I was surprisingly bad at knowing what to do when people thanked me. Cheering crowds I could handle no problem. Sincere personal gratitude? Clammed right up.” I’ve had people thank me before for doing my job or for just normal things that I would do to help someone out and I’m really not very good with personal gratitude at all. In fact, I totally suck at it. I’m such a giving person that I’m terrible at actually accepting gratitude when it’s given to me.

I can also say that I have had random instances of dancing and such in very unprofessional ways, just like Devi on page 371, “The reality of what had just happened didn’t really sink in until we reached the docking tube. After that, it took everything I had not to bounce up and down squealing like a pig. After all, I was a knight now, and knights had to be dignified. But though I managed not to act like a complete idiot, I couldn’t help grabbing Rupert’s arm and tugging on it while I told him I was a knight over and over in a breathless voice until the words ran together into mush.” But sometimes, you really are that excited to finally achieve the dreams you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. And I have had my fair share of super giddy moments.

This book had some very intense emotional moments and I’m not going to say anything about them because they took me completely off guard and I don’t want to ruin the impact for anyone who might actually be reading this review that might someday decide to read the book and series. I thought for sure that this book was going to end up a lot like my life, where everything goes wrong and there’s no way to fix it, but the hero does the right thing anyway. And I would have accepted that ending and still considered the book and the series to be worth reading and rereading. That tells you something about the impact this story had on me.

Overall, this book is definitely a high three or a low four on my rating scale. I am happy that I own the entire series and I will easily reread all of the books again.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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