This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire--or die trying.
When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy's most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire's voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.
Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.
When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire's inner workings.
Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can't, millions may die.
This first collaboration from Lam (Goldilocks) and May (The Falconer) revels in the frenetic energy of its girl power infused, space operatic premise but suffers from overwritten worldbuilding and underwritten characters. Eris, the former heir to the Tholosian imperial throne, and Clo, a mechanic raised on an imperial farmworld, both recently defected from the empire to join the Novantea resistance, becoming key operatives and bitter rivals. They're assigned to intercept a mysterious Tholosian cargo ship that resistance commanders notice because of its disproportionate security. Yet Eris and Clo conveniently encounter only two badly trained guards when they infiltrate the ship's hangar. As their mission continues, they acquire more team members, all painted in broad, badass strokes: there's Ariadne, the engineer; Rhea, the courtesan; Nyx, the soldier; Kyla, the resistance commander; and Cato, the pilot. The points of view multiply with each expansion of the cast, and the story jumps through time to accommodate their backstories, leading to narrative confusion. Still, a cliff-hanger ending will have readers eager for the next installment. This epic, if occasionally bumpy, voyage will appeal to fans of underdog stories and bombastic feminist sci-fi.