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Publisher's Summary

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 everywhere 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.

©2013 Rachel Aaron (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Rachel Bach's Fortune's Pawn is based on a fascinating premise and launches what looks to be a superb military science fiction series." (Eric Flint)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    83
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    12

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Easily the worst narration I've heard in 90 books

The narration is distractingly bad. I didn't make it 5 minutes. It sounds as if the Comcast auto teller were a 12 year old female reading to a 3 year old.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story with some caveats..

Overall I did wind up moving on to the 2nd book in the series, so by the end I felt like the story was a good one. However, while there were some things well done, there were definitely some that could have been better.

One issue I had is with Emily Durante's performance: initially, it was extremely off-putting to me. It bothered me so much, I actually stopped about halfway through the 1st chapter and started to write a negative review based solely on that. I thought better of that though, and decided instead to try and press through, and eventually I got accustomed to it; I believe it did actually get better.

Part of the problem is that she has to do a man's voice at the very beginning, which she just doesn't do well- at least not for that particular character. On top of that, she has to emphasize the main character's native dialect, which she chose to have a distinct southern "drawl" to, but with some odd characters, almost northeastern U.S.. It made for something fairly foreign, but quite odd at the same time. It caused the character's range of emotion to fall a bit flat in the beginning. As the story progresses, the dialect fades significantly except for times when she intentionally drops back into her native tongue for effect, and becomes less of a distraction, and you can read more into the performance of the lead role.

One thing that some will like and others won't is the romance plot of the story; Yes, it does take up a significant portion of the 1st book- (quite a bit less in the 2nd). One of the things that is interesting to me about this is that the author is a woman. I did not realize that until I had finished the book and then went back and looked. The main reason I bring that up is that the main character (Devi) is also a woman, and I believe that Rachael Bach brings a bit more realism to SOME of the character's psyche because of that- there is a greater degree of nuanced uncertainly as the main character tries to figure out her relationship with her love interest through the story, to a degree that I've not seen from male authors who write about woman characters. Sanderson does a fantastic job with Vinn in his Mistborn series, but this just felt a bit more real from that standpoint.

However, at the same time, Devi also had to fit into this mold of being a "strong, self made" woman, whose main line of work is as a mercenary. That felt like a much more 2 dimensional aspect of her psyche, and less real (even if it was a likable aspect for a lead character).

The story itself is complex and engaging- there are layers of mysteries that lead to new questions and deeper puzzles- always fun to try and unravel, though it does leave you a bit confused as to exactly what is going on at some points. And book 1 leaves plenty of mystery left that you want to dive into the 2nd book to unravel what is going on- not necessarily a cliffhanger ending, but you end up with a lot more questions than when you started.

There are some minor repetitious points that the author belittled that I found particularly distracting. Both Devi's love interest, as well as the captain, do a HUGE amount of sighing. Like at every interaction they have with her. It gets old- I was concerned they were going to run out of oxygen on this ship with all the friggin' sighing that was going on! (Find another way to express regret than with a sigh please!) And Racheal talks WAY too much about how warm the cook's hands are (OK, we get it, they are unusually warm- please stop telling us every dang time she touches them- which apparently is a LOT!).

I feel like the stars above are pretty solid representations- most of the times I am wishing for half stars, but I think the overall for this one is a solid 4 stars. I've got some gripes for sure, but in the end it was worth the credit, and I was entertained.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book. Great Narrator. But the ending...

I really liked the book. The characters were good, the mysteries were intriguing, and there was good pace. I was going to give the book a higher rating, however I was pretty disappointed with the ending. I realize that it's just the first book in a series, so I didn't expect everything to be wrapped up with a nice little bow, but the resolutions that were given were diminished by the condition the main character was left at the end. It deflated my eagerness to jump right into the second book.

Again, I thought the book was great and I will read the followup books eventually. It was just that the one point I didn't like was also the last impression left by the book.

The narrator was probably one of the better I've listened too. Easy to listen to and her character voices didn't sound forced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great for Sci-Fi Newbies!

Any additional comments?

I really should read more sci-fi. I really enjoy it! And Fortune’s Pawn… HOLY MACARONI!!! What a FANTASTIC book! WARNING – ENTHUSIASTIC RANT AHEAD!

Meet Devi! Our smart, strong and BUTT KICKING heroine. Devi is an armoured soldier and leaves her prestigious position to take a security job on the Glorious Fool, a trade ship. For some reason security personnel that serve on this ship tend to do well for themselves, and she is determined to be a devastator – an elite type of armed guard that protect the king himself . The highest position that an armoured guard can get to. And Devi is ambitious. On the Glorious Fool the people she encounters are not what they seem. The Captain is something more than a trader, his daughter is more than a little girl, and the cook is more than a cook. But she has no idea what their secrets are. And she is going to find out and use the information to become a devastator. If she doesn’t die first.

This book was fantastic! My synopsis doesn’t do it justice! Think Firefly, crossed with Battlestar Galactica. It was AMAZING! Mystery, violence, sexual tension, thrills, comedy, aliens, space travel… And this is just the first book!

And the audio book! WOW! Think I have a new favourite. I couldn’t stop listening! I loved every minute of it! Emily Durante did such a fantastic job as the sarcastic mercenary!

Devi is an awesome character. Yes it has a little clichéd powerful Buffy type thing going on, but I love reading about the awesome strong female character. I loved the dialogue, the fact that she drunk way too much and made mistakes and wasn’t perfect. She is the best female lead character I have read about in a long time!

The romance was fabulous! I have read a few reviews complaining about the large romantic aspect of this novel, but I think it absolutely made it! It still would have been interesting without it, but added an extra dimension that I loved. Plus, I love a good dose of romance and sex in a book!

Another star of the book was Devi’s armoured suit “Lady”. It was almost a character itself. I thought it was so clever and I loved that it was like an extension of her body.

Oh I just loved this book! I’m already into the second!

Would I recommend it?

Yes! For any science fiction fan, and also for sci-fi newbies! Those who want a good, easy to read, fabulous story! And I absolutely recommend the audio version, which is the best one I have listened to so far!

“But fair warning, being drunk doesn’t slow down my head shots.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting read

Any additional comments?

The narrator was OK, but couldn't really do authoritative mail voices well. I look forward to the next in the series, though I could have done without the Monarchy drivel. Fortunately it wasn't key to the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun ride! Convincingly real!

Thoroughly entertaining, captivating, imaginative, tightly-wound. For a man (me), more than I ever wanted of naughty glimpses into how women think and what they want in men (according to this woman author). Fun ride that ended all too soon! Really amazed by the whole thing!! The armor was really cool too. Just displeased with taking God's name in vain so repeatedly.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Crisp Space Opera, Sexy Female Protagonist

Any additional comments?

This was a fresh book. There certainly have been female protagonists in Space Opera, take Kai Vatta, Herris Serrano and Honor Harrington. But I think this is the most feminine role yet. Sure she's tough, and kicks ass, but she's sexy, and feminine, and I enjoyed that aspect of the book. The book doesn't get bogged down with unnecessary description or prose, and is fast paced, and very satisfying!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Connor
  • North Carolina
  • 02-02-14

Liked Part of the Book, But Not All

Got this book to hear the story of a hard fighting, hard drinking space mercenary. I was expecting the hero to be a tough talking woman who takes down aliens with her big guns. But “Fortune’s Pawn” is also the story of girl meets guy, girl gets guy, girl worries about losing guy. I do not care about the problems of dating in space.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ready to Rumble?

Every merc wants to be a Devastator and Devi Morris is no different, until it comes to getting there. After maxing out in her current position, she starts looking for another challenge to make her dreams come true and she finds it. Does she ever.

The Glorious Fool, (really cool ship name BTW) is reportedly a trading craft, but it's got the highest mortality rate of any ship around, and Devi has it on good authority that surviving your full contract gives a merc serious cred. The kind that could get a girl noticed by the Devastators. Without a backward glance, she and the Lady Grey, her beloved armor, sign up.

I really enjoyed this story. It's a kickass romp through space with big booms and scrappy sword play, and aliens, aliens, aliens. The world build sucks you in, as do the characters, and then the plot thickens when the ship Devi really should have figured out wasn't really a trading vessel, (long before she ever set foot on board) runs into trouble at every turn. She discovers the Captain and his crew are much more than they appear, and none of that knowledge does anything for her life expectancy. If I have one gripe, it's with the ending. The ends do wrap up, but I envisioned another two chapters of Devi having it out with the Captain and signing on for the real journey. Next book maybe - and I will be picking up the next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent descriptions

Fast paced action and surprising twists. Nice romantic intrigue. Looking forward to the next book since it's a continuation of the main character