My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ever since reading the Sirantha Jax series by this author, I have been crazing more of her work, but also wishing for more books set in that universe. As luck would have it, this trilogy fulfills both of those. In fact, as soon as I found out that the books were set in the same universe, I immediately bought the whole trilogy and never bothered to read the books description until after.
I have to say, I really liked the idea of violent criminals being abandoned on a ship. What better way to get rid of those kinds of people that to put them where they can only harm each other and where escape is not possible. Of course it also begged the question, how do they survive such conditions? Naturally, they don’t all survive and if the clashes between the inmates don’t kill them, time will.
Dred was a fairly decent character. One thing I liked is that she wasn’t perfect, she had flaws which were shown throughout the books, yet she also possessed the intelligence and strength to hold her own in such an unforgiving environment. She relies on the others of her clan as much as they rely on her. While a number of things were revealed about her, there is still plenty to discover in the coming books. Two other good characters that played a big role were Tam and Einar. Of the two, I definitely thought Einar was the more interesting of characters. I liked him right from his first appearance. Then there is Jael. He is still a decent enough mystery in some ways. Sure, he shared his past with Dred, so we know plenty about him. But there are obviously many more secrets he is hiding and only time will tell if he reveals any of them.
Among the other characters, there is a great mix. Obviously they are all criminals, or else they wouldn’t be on the ship. Yet there is a wonderful mix of personalities and skill sets that allow them to thrive together, or kill each other off, depending on the situation. I really liked Silence. As her name would suggest, she didn’t say much, in fact she said nothing at all.
And then there is the ship itself, by far the most important character of them all, even if it is an inanimate object. It’s large, old and been torn apart in many ways. It is both the place that holds them hostage and a resource to keep the prisoners going.
Overall, I have to say I enjoyed this book and thought it was a good start to a new trilogy. There were a few things I didn’t like. I also had a small issue with Dred’s rein over Queensland, mostly having to do with feeling like she wouldn’t be able to hold onto it without outside influence, even if that influence came from within her own clan. But in a way, it also worked out that she was sort of lacking in leadership skills. It will be interesting to see how she progresses as a leader as the trilogy continues.
While not an absolute necessity, I would recommend reading the Sirantha Jax series first, as this trilogy is set in the same world as that series and is there Jael is originally introduced. Another reason to do so is that the Sirantha Jax series is simply fantastic.