Title: Warrior Wench
Author: Marie Andreas
Series: The Asarlaí Wars
Vaslisha Tor Dain is a mercenary starship captain with a few simple rules: A good ship is better than a great man, in case of confusion always err on the side of blowing someone’s head off, and never fall for a telepath or a member of her crew.
All of those are about to bite her in the ass.
Vas’s life takes a turn for the worse when she comes back to her crew after what should have been a two week pleasure trip to find out she’s actually been gone a month and has no memory of missing time. Her beloved ship, The Victorious Dead, has been sold for scrap and its pieces scattered throughout the galaxy. In addition, there are unmarked ships blowing apart entire planets and the Commonwealth government can’t, or won’t, stop them.
And that’s just her first day back.
Vas has to fight her crew, the Commonwealth, and a mysterious cadre of warrior monks to get her ship back and save a universe that may not want to be saved.
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
This fun sci-fi romp starts out with a mystery and keeps on adding them throughout. We also have plenty of action, a bit of adventure, lots of space travel, plenty of aliens, a tiny smidgen of romance, loads of bluster, a hint of violence and more murder attempts than should by rights be survivable. The characters are engaging, the plot was intriguing and the whole thing made for an enjoyable read.
Captain Vas is a woman with a reputation. She’s a merc captain who plays by the rules – most of the time. She’s strong and determined, an impressive fighter, beautiful, has a past she doesn’t like thinking about and was perhaps a touch too perfect at times and could have done with a few more flaws. But on the whole she’s likeable. She’s loyal to her crew and very protective of her ship, which is why the fact that it’s been stolen and scrapped comes as such an infuriating shock.
But this is just the first of the shocks, and the mysteries, that this book throws at you. All is not well in the Commonwealth and it seems like Vas, her crew and their new ship, the Warrior Wench, are right in the thick of it. Trouble doesn’t just follow them around, it often lays an ambush, doubles back and tries to blow them up – all at the same time. There’s rarely a dull moment, which makes it easy to lose track of just how many unsolved mysteries there are at any one moment.
Because if there’s one thing this book is short on, it’s answers. Even when we do get a hint or a clue, it usually leads to more questions. It might have been nice to have had a few more crumbs offered up by the end, but I guess it makes a compelling case for picking up the next book.
The characters outside of Vas are often an interesting bunch, whether it’s the vicious lawyer who likes to hibernate for weeks at a time, or the luckless pilots who are determined to pull off a get-rich-quick scheme, to Vas’s psychic second-in-command who has more secrets than should be allowed. There are quirks and humour and talent amongst them and they certainly help to keep things moving along. It might have been nice if a few more of the lesser grunts had been given names before expiring, since that didn’t really fit in with how Vas otherwise views her people.
On the whole, though, this is fun. If you’re a fan of television sci-fi series that go out amongst the outer star systems, or like a lot of action and adventure in your reads, then you will probably enjoy this. There are so many alien species popping up at times that it was hard to remember who was what, and some of the troublesome moments do grow out of uncharacteristic carelessness, but it all romps along in a fine, engaging style. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more – I need answers to those elusive mysteries, if nothing else.
Warrior Wench is out now.
Visit Marie Andreas for more details.