Thursday, November 7, 2013

Perdition (The Dred Chronicles) by Ann Aguirre

Science Fiction

What Goodreads says:

"The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death."

Perdition is a dark book full of violence.  You would think that would be a turn off but for me it was not.  I enjoyed Perdition and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Back Story:  That can be summed up in a few words.  This is an old mining ship converted to a prison where the worst criminals are sent for life.  There are no guards, little outside support and the convicts run the place.  If the back story for any of the characters is revealed it is in conversation as part of the action and does not interfere with the flow of the story.

Plot:  Very simple.  The ship is divided into territories headed by strong leaders.  The Dread Queen’s territory is under attack from two other territories.  All action stems from that attack.  In a place with no hope you see people still trying to survive.

Characters:  Don’t look for anyone who is a good person.  Do look for characters who are interesting.  Dred is the strong female backed by Tam (a spymaster with a hidden agenda) and Einar who is very strong and very loyal.  Jael is the new male in the story and he is not what he looks like.  There are other strong side characters.   The character building in Perdition is outstanding.  It takes great writing to make bad people appealing and Ann Aguirre does just that.

Writing:  The story, plot, and characters are all well written.  There was not a place where the action bogged down or where anyone acted out of characters.  Nothing stopped the action in the story.

Perdition is a tension filled book that was hard to put down.  There are hooks for future action but they are just hints that there is more to some of the characters than expected.  Some problems are solved in Perdition and it functions well as a stand-alone.  I did not feel that I was dropped off in the middle of a story.  There was a very satisfying conclusion to the book even though I left me ready for the next story in The Dred Chronicles.

Ace published Perdition by Ann Aguirre in 2013.

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