Dred Chronicles #1
***** (five out of six)
cover - I don't see any of the tattoos described in the book, or the braids in her hair- though I do see a few of the beads mentioned... Still. Let's make the cover resemble the characters please. On the other hand, it is kind of a cool cover. She looks badass, and she does use her chains....
I have been in an awful reading slump, and besides the Steampunk Trails mag, haven't been able to finish a book. The last book I did finish took me over four weeks to read. Perdition is the first book in over two months that I've been able to read in a matter of days. I started it two days ago, and finished reading it last night. (Yeay!!!!!) seriously, I thought I was never going to finish reading another book (que dramatica)
So. Based on my absolute love for the Sirantha Jax series, I picked this up because it's set in the same universe. I thought it was going to feature a woman that Jax had met while she was in prison, but I was wrong. Perdition is set at least forty years (turns?) in the future, and while the woman is different from who I thought, there is a character from the past Jax years. Jael, who I had a hard time remembering....He turned on Sirantha and co. way back on Ithiss Tor and he's still alive because he's hard to kill, for reasons you will discover if you read this.
Basic story - Dred is the Queen Dread or Dread Queen of ....yes, Queensland. She's been assisted to the dubious throne by Tam, a spymaster who is serving time on Perdition. Perdition is a prison ship that is inescapable - if one is sentenced to Perdition, you're basically sentenced to life imprisonment and to die there. She's a hard woman, who has murdered and is serving her time.
Jael is an incoming prisoner - who has abilities and issues. He's been sentenced to Perdition to keep him out of the way and accessible - though I don't know how accessible one can be on a prison ship where prisoners and supplies are simply dropped off, seemingly automatically. Anyway, he's recruited by Dred. On Perdition when prisoners are dropped off they are recruited by one of many sectors of prisoners, some are way worse than others.
Perdition - while populated with crazed murderers, political prisoners and many characters - none of whom are nice people - still reads a bit like a romance story. Two people meet, bad backgrounds, baggage and history that makes them wary of others must learn to trust each other and accept love.... sound familiar? yes. A romance with (thankfully) a very different background and none of those misunderstood faux-criminals. All these people have really done bad things. Still....Romance. with a bit of a romance formula.
Even so, the story was intresting, the background and setting interesting and the characters were very interesting.
So - even though I feel like I could have picked up a romance and gotten the same basic plot, the details are what made it good enough for me to end up reading this one straight through. So, good book, even though it was basically a romance with a SciFi criminal twist.
Even though Dred is the Dread Queen of Queensland, it's a constant struggle to hold on to control - takes a lot of planning, watching and discipline. One of the problems Dred faces is two other sectors have decided to attack her's for more territory. So a mini war must be waged, and Dred has to decide who to trust, who to ally with and which moves to make. This is what makes for a good story.
Dialog was good, narration was interesting - Aguirre knows how to write a story. Only thing....(and this is a minor complaint) I was expecting a voice kind of like Jax's - present first person, but Perdition is written in regular third person - still a good book.