The Paradox Series by Rachel Bach

4 out of 5

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 on 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.

If you love stories set in space, but you’re not a fan of space operas or long, dramatic stories that take books to cover one day-in-the-life, then this series is for you.

One of my least favorite things about many sci-fi books and space operas is the overly-technical language and back story. I do not want to read a technical manual for a spaceship when I’m just trying to zone out after work. My brain will not pay attention for that long. Rachel Bach strikes a great balance between a traditional space opera and a fun adventure novel. Bach creates an exciting world complete with a rich history. I felt like I knew what was going on in this fictional society without needing to spend hundreds of pages on it.

I really loved how Bach talked about her main character, Devi Morris. I’m a sucker for a strong heroine, and Devi does not disappoint. A mercenary’s weapons are everything to them, and I love how Devi talks about her arsenal and her combat suit. It sounds just like a Marine might talk about her rifle. (Devi probably has a rifle creed taped up somewhere in her cabin.)

Some readers did not like that Devi seemed to be in it for her career, but I thought it very realistic. She knows who she is, what she wants, and how to get it. But as the story unfolds, you start to see her sense of justice, her loyalty, her commitment to doing the right thing. Anyone who doesn’t see that hasn’t grasped the deeper layers in the book.

These books are quick reads, with something always happening. I thought Bach did an excellent job with keeping the pace exciting, but also being realistic about our character’s limitations. A gun only has so many charges before you have to reload, after all. I read these books again and again, and have so far felt the same excitement and tension I did the first time I read them.

Highly recommend for a fun read. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


I would classify this as a Young Adult series. There is some violence and sexual innuendo, but nothing too graphic. Check out the first novel in the series, Fortune’s PawnAnd if you finish that and want more, check out Honor’s Knight and Heaven’s Queen.

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