I love Orbit Books. I’m actually sort of shocked that I’ve apparently never written about my love for Orbit Books on this blog before, because if it was possible to have a crush on a publishing company, man, I am so there. They publish awesome spec fic, (including some of my absolute recent favorites, such as everything written by Mira Grant ever) but more than that, I just like their business model, particularly in the ebook market. I first “discovered” Orbit Books several years ago, when they first started experimenting with what has now become their Orbital Drop model of ebook sales.
Essentially, the Orbital Drop is a monthly supersale on a particular ebook from their catalog. That’s basically it, the entire premise. One whole month, that ebook is on sale (usually for $1.99), in every single ebook market. I’m signed up for the newsletter, so that I’m notified every month what the new book is, but you don’t need to sign up for anything in order to get the sale.
The reason it’s brilliant is because, for example, this month I purchased the Orbital Drop book, Fortune’s Pawn, by an author I’d never heard of before, Rachel Bach, and within a few days of finishing that first book, I’d dropped another $20 to round out the trilogy (with Honor’s Knight and Heaven’s Queen) because it was just that good.
Which brings me to the Paradox trilogy. It’s a genre I’d never heard of before, space romance, which looked to me like far-future SF/space opera with a significant romantic storyline. The main character, Deviana Morris, is a mercenary with grand ambitions, which leads her to take a job that she probably shouldn’t have on a ship with a reputation for getting its mercs killed much faster than normal.
It’s a fun read. I loved Devi Morris’s character. She’s extremely driven, which leads to making some very bad choices (mainly, staying put every time her gut yells at her to leave anywhere in the first book and a half). But she also has a clearly defined sense of honor that is particular to who she is. For example, she may not balk at killing dozens of people who have come to attack her and her ship, but she is disgusted by the person who sent those attackers–knowing they would never stand a chance against her–to die needlessly.
The books are nicely rounded out by a cast of memorable characters, fun technology (Devi loves her suit of powered armor, the custom-built Lady Gray), and interesting alien species, which ultimately drives the story and conflict. After having read all three books in the trilogy, I think that the first one was probably the weakest of the three, story-wise, mostly because Devi spends the entire book trying to figure out what is going on (and never quite gets all the way there), but it is an enjoyable start to the story as the reader tries to figure out what’s happening alongside Devi.
None of the three books of the trilogy really stand well on their own–it’s one single story, told across three books–but the three together make for a very satisfying read, and I highly recommend them to anyone who likes kickass female characters, stories about the interactions and misunderstandings between aliens species, and/or great action stories set in space.
And, thanks to the Orbital Drop, you still have 9 days to purchase the first book in the series for just $1.99.