How are we liking Fortune’s Pawn? Coop de Book Group So Far (Miss Carriger Recommends)

I had this great blog post prepped with my thoughts on Fortune’s Pawn so far, awesome non-spoiler quotes picked out, cool images, and some questions for you all.

And then Blogger ate it.


And because I have proofs due TODAY (eeeeeeeek!!!!) I don’t have time to fuss trying to figure out what happened.

So what follows is my attempted reconstruction.

But before we start, over on Goodreads the Gail Carriger Fan Group is running a discussion thread for each month’s book. Thread for Fortune’s Pawn discussion: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1860752-june-read-fortune-s-pawn-rachel-bach

via Facebook

Suffice it to say, I am enjoying the book very much. It reminds me of a mix of the Huff’s Valor series (only less carnage and military) and Viehl’s Stardoc series (only less Kassandra predicts the end of all things) and A Point of Honor by Dorothy Heydt. (Thanks to twitter for remembering that book’s name for me.) I enjoy that Devi is not particularly special, that she simply is herself ~ tough and good in armor. She’s no genetic experiment, or prophet, or savior of the galaxy. She’s a really good mercenary, and that’s awesome and loveable.

I particularly love that Devi names her inanimate objects because I do that too. Secretly, I think it is an trixie author-beast info-dumping trick: Rachel is using Devi’s love for her weaponry as an excuse to describe the tech in detail. But it’s a great trick and I must commend her for it.

“Sasha struck true, her armor-piercing bullet hitting Rupert right in the middle of his forehead.”

I like Devi very much, although I don’t think I entirely understand her – not being of the mercenary mindset myself. I think much of Devi’s behavior and personality has to do with her upbringing and the stratified nature of Paradoxian society, thus I wish we saw more of her family and background.

“No, no, I meant why do you want to be a Devastator?”
“Because they’re the top,” I said. “The absolute pinnacle of how far a peasant like me can go. I’d be under the direct command of the Sacred King himself. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

I also am particularly taken by the idea of the gladiatorial power armor games, and by the world of Paradox itself. I do hope we get to spent more time there. If not in this series, perhaps in future works.

“Gerald Reddeath is a hack,” I snapped. “He doesn’t even fight in the actual gladiatorial games. He’s in the demonstration league, which is scripted.”


via oupacademic tumblr

Much to my delight, Rachel has agreed to an interview. I’ll be posting it next week. I’ve given her the standard silly questions but if you have anything in particular you would like to ask her, please let me know and I will pass it on.

Or you can just chat with her yourself over twitter.

There was something else in the now missing blog post, but I’ve forgotten because I am brain dead with heat and having just turned in a manuscript with proofs eating every bit of what is left. So please forgive me this spacy ways.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for June? Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach ~ Book One in the Paradox series}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Star Wars Death Star football

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Dinner In The Sky is an adrenaline-fueled fine dining experience that takes place around a steel dining table structure that’s secured to a set of cables and suspended by crane up to 180 feet above the ground.
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
“A letter is of no use unless it conveys some information, excites some interest, or affords some improvement.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)
(The same may be said of description, in my humble opinion.)

Book News:

Lilliput sitting expectantly on my page proofs.

Quote of the Day:
“We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats, and dauntless crusaders for women’s a-votes! Though we adore men individually, we agree as a group they’re rather stupid.”
~ Mary Poppins (Mrs. Winifred Banks)

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Posted by Gail Carriger

 Comments are closed


  1. Corina Corrente said:

    I've finished the book. I agree that Devi being a mere human without any bio-engineering adds to the book. Her mercenary mindset lets her know every battle could be her last, and you dive into concern for her well being. Caldswell clearly has secrets and I'm not at all sure where I land on the liking him scale. Novascape feels like she has hidden depths that I hope are explored in other books. One thing that stuck out to me is how little Mable interacts with Ren. As Caldswell's sister-in-law Ren should be her niece. I would also like to know more about the Aeons, and why Basil may choose to be on The Glorious Fool.

  2. Becca said:

    I finished the book too as I could barely put it down once I started it. I really enjoyed it. Admittedly, Devi annoyed me to begin with because she just seemed too good but she grew on me pretty quickly. I can't really express many of my other thoughts without feeling I may spoil something but I will say it has me wanting to go out and immediately get the other two books in the series.

    Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise.

  3. shelgeson said:

    I've also finished the book and was surprised by how much I liked it. What I like the most is that she's such a badass living her life on her own terms. The armored suits that can do so much of one's fighting are fascinating. It's like knights in space crossed with mercenaries, what's not to
    love. I personally hope we find out what exactly ren is, so many tidbits to put together !

  4. Jane Mary Rose said:

    As I said in a previous comment, I've finished the book as well. I am currently reading the sequel, Honour's Knight.

    I was really impressed with Devi as a character; like you said, she's not particularly special, but she is very lovable. It is hard, I think, to write a competent badass like Devi without writing a Mary Sue, but Rachel Bach succeeds completely.

    Though I don't usually get too attached to sci-fi technology, I have become really fond of Sasha, Mia, Phoebe and Elsie, and, of course, the Lady Gray.

    It's hard for me to properly discuss how much I enjoyed the book without spoilers, but I would like to say thank you for choosing this book. I never would have read it, if you hadn't picked it out.

  5. mistfox said:

    Both the hubby and I enjoyed this book so much that we had to get #2 and #3 and gulped down both of them. I've been recommending this book to people I know who like the Honor Harrington series by Weber.

    I also liked how Devi was just someone who was a regular person. A stubborn, driven regular person. 🙂 I liked how Devi was honest about her sexuality. We were wondering if Devi being female might have given her a slight advantage in using the armor she had (faster reflexes, ability to multi-task).

    I also would like to see more about Paradox. I'm wondering how much Ms Bach has the world fleshed out. We get to see a bit more of the universe in the next books, but not enough to settle my curiosity.

    No spoilers, but I liked how she ended this trilogy.

  6. Gail Carriger said:

    You are so so welcome. I am delighted you are enjoying it and that I chose something that wouldn't normally be on you radar. I hope I can continue in the same vein.

  7. Gail Carriger said:

    I don't like Caldswell at all. I do like Nova but I hadn't thought of learning more about her. But now that you mention it… And Basil, I LOVE Basil.

  8. Tabitha (Not Yet Read) said:

    So I completely feel like I'm in line with Devi's mentality having been a 6 year active army cool. Kick butt and take names I say oh and one shot one kill (though I've never killed anyone thankfully).

    I agree the naming of the weapons makes it such a great way to lead in with the detailing of said weapons. Which would satisfy the weapon junkies.

    I love these books. I'll have to go check out your group and see what you're reading next!

  9. Suzanne Bell said:

    I'm still reading. Only a couple of chapters in. I find Devi intriguing but don't necessarily find her likeable. But I'm okay with that because I enjoy the story premise itself. I'm eager to learn more about Rupert. He's a mystery.

    My overall impression right now is Battlestar Galactica meets Firefly.

  10. CyberPixie said:

    I have finished Fortune’s Pawn, and have ordered the other two books from the series from our local bookstore. I'm really looking forward to what happens next! There are a few of things that I really love about Devi. One, she is all woman, in touch with her sexuality, and not ashamed, nor does she wait for someone to choose her. Two, she is complete, and not in need of another person to make her whole. Often times we see stories of women who are broken and in need another to fix them. I really appreciate that Devi is already a whole person. Three, Devi is tough, driven, and takes no poop from anyone but is also social and builds trusting friendships. For example, she's gentle with, and has a true regard for the feelings of Nova. It seems Devi values the lessons she is learning from her.

    The sci-fi lover in me is digging Lady Gray and the rest of the women (weapons) that are part of Devi. I want armor like Devi's to wear to work! I also feel that the descriptions of the aliens give a very interesting mental image.

    I find myself wanting to know more about the rest of the crew and their backstories….perhaps that need will be fulfilled in the next books. I'm looking forward to reading those and finding out.

  11. lbhaydon said:

    I have finished and really liked it – got DH in on it, and read the set while I was at it! I really liked Devi as a character which made the series memorable for me. Shades of Weber and Moon but definitely different, I felt like Lady Gray, Sasha, and Mia were actual characters! I'd never heard of Rachel Bach before so thank you 🙂

  12. Myandria said:

    I really wasn't sure I'd like this book from the description it wasn't what I'd ever normally pick for myself but you know what. I loved it. I'm now reading the next book in the series!

    I don't mean this in a derogatory way, but I really warmed to the simplistic way this is written. I've been reading lots of wordy fantasy books lately, and this was just a breath of fast paced fresh air. I love how Devi is so uncomplicated but that while the writing isnt complicated the story line has lots of interesting twists and turns (and more than you realise until you read the next book) but it never feels like you're out of your depth.

    When Rupert came onto the scene I'll admit I groaned and thought, no please don't be so cliché, but actually I liked how their relationship has panned out so far. He has just the right amount of attractiveness and emotional vulnerability to be some good book 'eye' candy while actually playing a vital part in the plot, and how Devi reacts to her feelings are just right for her character which was a great surprise.

    Great start to the Book group!

  13. Gail Carriger said:

    Well I am delighted it sucked you in. Actually, I agree with you. The tone is very breezy and quick paced (like Devi herself) that makes it easy to read. I don't think it's at all an insult because, speaking as an author, that is actually really really hard to write without getting trite, repetitive, or dismissive in tone.

  14. pkm14 said:

    Unlike Devi, I'm arriving a little late to the fight, er, discussion! Just got the book the other day and am up to where Devi is teaching Mabel to play cards. With so many quirky personalities and probable back stories, I initially got the feeling that the crew on the Glorious Fool would be more than just a little Fireflyesque, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing; I'm a huge fan. I'm pleased to see that the GF (not gluten free) crew is not a copy. {addition: I agree with Suzanne above- a little Firefly meets Battlestar Galactica} I like Devi's strength, as well as her faults. I'll admit that I fell for the Captain's "test" for Devi and Cotter. D'oh!

    Great book club recommendation!

  15. partlowspool said:

    Finished it on a road trip with the family, then demanded we drive faster so I could get to the hotel with WiFi so I could order the second book immediately. Having dispatched that one as well, I just purchased the third.

    One thing I think Rachel Bach has handled exceptionally well is the romance element. I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't finished the book, I'll just say that I admire how Devi stays true to herself and doesn't collapse into a weeping pile of estrogen.

    Who else can handle mechanized armor and witty repartee with the grace of Devi? Nobody, that's who. So glad you chose this as the first selection. You've set the bar very high for the following books. 🙂


  16. ista said:

    I've just bought it for my Kobo, but won't start reading it til tomorrow. I might be obsessed with crustaceans, but I keep calling it Fortune's Prawn in my mind.

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