Persephone Station by Stina Leicht
LGBT Science Fiction/Space Opera
January 05, 2021 by Gallery/Saga Press
Reviewed by Angela
I chose this book for review mainly because the cover caught my eye, and the blurb sounded awesome:
Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.
Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner, caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.
Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.
I’m totally here for some kind of space romp where pirates and assassins fight corrupt capitalistic corporations. That is 100% my jam.
This book started out slow for me. There is A LOT of information jammed in the first third of the book. A lot of backstories, a lot of characters introduced, and a whole lot of worldbuilding and plot set-up. Also, the POV shifts repeatedly between all of these newly introduced characters and it took me a minute to get what all was happening straight in my head. I read quite a bit of sci/fi-fantasy so I’m used to being overwhelmed when I pick up a new to me author or the first book in a series, so this didn’t bother me as much as it might other readers. But for this review, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t let y’all know.
The last 2/3 of The Persephone Station is pure space opera goodness. Action, adventure, and a crew of badasses fighting off evil corporate thugs. I’m not even going to attempt to get into the plot, it’s way too convoluted, as I mentioned above. Just know that there are the good guys; who may not seem like good guys since they happen to be mercenaries, crime bosses, and dis-honorably discharged marines. And there are bad guys; who might seem to have one motive for what they are doing the entire book, only to have a whole other reason revealed right at the end. And don’t forget the native species to this alien world who are caught in the middle and need help. But don’t worry, the anti-heroes are coming to the rescue.
This is a wonderfully intense feminist space opera adventure. True, the first part requires patience to get through, but I feel like it’s worth it in the end. The main characters are almost all either women, transgender, or non-binary. They are all fierce and damaged by their past and have a chip on their shoulder that lends itself to caution regarding relationships. But what I especially loved about this book, and the last 25% especially, is the bond between them and how they depend on each other. I ached knowing not all of them were going to make it to the end.
I’m not sure if this is to be stand-alone, or if we will see these characters again, but I enjoyed my time with them. I also enjoyed this author’s writing very much and plan on looking into her backlist. All in all, this was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.