RogerBW's Blog

Honor and Shadows, Jessie Mihalik 22 January 2024

2022 SF/romance novelette, prequel to a trilogy. Captain Octavia Zarola is a bounty hunter with a heart of gold.

It's pleasing to see an acknowledgement in this practically-mainstream SF-romance that, if you're a bounty hunter in a setting where people can post private bounties, a lot of the people with the money to post those bounties won't be very nice. But Octavia's big problem is that she has morals, so she keeps on not taking jobs, or (as here) deciding that the target deserves a better outcome. And spaceships are expensive to keep running.

But that's not really what she's here for; the bounty hunting is an excuse to provide a home for the survivors of her squad from the war, abandoned by their own leadership. (Well, most of them; one has fewer morals and is off somewhere else bounty-hunting in her own right.) As we see them here, they're all basically good guys and only mildly post-traumatic.

As in Mihalik's Consortium Rebellion series, the worldbuilding is fairly light: it wouldn't be confusing for anyone who's seen Firefly or similar shows, and it's not really meant to provide more than a backdrop for the character story. It's not egregiously bad, just very familiar and not particularly showing signs of having been thought through.

This is meant to introduce you to the characters and get you interested so that you read the novels. For that, it works.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Series: Starlight's Shadow | Next in series: Hunt the Stars

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