From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell’s doomed ship, Devi Morris’ life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that’s eating her alive.
Now, with the captain missing and everyone — even her own government — determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi’s never been one to shy from a fight, and she’s getting mighty sick of running.
It’s time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Has: Right now I am in the midst of a book afterglow due to reading Heaven’s Queen, because the final installment in Rachel Bach’s high octane and fast paced space opera was just fabulous and was a wonderful end to the trilogy! I think I literally inhaled the book and I don’t regret the lack of sleep because I could not stop reading.
The final book definitely lived up to the promise of the huge build-up with the confrontation with the different faction of aliens and humans who are after Devi and the deadly virus that she carried.
E: I completely devoured this book on my way to and from work. It got to the point when I was seriously upset the bus didn’t encounter traffic because I wanted to read longer before I had to put it down for 9 excruciating long hours until I could start reading again. The first two installments which Has and I both loved kept ratcheting up the tension but this one took things to a higher level and left me wondering several times if I was going to get the ending I wanted or if Bach was going to have a different but still “plausible” ending. When I finally stopped reading I think I had to remember how to start breathing again.
Has: Yes! I felt the same way. With each book, the tension and pace just kept on getting tighter and tighter and Heaven’s Queen literally left me breathless and on tenterhooks on how Devi would get out of one mess and then jumps into something more dangerous and deeper. I really was worried about her and the other supporting characters such as Rupert because there were a few times I felt they would not make it.
I also loved how the romance between Rupert and Devi evolved throughout the book because despite the past betrayals and hidden secrets, their relationship becomes more focused with the plot. I also how it helped to developed their characters further especially when it meant them being vulnerable and open with each other which produced an interesting dynamic especially towards Devi’s brash and cocky demeanor. And I loved how they truly became a team in the first half of the book with both of them supporting and having each other’s backs when they were facing off mercs, Caldwell and his forces and the aliens!
E: While I was reading Heaven’s Queen I was seriously wondering what would happen to all of the characters I met during earlier installments because the last time I saw them things looked pretty grim. Devi appeared to be facing lies and betrayal on all sides but I loved watching Rupert make up for his past behavior and seeing beyond Devi’s brash nature and his deadly solitude. I also found it fascinating to learn more of what motivated Caldwell. As I caught more and more glimpses of his past I understood the pattern of decisions he kept making and while I could see his logic it didn’t make me think any higher of him once a new possibility existed. As much as I didn’t really want to like him I thought he had some of the same traits that I enjoyed from Rupert and Devi. All three were dedicated, kept their word at immense cost, and only when forced did they admit the possibility of being wrong. I also really enjoyed how the various struggles made for mixing, shifting, and changing alliances over this entire trilogy. I was never quite sure who to trust or who the bad guys really were until things were about finished and even then Bach included a twist or two.
Has: I really loved that we were kept guessing about the hidden motives of the surrounding characters who wanted Devi and the virus. I definitely agree that Caldwell was the most surprising character for me in this trilogy because there was a revelation about his past which explains so much about his intentions and actions especially towards Rupert and Devi and their relationship which if I found really interesting.
Another character who also illustrated some interesting aspects for me, was Maat, the captive plasmex user who is key to the conflict with the phantoms and The Eye. I loved the scene at the end which was bittersweet but I was left guessing about her true intentions. I loved that there were shades of grey with the characterisation that made these characters relatable.
However, I did wish there was more time on several supporting characters who appeared in the previous two books like Nova and Basil who I felt didn’t have much page time than they should.
E: The supporting characters were indeed fascinating. Like Has, I did wish throughout the series that I found out more regarding the motivations of Basil, Nova, and Hyrek and why they served Caldwell. I was even more curious about Nova when I discovered her family history and its linkage to Caldwell. I also liked the fierce sometimes violent debate over who was going have have control of Devi and her virus along with its deadly effects but unpredictable effects. I loved seeing Devi decide what she was going to do with the virus and then go full force trying to accomplish her mission.
Has: It is rare for a trilogy which just keeps getting better and better without having a disappointing ending or suffering from a middle book syndrome. But the Paradox series was truly a fantastic with an engaging heroine who despite getting her knocks and dents on her and her Lady, keeps getting up again even though the odds are stacked way over her head. I loved the vivid and imaginative world that Bach has developed which in my mind’s eye was a technicolour dreamscape with elements of biopunk and space opera that just forms fantastically in a memorable universe. I loved the romance, the characters and the high octane action that does not literally stop from the get go and Heaven’s Queen is a fitting title for what is a divinely incredible ride of a series!
I give Heaven’s Queen a thrilling and heart-racing A+!
E: This was an awesome trilogy! Each installment kept getting better and better. I think Heaven’s Queen was a fitting end because Bach tied up all of her strings in a way that made sense given previous actions. I also loved the mini prologues because they helped me understand some of the more opaque characters so when certain actions occurred I was more prepared. I also thought they gave a sense of the vast history and the sheer numbers of Maat symbiotes over the years. I loved the final twists Bach included because they provided closure without making it seem like all of a sudden everything was back to normal and all of the death and sacrifices were just part of what was supposed to happen. I am so glad I discovered Bach and that Orbit accepted my review request for the first installment. Bach has been placed on my auto-buy list and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.
I give Heaven’s Queen an A+