★★★★ @MichelleDiener #HighFlyer
If you haven't picked up this series yet, this is another fantastic book to read. This one can also be read as a standalone. It is a richer experience if read after reading the preceding books. Once again, we return to the Verdant String where socialism on paper works. Except there are dark forces that want to bring capitalism back.
I admire the characters in this book. Hana is pretty awesome. She is overqualified to fly the head-of-planet, Iver around, but she would rather stay under the radar for now. She too experienced something that is inexplicable and rather than be a science experiment for the military, she elects to become a civilian again.
I liked how this story mirrors some of the issues we come across with companies that are profit-based and self-focused. I like how if we follow the money we can see where this is leading to and we learn more about this group of people who are trying to overthrow the Verdant String's way of life. This is what I don't get. These people have broken away from the Verdant String. Why do they feel the need to try and go against them or bring down their tech? Is there no middle ground? So the socialist way doesn't work for them, then don't interact with the Verdant String planets. I digress.
This book is fast-paced with action and betrayal. It is a similar theme with a delightful variation. The characters are well developed. The plot is well done with good conflict and a great resolution. I love how the female saves the day. Then again, she's former military so technically she's the white knight saving the damsel in distress. This is a wonderful blend of speculative fiction, a fantasy society, a mysterious villainous group. and an intriguing subplot across multiple books.
I really want to learn the origin story of the Verdant Strings colonization. It is starting to remind me more and more of the Dragonriders of Pern's big reveal by Ms. McCaffrey. Dragon's Dawn blew my mind. It is starting to feel more and more like this from Ms. Diener. This fantasy is highly recommended to readers who enjoy a strong tricky female lead who can handle herself in any situation.