I LOVE this new series and have been remiss in writing my review for the 1st book in the series. I first learned about this book when Ms. Estep posted about wanting to write a space opera with a lot of pew-pew action. I love space opera. I love action flicks. What could go wrong? NOTHING. I loved everything about this book and read it at least 5 times within the first week it dropped. Ever so often, I still go back to this book and enjoy a re-read. Why do I love this book? Because I love the character, Vesper Quill.
Vesper is a tenacious innovative inventor who does the right thing. Even though she was tossed away in life by her mother, she pulled herself up. Unfortunately for her, people take advantage of her abilities and pass it off for their own. How many times does some asshat take credit for a woman's idea or designs? Apparently too often. All of Vesper's plans and dreams turn to ash as she is double crossed in the worst of waves. What happens to Vesper would have crushed most people. What does Vesper do? She assesses the situation, rants to herself, finds some way to neutralize the problem, and then makes a weapon! Vesper is a BAD ASS and I love her. She is definitely a BAMF without all the fanfare. She just quietly slips under the radar as best she can and does what needs to be done.
I love the world building in this book. There are several subplots which enhances my enjoyment of this story. Whilst there is a love interest, Kyrion, it isn't what I consider a romance story. It is an element of Vesper's journey to her potential, but it isn't the main focus. I like that about Ms. Estep's writing. The romance is nice but it isn't the focus. Because I want to know what is going on. Will Vesper be able to get out of the situation she's been thrown into? Will she be able to to clear her name? What will happen next for Vesper? It is rare I am so invested in a character. I am 100% vested in Vesper.
What I also like about this story is the title and how appropriate a message it is for our society today. Sometimes, there are only bad options and we have to make the best choice at hand. And then suck it up and deal with it. Without going onto a soap box regarding whiny entitled brats, let's just say that we need more people with Vesper's attitude. SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! Of course, it does require developing skills & abilities plus higher cognitive skills that we discourage as a whole in our current society. Because if people had skills and cognitive skills . . . oh no! They can come up with options to solve problems and no longer be a sheeple. How would the tyrants be able to suppress the peons if we let people think and do things for themselves? Hah.
Back to Vesper. One of my favourite things about her is she's the princess that saves herself. She doesn't need anyone to slay her dragons. Instead, she owns that Dragon and comes back even harder to prove a point. This is an awesome book that I highly recommend to readers who want an exciting new series with a BAMF lead character.