I was thrilled to be approved for an arc for this book. However, when I started reading it, I had a massive struggle getting into the story – because throughout the text all through the book were the words NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION randomly appearing in the middle of sentences. It made it very difficult to connect with the story. After appealing to Orion, they did send me a PDF which had watermarked pages, instead, making it much easier to read – but the catch was that I could only read that on my desktop. I spend HOURS in front of my computer every day – I read for fun and relaxation on my Kindle. I did try… but it wasn’t fun, so in the end I returned to the version with the phrase running through it and persevered. Though I won’t be using the word DISTRIBUTION in my own writing any time soon.
I know piracy is an ongoing issue for publishers and I am aware that a few reviewers abuse the privilege we’ve been given in being allowed to read advance copies, but I’m not sure this is the answer. It is a cracking story – but being constantly yanked out of the story really hampered my enjoyment. I have tried my best to not allow this issue to influence my honest opinion of the book, but I’m not sure if this would have been a solid 10 from me if I hadn’t had such a struggle. If that’s the case, what a shame…
BLURB: When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray. Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.
When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.
REVIEW: This is an ensemble narrative, as this group of desperate women of driven to face overwhelming odds to try and fight back a corrupt and inhuman system. I loved the dynamic and real danger posed by the deep programming inserted in every loyal Tholosian, who won’t hesitate to attack if they suspect they are facing a traitor. Life is both cheap and merciless – this dystopian society is rotten right to the top.
It would have been so easy for either author to have resorted to chunks of info-dumping. However, they manage to avoid such measures by giving us chapters in alternating viewpoints and also providing flashbacks to show how each character arrived at the stage where they’re prepared to risk all. It’s well done. Not only have May and Lam managed to keep the plot moving forward, those flashbacks heighten the stakes and strengthen readers’ bonding with the protagonists, which is always more of a challenge when there are more than one or two protagonists in the mix.
The gathering sense of drama as this book moved to the final denouement is what really sets it apart, however. I love May’s writing – it was the prospect of reading a space opera adventure written by her that prompted me to request this book, after her fabulous Falconer trilogy – see my review of The Falconer, The Vanishing Throne and The Fallen Kingdom. She writes with the brakes off – and this book is imbued with that madcap energy I have grown to associate with her style and works brilliantly during the closing climactic scenes. I couldn’t put this one down as that ending played out – and I do hope we don’t have to wait too long for the second book, because it ends on a real cliffhanger that had me dreaming of the world. Highly recommended for all space opera fans. The ebook arc copy of Seven Devils was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.
I’m glad you ended up enjoying it, despite that annoying formatting. I need to go check my digital copy now, to see if my version has the same problem😬
Good luck with it, if you have! I found it a bit of a nightmare, particularly at the start…
What a shame that they’ve resorted to that! I too would have been quite annoyed! It sounds like a great read though. I’ve met Elizabeth May but haven’t read any of her work. This sounds like a great place to start! 😀
Oh have you? She’s a wonderful author – I highly recommend the Falconer series, too. Her writing is unlike anyone else.
As for the arc – I’m very much hoping this isn’t the way things are going:(.
I really hope not… I know I would end up prioritising my bought books if that was the case. I will definitely check Elizabeth May out though! 😀
I got the series through my local library, so check it out…
I really must join my local library! When we moved in December our local authority changed and with all this year’s chaos I never got around to joining!
Hm. Not sure if they are open to new members joining – I know we can order and pick up books, just not browse…
Yes, it might be a bit restrictive at the moment! I have plenty of books to keep me going though 😀
That’s really strange about the words all over the eARC. I haven’t seen that from Netgalley. Another reason audiobooks are great. I’m glad it was so good even with the format issues.
No, I haven’t had this particular issue from Netgalley, either. Which is why I raised it on the blog. Obviously that aspect of the review hasn’t made it onto Amazon or Goodreads, because it’s a side issue that concerns reviewers more than readers – but I very much hope it isn’t the way things are going!
Ugh, sorry to hear about your formatting frustrations, but you still loved it which is a relief because I hope to start this one soon. I have the audiobook, which hopefully will work with all the perspectives 🙂
Oh yes – I’m sure the audiobook arc will be a much better option! I use a Kindle Fire to listen to audiobooks and none of the alternative audio options offered by Netgalley are practical for me… Happy listening, Mogsy:))
What a pain your copy was such a struggle to read and it’s definitely hard not to let that influence your review. It still sounds like an awesome read and I definitely plan to check this one out!
It’s a cracking sci fi read – I know you’re a space opera fan so I’d love your take on this one:))
Ahh, I hadn’t connected that this was the author of falconer – I loved that series and this also sounds great, formatting issues aside.
Oh yes – I remember that you also have read the Falconer series and enjoyed it, too! It was one of the reasons why I was determined to persevere.