A scrappy band of mercenaries fights an evil corporation on an alien world. All of the main characters are either women or non-binary! Lots of POC and LGBTQ representation! Look no further for your next space adventure.
Persephone Station tells the story of a group of mercs hired by a bar owner/benevolent crime lord to fight an exploitative and genocidal corporation. I’ve heard this described as a space opera, but I am hesitant to agree, as the story takes place on one planet and is fairly straightforward (in my mind, space operas involve dozen of characters and multiple, loosely-related plot lines taking place on more than one world). While this book does introduce a variety of characters and a subplot about a sentient AI, the world itself feels small and contained (not a bad thing at all, as true space operas can get a bit overwhelming).
In my opinion, the representation in this book is fantastic. The world seems to be very queer-normative, and the abundant queerness within the story is passive (some of the female characters have girlfriends/wives, but it is just briefly mentioned; there aren’t any romance subplots). Same with the fact that some of the characters are POC and/or non-binary; they are described as such to the reader, and it never really comes up again. I cannot speak for POC or non-binary folks, but as a queer person, I love seeing queer people just be in these kinds of stories; a far off future where all people and identities are “normal”.
I was hoping for a bit more depth, especially with regard to the AI part (love a good contemplation on the ethics of artificial intelligence), but ultimately, there is nothing wrong with an unpretentious story full of high jinks and action, and I ended up enjoying every page.
Overall, this was a fun science fiction romp that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.
Thank you to Gallery / Saga Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Persephone Station will be published on January 5th, 2021.