Competent main characters are something I absolutely love in books. Yes, the MCs who need to learn and grow into their abilities are thrilling to read, but stumbling across an MC who already knows what they’re doing, who just grows further into themselves throughout the book? That’s definitely worth a read. And Evangeline Rain’s Fatal Extraction definitely has a competent main character.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows Nirvana, a space pirate who is hired/blackmailed into staging a reconnaissance mission on a hostile and dictator-ruled planet in order to prevent an interplanetary war. She gets assistance from Zane, a defector. Whether the bookish genius will be of help to her is an entirely different question, though.
The plot of this book is more politic and intricate than I had anticipated. I thought there would be a fair amount of gunslinging, with Nirvana pulling Zane out of danger at various points, sort of like an action movie. Instead, I got something that was thoughtful, with characters who actually considered their moves before making them, and far more oriented towards the planning and relationship-building. I was fairly impressed that this book managed to defy my expectations almost completely and still maintain good plot structure. Very interesting.
2. Thoughts on the characters
As I said before, Nirvana is an extremely competent main character. When we meet her, she is already a captain of the most successful pirate gang this side of the Andromeda galaxy. She can fight, but more importantly, she can think. As far as characters go, I really appreciated the fact that Nirvana knew herself well enough to be able to handle just about any task. The part that was really interesting was that she faltered when meeting with Zane. She didn’t quite know how to handle him, and that led to much of the conflict and interest throughout the book. I like her quite a bit. And I especially like her relationship with Zane.
As for Zane himself, he is a very likeable character. His background gives him a sad-eyed quality that garners immediate sympathy. And the reactions he has to situations and people provokes amusement or frustration. Put all those reactions together and I think that he is probably one of my favourites.
3. Favourite part
There wasn’t really one part of this book that struck me as a favourite, standing above the rest. I enjoyed it all fairly equally.
I think the ending was a bit rushed. There was quite a bit of detail in the build up, but once the ending happened, the aftermath leading into the next book took a matter of a few pages. Decisions were made that felt like they could have made sense, but there was little thought that went into them. And events happened so quickly that they were a little hard to follow. I liked the ending, and I think it made general sense given what came before, but it was definitely a little rushed.
Overall, I think Fatal Extractions was a book that managed to defy expectations and still please. I liked the characters and the plot was interesting enough for me to be curious about book two. A solidly good book.