After a hijacking attempt damages their decrepit Black Sun 490 freighter, Snake and his boss are desperate for cash.
Enter Carla, a gorgeous mercenary bad girl with a job offer that seems too good to be true. Unfortunately for him, while Snake is convinced she’s stringing them along to their deaths, he’s not the one in charge.
The job gets dicey in a hurry, and it doesn’t take him long to figure out a fatal blow is coming. He’s just not sure if it will come from the pirates that haunt the nav lanes, knife-wielding goons looking for revenge, Carla herself, or the cheap vodka he drinks to stay sane.
If Snake’s going to make it out alive, he’ll need every bit of his quick wit—and an even quicker trigger finger.
The Damsel is one of the most under-rated titles I’ve ever read in the sci-fi genre. Kudos to David for providing me an arc because I don’t regret one part of it. The cover is absolutely excellent and kudos to the cover designer for accurately capturing the essence of the story, because this type of cover is that of a 1970s/1980s well made movie poster. I wonder if there were any 1980s vibe in it. The novel is short, and I actually liked its length being short. It felt like a complete story from end to finish. The characters are well made, the writing is on point, there is a lot of swearing in space, which is common, and plenty of action involved. Bullets and hijacking space ships, running from mysterious gangs that reminded me of the plot of the Army of the Dead movie. There are obvious inspirations here and there, from Hollywood pop culture to classic sci-fi. I liked it.
In an essence, two crew members of an old cargo ship are employed by Carla, a mysterious woman that offers them fifteen grand in terms of: Hey, there’s this shipment. You gotta take it. In return, there’s 15 grand. Bada Bing. Bada Boom. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well not really. There’s one thing I like about this novel, it’s that the characters aren’t complete fools. Each character knows what the other character wants of him, and that is very impossible sometimes to do in writing. Writing characters and plotting them isn’t easy. For example, there is a lot of chemistry between the Boss and Snake. You end up liking Snake more than the Boss in this case, and this I felt was a disservice. Because in part one of the novel, Snake warns the boss not to go with Carla just because he’s simply attracted to her. Well, the Boss who so far has no name, does it. In part 2, he wakes up to the nonsense that Carla loves to spew, and becomes more intelligent with every passing minute. And plus, Snake ends up romancing all of the Boss’s interests. I felt a lot of sympathy for the Boss in the end. There was something missing here, that transition was needed to make me realize why the Boss became aware of Carla’s motives. I never liked Carla in the end, because she was too manipulative, but I did end up like Jade and the Boss. I’m shipping them for the sequel as they become the enemies of Carla and Snake. (And I don’t think Carla’s the right woman for Snake, but effectively, Snake is the Jack Sparrow of Space except he does a lot more cussing of the f word quite often, and Carla is the Angelica of this universe.)
During the later, the villains do appear in your typical tripe as you expect them to do. Dangerous cutthroats and bandits. Our two heroes, Boss and the Snake end up in rip-roaring action scenes that take your breath away, or it doesn’t. It depends. The fact that this book on Goodreads has only 9 reviews is shocking. This deserves way more views, way more sales, and way more reviews. Part of being a book blogger is to give recognition to gems like this that are passed over. I mean the book cover by itself should entice you. I think this book was a fun, amazing adventure into space. And I think, there’s a lot more that can be done here. Fantastic stuff. 10/10 from me!