Release date: January 5th, 2021
Hugo award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a take on space opera for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop in this high-stakes adventure.
Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.
Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.
Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.
I believe fans of Halo, Borderlands, and Mass Effect would also find this book worth checking out – holding similarities to each game. The planet feels like reading about Pandora (Borderlands) except people are isolated to one city – Persephone Station is a hard, gritty planet that appears to not really appreciate humans being there. The AI in Persephone Station reminds me of both Cortana from Halo (self-awareness, AI built from a specific person, emotions) and the geth from Mass Effect (gained self-awareness, creators attempting to wipe them out, legion). I believe that if an Emissaries side of the story had been told side by side with the humans it would have made more sense and I would have felt more of a connection to the Emissaries. My two favorite characters were Beak (while lacking character building one of the most interesting) and Kennedy, who stole the show by learning how to be human.
The ending of Persephone Station felt slightly rushed when compared with the rest of the novel. The other space operas I have read seemed to struggle with the same thing – introducing entirely too many characters at once while simultaneously world-building a foreign planet and/or concept. Towards the end though I felt like one of the crew and I never thought I would nearly misty-eyed over an AI again (the award for the winner of that one is Cortana from Halo).
I could see the possibility for a series but that could potentially be difficult given how the book ended. If it does become a series I would definitely read the second book to see what happens to the characters of this book. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy science fiction, space operas, Halo, Borderlands, and, Mass Effect. A big thank you to Gallery/Saga Press, Stina Leicht, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a digital ARC of Persephone Station – all opinions are my own.