Book Review: Fusion

 

Lyssa Peate has everything she thought she ever wanted. She’s finally earned the respect of her fellow pirates, she’s got a finger on the pulse on her scientist life, and she’s got a core set of friends (and more-than-friends) that have her back. But deep down, she knows none of this goodness will last. And when she finds out a life-changing secret, she wonders if this is the end of her good life.

Piracy is a game. How do you win?

Fusion is the fourth book in S. Usher Evans’ Razia series. Grab the first three books – Double Life, Alliances, and Conviction – and “get sucked” into this fun space opera series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been solidly hooked on this series since I read Double Lifethe first book of the series.  Though the many ups and downs of Razia I’ll admit I’ve been about ready to strangle her, cheer her success, and throw the books across the room.  This one is no exception.  The start of the book had me ready to give up and walk away.  The reason why gets into spoilers, so you’ll have to read the entire series to understand.  As with the other Razia books, this one can stand alone, though it will definitely make better sense if you’ve read the preceding 3 books.  With that said, here’s the break down:

 

Since this is an established series, there wasn’t much need for a lot of world building.  Ms. Evans introduces a few new locations, which are quickly sketched in without much in depth work, as they are almost entirely window dressing and giving you a break from the hustle and bustle of the main story.  What occurs in the settings IS important, but the setting itself isn’t.

There is a little more work done on the political world building front, though most of this is also just extending what was set up in Alliances  and  Conviction.

The nice thing about the Razia books is the focus on the character driven plot.  The main cast that you’ve met up to this point remains the same, and some new supporting characters are brought in.  However, this is also where I had the hardest time really getting into the thick of the story.  The opening chapter drops a fun surprise in your lap, then Razia’s reaction promptly overrides the fun.  I know there are many people in the world who have the same type of personality as Razia, and seeing her struggle to grow and develop has been fun – up to now.  This book seemed to take everything she has accomplished and throw it in the trash to start all over again.  At least, this time, she’s got the support of others to help her realize the mistake she made.

The supporting cast all have a tremendous growth arc.  They also show that they are human.  Is it sad that I cheered when some of the less desirable emotions showed up directed at Razia?  I won’t go into any deeper detail than that, since I’d wind up in spoiler territory, which is what I do my best to avoid.  It’s not all “torture Razia” either, which gives this book a nice balance between things going wrong, and her journey to self-discovery.  There are some very tumultuous reconciliations that occur as well.

The timeline for this book is established in the first chapter.  After I finished, I had to take a few days to think about what I’d read to determine the pacing.  I think Ms. Evans did a good job keeping the action moving forward while sticking to her time frame, but that also left several segments of the reading as just “meh” for me.

Overall, despite loving the series, I feel the best I can give this installment is a 3 out of 5 star rating.  There was a lot of potential, and I think character proved not everyone can live up to their potential.  The ending redeemed her some (and I mean the character, not the author – Ms. Evans is a wonderful person to know), especially with the almost unexpected final plot twist.  There was just enough backsliding back to an earlier version of Razia that made it hard for me to really get lost in the reading.  Will I go back and re-read?  More than likely – yes.  But, only because I’m reading the series, not for this book on its own.  The saving grace is that it doesn’t ruin the series, which I’ve seen happen before.

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