As a human being, Isadora Daystar barely managed to a half-assed job at every single thing she tried in her life. But being the title character of this science fiction novel by P.I. Barrington, this one time, Isadora Daystar finally manages to come up aces.
The reader’s introduction to Isadora has a familiar feel to it. Isabella is a soldier, and she’s in the brig for screwing up. Her commanding officer is paying her a visit, disappointed that she’s messed up, again.
At first, Isabella reminded me of Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck also screwed up a lot, but had incredible potential. The difference was that Starbuck fulfilled hers, however strangely that turned out.
In the very opening of Isadora Daystar, Isadora’s life takes a different path. In her memory (and it is obvious that she is remembering something in her past) Isadora’s commanding officer Renan, chews her out, expresses his disappointment, turns off the cameras in her cell, and kisses her senseless.
And that’s the last good memory Isabella seems to have.
Isabella’s present is a mess. She’s not in the military any longer. She not fit to serve. Isadora Daystar has fallen from being a Sergeant-Major to being a drug addict. One who will do anything to get her next fix. And since the military taught her how to kill, Isadora Daystar has become an assassin.
But she’s not terribly good at it. She admits that to herself in her coherent moments. She tells herself that she wasn’t all that great of a soldier, and she’s not all that great of an assassin, either. But she needs the money. For the drugs.
Beggars can’t be choosers. Assassins who don’t complete their assignments don’t get to pick their targets. They don’t get to negotiate terms, either.
Isadora takes what she knows is a bad job on the planet Nova Cheiros. It’s a place where too many people in too many low places remember her none too fondly. But she has to take what she can get.
The contractor is a liar and a cheat, and she knows it. But she needs the money. The target, well, she thinks she got him. But nobody told her he was a cop. So she has to get off planet, and fast.
Then her ride off-planet gets shot out from under her, and her fellow crash victim is a teenage girl with a whole lot of attitude; the daughter of that cop Isadora killed.
Are they going to save each other, or kill each other? And who shot the ship?
Escape Rating B: Isadora’s story is not for the faint of heart. She starts out at the bottom, and she knows she’s hit bottom. The worst part is, she doesn’t think there’s anything left for her except complete degradation and death. We see her memories and know that Isadora believes she deserves her fate.
When the Isadora’s escape ship crashes, fate intervenes. Of course saving the girl she’s stranded with keeps her alive. That’s a story we expect. But quite a bit of how that story resolved was a surprise. Guilt is easy and forgiveness is hard.
In spite of the scene in Isadora’s memories with her commanding officer kissing her senseless, this is not a romance in any way, shape or form. It’s science fiction, but that’s probably more of a setting than an actual necessity. This is a redemption story that happens to be set in a science fiction world. The space travel is a nice bonus.
Speaking of bonuses, this review is part of the Isadora Daystar blog tour from BTS Virtual Tours. I have 2, yes 2 e-copies of Isadora to give away. The giveaway will be open until 12:01 am EDT the morning of April 10, 2012 and I will announce the winners on April 11, 2012. All you have to do fill out the Rafflecopter form below: