Ahoy there me mateys! I have previously enjoyed this author’s writing (it involved pirates! Arrr!) so when I saw she had a sci-fi novel out, I snagged it. Unfortunately while I still love her writing style and ideas, the novel was not a complete success.
I went into the story mostly blind. All I knew was that it takes place in the small planet system called Four Sisters. The main character is a woman named Esme who works for her father’s corporation, the Coromina Group. Coincidentally she is one of four sisters. Esme is supposed to be the heir of her father’s position. She learns a stunning secret about her father and the company that sets her on a journey of guilt and redemption.
Part of the problem is that this book was described as a space opera. Space opera suggested space warfare, grand scope adventures, and epic galaxies. Not in this one. Overall this was a character driven story about Esme’s history at her home in Star’s End and her relationships with her family and her wishes for the future of the company.
The story is told using flashbacks. Getting to see Esme and her family growing up was wonderful. I especially loved the relationship with her mother and with Will. While there was no traditional space battles, there were plenty of inter-office wrangling that was fascinating. I loved the company’s super soldiers.
But the “secrets” of the damage done by the company and Esme’s father were anything but a shock. Not much happens in the scheme of things. It is mostly a character study of learning how Esme came into the present and also her trying to make up her mind about how to shape her future. And while I was engrossed in the story, ultimately this is what failed me.
Basically Esme failed me. She is rather wishy-washy and makes horrible and naive choices. She is raised with the best education and lifestyle money can buy but doesn’t always use her brain. Yes her dad is a jerk and overbearing but she never really stands up to him. Even when she finds out the true horror of what he has done she cops out. She waits until his practical demise before “fighting” back. The writing is brilliant enough that ye understand most of her choices but I expected her to shine in the end. I didn’t really get that.
I am still glad I read the novel even though I am left dissatisfied. I don’t know if I would recommend it and would not want this to be the first book a reader tries. I will certainly be reading other works by the author though. Arrrr!
Check out me crew member’s take on this novel:
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Esme Coromina has always known that one day, she would run the Four Sisters, the small planet system that her father grew into a corporate empire. Raised as the pampered heir to the company, Esme lived the best years of her life at Star’s End, the estate her father built on the terraformed moon where he began his empire. In the tropical sunlight and lush gardens, Esme helped raise her three motherless half sisters. But as Esme is groomed to take over the family business of manufacturing weapons for the mercenary groups spread across the galaxy, she slowly uncovers the sinister truth at the heart of her father’s company. And when those secrets are finally revealed, Esme is sure that she’s lost her sisters–and part of her soul–for good.
Now, after a lifetime of following her father’s orders, Esme has a second chance. For the first time, Esme is making her own decisions, and the impact of her decisions will reverberate throughout the Four Sisters. As Esme struggles to assemble her estranged sisters for one last good-bye with their dying father, she has to choose whether she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps–or blaze a daring new path.
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