“Humans were made of contradictions.”
2 out of 5 Stars
It pains me to rank this book so low, especially when it has a cover as gorgeous as what it does. I mean look at that beautiful book, it just oozes beauty and for the cover alone gets 5 stars, it’s rather disappointing that the story inside did not live up to the cover.
Persephone Station is a book with all the workings to be a great space opera but unfortunately for me, failed to do so. Right from the start we are immediately thrown into non-stop action, and this is all good and well, if I know what the action is in relation to. For the longest time I could not figure out what all the action was for. The first chapter felt more like a prologue as it took 11 chapters for it to come back into the story, after that we are introduced to Angel an ex-marine and her crew. This is mostly an all female cast and honestly, I hated that, but I have an issue reading stories that follow women protagonists in general (yah I know weird coming from a woman haha, but this is one those personal things. If you want a mostly female cast then this is a contender to check out). It was great having non binary representation with Rosie who uses They/Them pronouns, and the all around mixed representation from racial differences to sexual orientations was wonderful to see. (Although this moment “four women, one man, and two non binary individuals approached” was weird, just say “7 people”)
The biggest problem I had with the cast of characters is that not a single one of them stood out. They all had similar voices, and none of them gave me ex-marine, mercenary, or assassin vibes, they all had this bubbly happy feel to them, even the one who never talked. Now I’m not saying they all needed to sound down and gritty but I would have appreciated it if at least one of them had that feel to them, and no amount of F-bombs really made up for it. That was the most used curse and I have nothing against curses in books, I actually really like them if they fit the feel of the story but I mean there is more than the lovely F-bomb. Honestly I think these f-bomb drops are what kept this book from being categorized as YA. The problem with them all sounding so similar is that none of them left a lasting impression and at times made it difficult to remember who was who, it just felt like the same character with multiple names. We also get all of their backstories as an info dump from another character and it just felt pointless, I understand what Leicht was going for in the scene but it felt flat and didn’t reach what it was hoping to reach.
The story reads very much like YA, and I’m not saying that as a bad thing, honestly this could be a great book for someone who is wanting to move out of YA and explore more adult sci-fi books. Its very simple, blunt and straight to the point, there is not a lot of flair to any of the conversations, it doesn’t get too technical in terminology, there is not a lot of in-depth descriptions just enough is given to get the point across and the world-building is very minimal. The only thing that might be difficult is the plot and that’s only because I really could not figure out what the plot was. There are two story lines going on at the same time and eventually they met up but it all just felt very chaotic and disconnected for a majority of the story.
The biggest issue I had falls very heavily on the dialogue, the over usage of the words “said” and “asked”. Oh boy where these two words overused and just really killed every conversation. It was just a constant barrage of every line ending with character said, or character asked, or even starting out that way. It left nothing to be desired or imagined when it came to the conversations, basically my mind pictured their conversations as two or more people staring at each other with zero movement, just staring and talking, there was no emotions at all in any of the characters during conversations. I would have liked to have seen movement and emotion it would have given the story and all the conversations so much more life.
Now as for an aspect of the story I did like, there was Mechs. Oh boy do I love mechs. I had zero knowledge they would be in this story and I love that they were included. Do I understand how they got there and why they where included, no, but I just love mechs and want to read more books with them. The action scenes were also really well scripted and I was able to visualize them which is where the majority of the life of the storytelling was. It didn’t make up for the conversations and the repetitive nature of the writing but it was an element that I was able to enjoy.
While Persephone Station wasn’t a book for me, it might just be that action packed scifi adventure someone else needs.