The challenge I have with ebooks is I have a harder time remembering when I first found the author. When I hold a physical book, it becomes a tactile memory connected to my other senses. I remember where, when, why I picked up the title. Sadly, my ebooks do not get the same memory trail. Did I hear about it from a friend? From a SciFi site? From Goodreads? Bookbub? I reread the series last week and still I have no memory of when I bought it and what was the draw. This leads me to believe it was the book itself, Soldier of Fortune, book 1 in The Fortune Chronicles.
When I hear the phrase, soldier of fortune, I assume mercenary. A band of unlikely hero’s who turn around who do something great and save the day. Upon reading the book blurb, it turns out Quinn is not a mercenary but a soldier wrongly accused of treason and sent to work the mines. The story takes place on the planet of Fortune, a planet, one of many terraformed to replace Earth.
Quinn is given early parole and a chance to clear his name, or to get revenge. Quinn, and his Draco Elvis, are dropped off in the city of Nike where the man he holds responsible resides. Quinn, more of a paladin than a soldier, collects a band of people, mostly in distress, who come together to support each other in the gritty city. So, I had the mercenary character wrong but the merry bunch of misfits right.
There is a tongue and cheek piece to the universe Kathleen McClure developed. Instead of naming the newly colonized places after the old places, such as New York, New Zealand, they are named after the leaders of capitalist society, such as Nike and Ford. Memorabilia from Earth are collectors items, many items whose purpose is no longer remembered. The technology that brought humanity to Fortune destroyed its technology upon arrival hoping the world would not be destroyed the same way as earth. It is an interesting idea in that there must have been the people who believed in the fresh start and those who miss what they left behind. I would have appreciated more development of the backstory to balance the amount of corporate names used in the series. I loved the mixture of fantasy, dystopia, and military science fiction in the book. I think it is what drew me to it. It didn’t really fit in any specific genre to me so I was able to enjoy it as it was.
Book two in The Fortune Chronicles, Outrageous Fortune an Errant Enterprise, was written by both Kathleen McClure and Kelly McKinnon, and was a great followup to book 1. Side characters in Soldier of Fortune took the lead in this book. Although I loved Quinn and Mia in book one, the dynamics on the airship Errant are much more engaging. The story takes place a little bit earlier than Book 1 and at one point the two stories share scenes together. I enjoyed how well it was carried it out and seeing the same scene from a different perceptive.
Book three, is back to Gideon Quinn’s adventures. Characters from both previous books take part in this adventure. People are going missing in Nike and Quinn and Mia are asked to investigate. There is more development of the political issues on the planet of Fortune and the fallout of war. I liked how each of their personal stories impacted how they handled the missing persons case. This book had humour but not as much as the first two books it was a darker story.
All in all and enjoyable series. Something to read if you enjoy the mixing of genres with a lot of action. I look forward to reading more of her individual works and collaborations.
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