ARC Review: Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

Wow. Apparently this is what it feels like to have your still beating heart ripped right out of your chest.

I only finished Seven Devils a couple nights ago, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Boy, oh, boy, was it a wild ride! Equal parts feminism, humor, and gritty sci-fi action, this book is all kinds of awesome.

This story is told from the perspectives of five main characters: Clo (the mechanic), Eris (the rebel princess), Nyx (the soldier), Rhea (the courtesan), and Ariadne (the engineer). I’m not always a fan of alternating POVs, because usually I find one or more of the perspectives boring, but that certainly wasn’t the case with Seven Devils. All five characters contributed something different to the story, and they each had such interesting perspectives of the book’s vast sci-fi universe dictated by a vicious Empire. With five core characters, you’d think it’d be easy for all of those personalities to blur together, but by the end of the book, I found myself loving, admiring, and rooting for each of the five women. They all had individual strengths and weaknesses, but their flaws were what resulted in me really connecting with them.

The female relationships in this book were complex and refreshing as well. I love how Eris and Clo’s relationship went from friends, to enemies, to sort-of-friends again. They had a lot of barriers between them, but they still cared about one another deeply and would risk their lives for each other at any costs. Nyx and Ariadne’s relationship was sweet as well, and I love how they kind of had a mother-daughter thing going on. It was so heartwarming! The romance between Clo and Rhea was one I could root for, but I love how the authors made sure it didn’t take away from the overall plot.

The story is told mostly in the present, but there are numerous flashbacks to the past that pop up every few chapters. I’m so glad that the authors took the approach of including flashbacks in the book, as they were expertly written and deeply absorbing. Learning about each character’s past made my reading experience THAT much better. I have to admit it, I especially enjoyed the flashback chapters that were in Princess Discordia’s perspective. Her past was so interesting to read about, and it really helped set the dark, patriarchal atmosphere of the story. Discordia was easily my favorite character, probably because she was so complex. She spent her whole life being forced to be ruthless, cruel, and emotionless, but that didn’t stop her from standing up against the Empire and risking her life to do so. I loved how intricate her relationships with her brothers were, and it was so fascinating to see how her past influenced the choices she made throughout the book. Discordia was such a compelling character to read about, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of her story unfolds in book two.

Beyond characters, the world-building in Seven Devils was excellent. A lot of information was dumped on us within the first few chapters, but I found the politics of the world so interesting that I didn’t really mind. What surprised me about this book were the startling connections that could be made between the Empire and our own society. Not only is the Empire ruled with an iron fist, but it also wipes out anything and everything in its way of achieving Galactic domination. In the book, the Empire has slaughtered sentient life forms native to many planets, only to claim said planets for itself in order to gain more power, wealth, and resources. This reminds me much of our own planet’s history in many ways, and whether it was the authors’ intention to shed light on that or not, I highly respect them for doing so.

I ALSO respect the authors for including so much diversity in this book! Trans, bi, ace, and autistic rep? Yes please! The noteworthy themes of feminism and female strength were very empowering as well, and they’re largely why I loved this book so much! #smashthepatriachyinspace

Even if sci-fi isn’t your go-to genre, I’d still consider picking up this book. With strong female characters, an action-driven plot, a thoughtfully crafted setting, and refreshing diversity, there’s something for everybody!

Unapologetically feminist and endlessly thrilling, Seven Devils is a phenomenal start to what I’m sure is bound to be a fantastic science fiction duology!

Do you give half stars? Here's why I don't. | Mom's Radius

9 thoughts on “ARC Review: Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

  1. Aria says:

    This looks like a really amazing book, and I’m definitely putting it on my TBR. The representation looks amazing, and the plot seems fascination. Amazing review 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. melbraxton says:

    So this book isn’t in my library’s system yet and I’m pretty sure I’ll be hitting refresh on that every single day until it becomes available. Yeah. The representation, female strength, and political discussions all sound incredibly well done. I’m so glad you got an ARC for this and can start spreading the word about this fantastic release.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. R A I N says:

    You have no idea how much I have been DYING to read this one, ever since I saw it on Twitter! I mean, my initial attraction and intrigue with this book was limited to the cover but my, oh my! After reading your review, the story and the characters sound equally unforgettable and amazing!! I LOVED THIS REVIEW SO MUCH, Octavia and I cannot wait to read Seven Devils!! 😍

    Like

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