Title: Fools Rush In
Author: Donna S. Frelick
She thought she had the toughest job in Rescue – until the day she had to convert a pirate into a hero.
Interstellar Rescue “conductor” Rayna Carver is deep undercover on a slave ship bound for an isolated region of space when the ship is attacked by pirates. Her liberator is Captain Sam Murphy, a man known in the spacer bars to love only profit, adventure and women.
But Murphy hates a few things, too, chief among them slavers. Will it be enough to gain his help for Rayna’s mission—ferreting out two spies bent on sabotaging an arms factory to turn the tide in an alien civil war?
I can’t remember the last time I read a space opera, and it’s never really been my preferred genre, but I really enjoyed Fools Rush In. Though I had some issues with it, it was a thoroughly fun read full of well-written characters and an engaging world.
Our protagonist, Reyna Carver, is the very definition of a well-written strong female lead. Despite her badassery, she’s also flawed, with insecurities and issues that haunt her throughout the story. Balancing those characteristics well is difficult, and usually result in a Mary Sue type of character, but that’s not the case with Agent Carver. She feels like a very real person, someone I could sit down and share a drink with. The same can be said for her leading man, Sam Murphy. It’s so common in the romance genre to have men that are overbearing and don’t actually treat their female counterparts as equals – it was refreshing to see that Sam is not that kind of love interest. He’s protective, sure, but he knows when to let Reyna take the lead. They’re not the only great characters in the book – I would say the book’s biggest strength lies in the author’s ability to make the entire cast of characters a believable and diverse bunch. Science fiction as a genre is in a position to use diversity in a way that enhances the stories past the usual tropes and stereotypes – it’s clear that this writer is aware and makes full use of this advantage. Other sci-fi writers take note – this is how you do it! (I’m looking at you, Star Wars prequels…)
The world itself is as engaging as the cast that fills it. All the descriptions are vivid and in-depth, creating a clear picture of the world the characters inhabit. Personally, sometimes there was too much description for my taste, but that’s a matter of preference and part of the reason I don’t usually read space operas and high fantasy. At times the story seemed to go by slower than I would have liked, too. That’s why Fools Rush In gets four stars instead of five. Though the story overall was engaging, it took me a while to really get sucked into it, and then it was still easy to put the book down and get distracted. A couple of inconsistencies also made it hard to stay focused, but not enough that I couldn’t get back into the story. No matter what, it continued to call me back, so it gets four stars!