Ladies and Germs, here I present to you a story of true love and gory killings set in the wonderful, idyllic place of the Conglomerate's high security prison where inmates are send there for life.
Isn't it wonderful?
The main characters and perfectly adjusted human beings;
Dresdemona Devos; Dred was thrown in prison after having become single handed the most feared female serial killer in the known Galaxy. She is the newly appointed Queen of a miserable piece of space in the prison that has no guards and whose only rules are survival of the fittest. She climbed through power by killing the former ruler in the most gruesome way imaginable. Dred rules her demesne with an iron fist and shows her enemies no mercy.
Jael; This man is the product of a laboratory experiment in hopes of creating a super soldier. He is almost a hundred years old and has worked as a mercenary after having escape the lab and murdered the scientist doing experiments on him. He was a character in the Sirantha Jax series and he appeared in Doubleblind. The gist is he betrayed Jax and then for some reason or another he took March, Jax's lover, place in a prison where he served for almost 30 years until his genetic disparities where discover and he was thrown into Perdition for "safe keeping." Jael is a mean son of a bitch who has worked as a mercenary for more than 50 years and vows he will break out of Perdition because no jail will ever hold him for long. He joins Dred's territory soon realizing that it is the smartest choice.
Aguirre pulls no punches, this book is one long and gory mess at times. There is no one innocent in Perdition, there is no such thing as remorse or flowers and sunshine. This story is dark and gritty and horribly in tune with the reality of how a prison where the worst of the worst get thrown into with no supervision should be.
At its core The Dred Chronicles is not hard sci-fi but rather Space Opera as there isn't an emphasis in technology but that was just fine with me. I get bore with books that get overly technical, I rather read Space Opera. There is ton of deadly drama aboard the prison ship as gangs fight one another for territory and the best thing that can happen for Dred is recruiting Jael as he becomes key in helping her against her enemies. And believe me this people are scary, these men are hardened criminals that don't have an ounce of goodness in them. There are plenty of action scenes and skirmishes, anyone can die at any time.
Dred and Jael form a relationship that is both slow and believable and... you are going to think I am crazy but.... it is actually kind of touching. That's crazy because these two people have no remorse, they are the perfect anti heroes with some of the darkest past but here I am cheering that they break out and go out into space together.
Unfortunately I can see why Aguirre might have lost readers in the first couple of chapters, her prose doesn't come up to scratch until mid way through. But if you persist and stick to it she finds her pace and it is a fantastic story to read.
I was looking for a fast paced story set in space or fantasy genre and I found it, this book really sated my thirst for a take no prisoners heroine and a hardened Alpha male that does not look down on women. Ann Aguirre is definitely an author I am willing to read more books from and I will definitely pick up her Sirantha Jax series.