Friday, December 9, 2016

#ReadIndie Book Review: Double Life by S. Usher Evans

Title: Double Life
Author: S. Usher Evans
Publication Date: June 12, 2014
Publisher: S. Usher Evans
Pages: 244
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Piracy is a game. How much are you worth?

Since she was a little girl, everyone - from her father to the Great Creator himself - told Lyssa Peate the same thing: she's worthless. But when she becomes the pirate bounty hunter Razia, she can see the price tag on her own head. Employed by one of the four pirate syndicates, she uses bank transactions and her considerable wits to capture rival members. At least, she would be if Razia's boss ever gave her a chance. It's a man’s world, and all she’s allowed to hunt are purse snatchers while she languishes on probation.

To pay the bills, she's stuck in her old life as Lyssa, discovering and analyzing distant planets and selling them for cash. She's doing just enough to stay out of trouble, pretending to be continuing her father's mysterious research while away for long periods of time. Her slimy boss is always asking questions and even assigns one of her younger brothers, Vel, to intern with her. Already struggling to keep the balance between her double lives, she tries everything to rid herself of the kid...

...until the universal police mistake Lyssa’s intern for Razia's hostage.

Dr. Lyssandra Peate spends her days as a Deep Space Explorer, excavating planets and exploring the universe. Razia spends her free time as a bounty hunter, chasing down the most wanted pirates in the universe, while trying to avoid being captured herself. Lyssa comes from a large, prestigious family - full of people who hate her. Razia has no family. Lyssa leads a double life, and she is anxiously awaiting the day when she can become simply Razia.

I have now read at least part of every series written by S. Usher Evans, and I find it a little funny that her debut novel is the last one that I read. I wish I had picked it up sooner, because Double Life was a really fun ride. Piracy is literally a game in Razia's universe, with four major pirate webs vying for the top spot. Razia is the first (and only) female pirate, and she has to prove her worth time and time again before she is taken seriously.

I typically have a hard time connecting with a lot of female characters, but I did like Lyssa/Razia. Of course, there were times when she was stubborn and impulsive to the point of making very dumb decisions. Sometimes I wished she would just take a step back and think for a second before acting out whatever scheme she was cooking up. However, knowing what had happened to her throughout her life, I completely understood why she acted the way she did. The supporting characters were also amazing. I adored Vel and Sage and I really can't wait to see them more in the next book.

While I really enjoyed the story and characters of Double Life, there were some things that I did not fully understand. I am still a bit confused about how the pirate web system works. It's a very cool concept, but I don't have a good grasp of all the rules and intricacies of it. I was able to understand more and more as the story progressed, so hopefully that means I will be able to learn more about the pirate webs as I continue with the series. I also don't understand why Lyssa's family hated her so much. I am assuming that I will learn why as I keep reading, but for right now, they just seem like incredibly cruel people.

Overall, Double Life was a really fun ride that left me excited and wanting more. I can't wait to continue with the series and have all of my questions answered. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this story takes me!