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Book Review: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht


My Rating:

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Earnest and tangled, Persephone Station by Stina Leicht has all the badass female protagonists a reader could want with far too many plot points.  

Upon being framed for the assassination of a corporate head honcho, Angel and her close-knit group of mercenaries are sent on a mission to the planet’s outskirts to defend an indigenous alien race from being wiped out by the same corporation. Added to that is a subplot about Kennedy, a woman from off-planet with a penchant for computers, who arrives, searching for the owner of a distress call only she can hear. 

That might sound fairly straightforward, but with the addition of shady corporations, hidden alien species, soldiers revived after death, organized crime families, mercenaries, and Artificial Intelligence, the novel becomes muddied. With too many dots to connect, the rollercoaster, bang-out finale in the last third of this massive 500-page space opera fizzles out instead of exploding. If Leicht had taken more discretion with her many topics and edited out a few of these plots, the novel’s length and overall success could have benefitted. 

Persephone Station is rife with diverse female-centric characters, and Leicht brings them all aborad this space action romp. From straight to non-binary characters and everything in between, Leicht creates a promising future of inclusion, even though she holds on to the classic trope of indigenes under attack. 

There are clear nods to Seven Samurai, with Angel’s AI spaceship being named Kurosawa, as well as Firefly, and even The Expendables. But for all the salutations to great films, shows, and self-proclaimed similarity to Cowboy Bebop, Persephone Station lacks the depth that the well-crafted works mentioned above have succeeded at creating. 

Many thanks to Stina Leicht, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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