Independently intelligible second entry (Fortune’s Pawn, 2013) in a space opera starring a tough, sexy, armor-clad mercenary chick.
Fresh from burying her colleague, Devi Morris boards the battered old freighter known as the Fool. The ship’s enigmatic captain, Brian Caldswell, is one of the leaders of an organization, the Eyes, whose mission is to track down and destroy phantoms, huge, planet-busting aliens which few can perceive. Not that Devi’s aware of this, since, at the end of the previous book, she had her memories wiped. By Caldswell. Well, it was either that or kill her, since she found out too much about what was really going on. All Devi knows is that the ship seems to be infested with strange glowing bugs that only she can see—is she going crazy?—and that she finds the ship’s cook, Rupert Charkov, powerfully attractive—yet when she looks directly at him, she feels a visceral repulsion. There are Caldswell's "daughters," who all look like identical, blank-eyed, emaciated kids but have the ability to manipulate plasmex, a sort of cosmic energy field. Devi doesn’t trust Caldswell and prepares to throw in her lot with John Brenton, Caldswell’s former ally-turned-rival, until she discovers that Brenton’s cooperating with alien enemies, the xith’cal. And then there’s the creepy black stain that sometimes seems about to cover Devi’s entire body. Will Devi recover her memories and figure out how all these peculiar matters relate? Rest assured, Devi will be firing up her trusty thermite blade, working her armor until the rivets pop, and charming or intimidating anybody, human, alien or indeterminate, that gets in her way. And when the smoke clears—well, it pretty much never does: The action’s tough, gory and incessant, with revelation piled upon revelation.
Fun, with phasers on lethal.