Rating: 5 out of 5
Joshua James’s Lucky Justice: Lucky’s Marines | Book Seven sees our heroes being sent on a babysitting mission. But you know Lucky: it’ll all go to hell before the mission barely gets started! Princess Elspeth (apparently the Empire has thousands of diplomats referred to as princes and princesses) is coming to a planet that’s inhabited by the sentient aliens the Trillia (or, as humans like to call them, “Trolls”). Ostensibly she’s there to negotiate putting weapons on their moon–but of course there’s more going on than that.
Emperor April is at a bit of a remove this time, so I didn’t have to try to wrap my brain around her shenanigans. Which, honestly, was kind of good. She was hurting my head, and half the time I couldn’t figure out why she needlessly complicated everything. I mean, besides the fact that she’s certifiably crazy. I was able to keep up with the twists and turns of the plot this time (don’t worry, there still are twists and turns), which was a nice change of pace. Most of our other old friends are here though: Lucky, Malby, Jiang, and Dabs, along with a new Marine named Crusher and the Princess Elspeth. On the one hand, the princess starts out being a stereotype. But on the other hand she does grow as a character, which is nice. We also spend some time with the planetary governor and the head of security, both of whom have plenty of personality.
The real draw of these books is Lucky’s particular brand of crazy, the excellent world-building, and plenty of excellent and inventive action scenes. There’s space battles, hand-to-hand combat, gun combat… pretty much anything you can think of. Because the Marines are augmented with nanobots and AIs, they can take an extreme amount of damage and keep regenerating.
Content note: hyper-violence, racism (speciesism?), and a touch of misogyny. (On the part of characters. I didn’t feel as though the characters were mouthpieces for the author when expressing these things.)
Time to dive into book number eight! So far seven is my favorite volume in the series.
Lucky didn’t draw the short straw. He was the short straw.