Rating: 4 out of 5
Jennifer Foehner Wells’ Inheritance (Confluence Book 3) (also available in a collection of the first 3 books in the series plus 3 short stories: Confluence Codex 1: An Omnibus of the Scifi Series, Books 1-3) moves away from the adventures of Jane and her crew, and introduces us to Darcy, who’s been abducted by aliens. Apparently she has a genetic inheritance from an alien race, some members of which hid on earth and interbred with humans. That inheritance makes her very valuable, and the aliens plan to sell her as a slave. Darcy is mixed-race, so the idea of being a slave is even more personal to her than it would be for some others. Another prisoner, Raub, who seems to have a little pull with their captors, plans to escape–and he trains Darcy to fight so she can help him.
I am white, so I have no idea how reasonable the material on slavery is, or how well Darcy is depicted on that front. If anyone knows of a review by a POC, please feel free to drop a link to it in the comments section so folks can get other opinions that might be more informed about this aspect of the book. There are a number of parallels drawn to things on earth, such as eugenics programs.
I like Darcy quite a bit better than Jane. Jane just always felt kind of prim and proper, and eternally sad, and as a linguist she really isn’t an action-oriented character, so the books featuring her were slower and more ponderous. It also came across as a bit weird whenever she did get into action scenes, because it seemed so counter to her nature. Darcy on the other hand is bold and fierce, and when Raub starts teaching her to defend herself, sure, she whines internally a bit, but she knows this is her only chance and she grabs onto it with both hands.
There’s more action in general in here. First in an easily-thwarted early escape attempt, then in dealing with Raub’s training, and finally… well, I’m not going to spoil that. Suffice it to say, this book definitely held my interest the best of these first three books.
Content note for sexual assault: at least in this volume it’s not in any way portrayed as funny or otherwise non-problematic, possibly because in this case it’s the more “standard” male-on-female assault.