Review | Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May

Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May ★★★★★

“Don’t you see? The Oracle forces people into neat little boxes because One only understands order. But humans are messy. We are not binary; we don’t exist in ones and zeroes.”

I received this e-book from NetGalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I’m being 100 percent honest. Thank you to NetGalley and DAW for providing me this e-book for reviewing purposes.

‘Seven Devils’ is a feminist space opera with amazing world-building that you should read


Seven Devils is a fast-paced and adventurous book about strong feminist women who are trying to save the galaxy. The novel is full of great characters that have a depth to them and feel very honest and real. The plot is unique and the world-building is phenomenal. Overall a wonderful book.

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Synopsis
When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

I really like this cover. I love to know how characters look when reading a book and this cover shows you all the main characters. I love the colors and the style of this cover. I do prefer the UK version of Seven Devils, though. I think it’s sleeker and just a tad prettier.

Seven Devils has such an engrossing and cool plot. It really screams Ocean’s 8 meets Guardians of the Galaxy to me. I absolutely love a good space opera and this one is amazing in every way. Eris’ story is really compelling since you get a view of both the resistance and the empire. Eris has lived both lives. First as a princess and then as a resistance fighter. The plot in itself isn’t that new, empire versus resistance is something we already know. But all the details and extra elements that the authors added make Seven Devils truly amazing and original. For example, the tragic backstories of some of these characters, the amazing world-building and magic system, the technology used and the amazing friendships are so unique that Seven Devils feels really new and refreshing. This is such a fast-paced and adventurous feminist read.

Seven Devils is written in 5 point of views, those of Eris, Clo, Rhea, Nyx and Ariadne. Each of them is very different from the other one which makes it interesting to read. I didn’t have any favorites, so I liked reading all their point of views. I usually don’t like reading a book with a lot of main characters because most of the time the author can’t focus too much on the development of the cast. They don’t pay enough attention to the backstories, and they all start to feel like each other. In Seven Devils every character was really well-written and interesting. This shows how much talent Lam and May have!

“Eris – or, Princess Discordia as she was once known, heir to the Empire, until she faked her own death and decided to dedicate her life to destroying her family.”

When reading the book you have to pay attention to the time stamp. There are chapters where the authors take you back to the past. These chapters are indicated at the beginning of the chapter. They vary from the present day, one year ago, three years ago, five years ago and ten years ago. At first, I wasn’t really a fan of this because I felt like it slowed the book down. I just wanted to stay on the current mission and not constantly go back to the past. After a while, I got used to it and even started looking forward to those chapters. The reason for this is that I really started to get attached to the characters and wanted to know what they had been through!

There is lesbian and trans representation in Seven Devils. There is a somewhat slow-burn f/f romance and a side/background character who is transgender. I hope we will learn more about this trans person in the second book since I literally can’t name any other sci-fi book that has a trans character!

The world-building in Seven Devils is honestly phenomenal. The authors describe everything in detail and at times it felt like I was there with the characters. They regularly change the scenery which I like and every location is thoroughly described. The technology and magic the cast uses are also very clear and quite fascinating. I understood everything from the start since the authors take their time explaining everything. I liked the mix of magic and technology in Seven Devils. I do hope we get to see more of the magic they have in this world since that element was kept on the background in the first installment.

Would I recommend it?
A hundred times yes!!! Read this book if you’re into sci-fi and looking for a feminist space opera with strong and diverse characters. I can’t wait for book two and read what happens to my babies!!!


Trigger warnings
Blood, death, death of a loved one, violence, incest (?), drugs
Representation in this book
LGBTQIA+ representation, bisexual main character, lesbian main character, main character of color, side character of color, trans representation
Genre
Young adult, science fiction
Publication date
August 4 (US) – August 6 (UK)
Publisher
Gollancz
About the authors
Laura Lam
Originally from sunny California, Laura Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. She is the author of the near-future space thriller, Goldilocks, feminist space opera Seven Devils (co-written with Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, and the award-winning Micah Grey series: PantomimeShadowplay, and Masquerade. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty WomenSolaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of HistoryScotland in Space, and more. Her romance alter ego is Laura Ambrose. She lectures part-time at Edinburgh Napier University on the Creative Writing MA.
Elizabeth May
Originally from sunny California, Laura Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. She is the author of the near-future space thriller, Goldilocks, feminist space opera Seven Devils (co-writtenwith Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, and the award-winning Micah Grey series: PantomimeShadowplay, and Masquerade. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty WomenSolaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of HistoryScotland in Space, and more. Her romance alter ego is Laura Ambrose. She lectures part-time at Edinburgh Napier University on the Creative Writing MA.


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