Book Review: Bluebird

Ciel Pierlot

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 8th February 2022
spoilers? none


Three factions vie for control of the galaxy. Rig, a gunslinging, thieving, rebel with a cause, doesn’t give a damn about them and she hasn’t looked back since abandoning her faction three years ago.

That is, until her former faction sends her a message: return what she stole from them, or they’ll kill her twin sister.

Rig embarks on a journey across the galaxy to save her sister – but for once she’s not alone. She has help from her network of resistance contacts, her taser-wielding librarian girlfriend, and a mysterious bounty hunter.

If Rig fails and her former faction finds what she stole from them, trillions of lives will be lost–including her sister’s. But if she succeeds, she might just pull the whole damn faction system down around their ears. Either way, she’s going to do it with panache and pizzazz.

Galley provided by publisher

Bluebird is a fun read, both a romp through space and a story about bringing down an oppressive system. But although I found it fun, I never really connected with it beyond that, hence the 3 star rating.

Here’s the point where I stress that a 3-star rating is not a bad rating. It means I liked this book. And I did enjoy reading it, so it’s one I would recommend. However, beyond that, I think my issues here were twofold: I never felt anything for the characters, and the plot rested solely on coincidence. Let’s take the first to begin with.

For all that I was being almost instructed to care about these characters, the people who had been pushed outside of their home (for want of a better word) and people who had chosen to leave after seeing the true face of their faction, I never really did. They were somewhat bland characters, in all honesty. None of them particularly jumped off the page for me although, by all accounts, they should have. They were interesting in conception, but not so much in execution.

Perhaps this was a result of the pacing, or compounded by it. As I said at the start, it’s a fast paced book, but that pacing works against it quite often. A lot of the plot beats rely entirely on coincidence—they hear the right conversation at the right time, they just happen across a person who can help them, they aren’t captured because someone else shows up as a distraction. None of these would be bad in isolation, but when the entire plot seems to rely on chance, it starts to become tiring. And also you start to lose interest. I never expected anything truly bad to happen to the characters because, chances were, a miracle coincidence would occur and save them at just the right time.

What I would say though, is that the balance between fast pacing and enough time to establish the world was pretty good. I never felt like the worldbuilding was too light touch. It wasn’t as in depth as I might have liked, to be sure, but it never felt lacking to me.

In the end, then, this book was one I did like reading, and one I would recommend. It just failed to become one that I loved.

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