The First Sister by Linden Lewis – Review

Stepping out of my comfort zone once again, I am reviewing The First Sister by Linden Lewis. After my recent NetGalley review of The Space Between Worlds – Another sci fi novel – I was invited to give this one a try and thought, why not!

Sci Fi, as a general rule, has been a genre I have avoided over the years, claiming it didn’t grab my interest, but now I feel I haven’t been giving this genre the credit it deserves!  I’ve now read a small handful of sci fi books in the last 18 months or so and have absolutely loved them all, so I think it’s time to branch out and try a few more!

Blurb

FIRST SISTER HAS NO NAME, AND NO VOICE.

As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the Gean soldiers of Earth and Mars, who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed and she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no status, and a new captain – Saito Ren – who she knows nothing about.

But Captain Ren has a secret, and First Sister is commanded by the head of her order to find out what it is. What starts as a simple task quickly grows more complicated as First Sister and Ren grow closer, and she realises that sacrificing for the war effort is so much harder to do when your loyalties are split.

LITO VAL LUCIUS HAS NO FAITH, AND NO LOYALTY.

He climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite Icarii soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. Then Lito discovers that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause.

If Lito hunts down and kills his former partner, he will be offered a shot a redemption. But to do so, Lito must decide where his allegiances lie, and choose between following orders and his heart.

As the war between the Geans and the Icarii reaches a head, Lito and First Sister must decide what – and whom – they are willing to sacrifice in the name of duty, or for love.

Review

This book is so much more than it appears at first look. I’ll admit, when I read the blurb and first started it, I was expecting some sort epic space battle (Forgive me – I really have not been a sci-fi reader in the past!). Instead, I was met with complex worlds and hierarchies, a super diverse cast of characters and action packed undercover missions. Not to mention the scattering of LGBT characters on top of it all!

As complex as the worlds were, they were expertly laid out within the plot – Snippets of information scattered throughout the story giving you enough to grasp the concept of life on the different planets and the ways of living of the different races, without overloading you with lots of information. Perfect for a sci-fi newbie like me, one of main worries with this genre is having to deal with complicated info dumps that boggle my poor little brain!

Split between two P.O.Vs, the story focuses on Lito, an Icarii solider, and the First Sister, a priestess on a Gean ship. The elite of the Icarii soldiers work in pairs, a Rapier and a Dagger, their brains linked by high tech implants in their brains. It’s interesting to see the working relationshi that blossoms between a duo after they have been linked, able to communicate without speaking, making them deadly opponents to anyone crossing their path.

The story of the First Sister drew me in straight away, the strange ways of living within the Sisterhood, having their voices taken away and devoting their lives to working under the Goddess. There’s a large amount of competitiveness between the Sisters, each wishing to become one of the favoured ones, to gain a title.

Both Lito and the First Sister face many hurdles during their journey; their loyalties being testing to the extreme,  unsure who to trust or what decisions to make, with lives at stake no matter what they do. This was an exceptionally exciting read and I cannot wait to see more from Linden Lewis, this has been a really promising debut novel!

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