5 stars, Catherine Cerveny, criminal organization, luck, Mars, romance, scifi, series, Tarot, totalitarian government
Review by Riley
A whirlwind thriller romance in a futuristic setting that will tug at your heartstrings while sending you on high-speed chases alongside a genetically-enhanced (and incredibly handsome…) criminal mastermind.
Felicia Sevigny makes her own luck. So it’s no surprise that her new life on the Red Planet is off to a good start. She’s making a living reading the fortunes of the fabulously wealthy, and making a home with Alexei, the dangerous, handsome love of her life.
Then Alexei is called off planet unexpectedly, mines in the astroid belt start collapsing, and an ex-lover walks back into Felicia’s life. Felicia’s readings predict that there is something bigger going on. Something darker and far more insidious that threatens everything she has come to love.
And as luck would have it, the cards are right for things to go horribly wrong.
Review of The Chaos of Luck
All along, I’ve been saying that the thing I liked about The Rule of Luck, book #1 in the Felicia Sevigny series, is the hero – Alexi. Crime boss, lover, mover, shaker, entrepreneur, killer, visionary. What is he? Is he good? Is he bad?
After reading The Chaos of Luck, I still hold Alexi responsible for the success of this series. Sure, the first person saga is written from Felicia’s perspective, but the book comes alive when Alexi is in the scene. Alexi is totally alpha, strong, virile and annoyingly controlling and manipulative. Every time Felicia stands up to Alexi I cheer. But every time Alexi gets all tender around Felicia I melt a little. But let’s face it. Alexi is not a good person. But he totally makes this story come alive!
The Chaos of Luck is Felicia’s story though. The Tarot card reader comes off a bit flaky in this story, but with reason. I’ll explain. One minute she is pledging her eternal love to Alexi, and the next minute she goes off and does something behind his back. There are all sorts of other non-Alexi influences in her life, including a former lover and a long lost relative. They add interest to the story and they add to my frustration with Felicia. But think about it. Felicia is blessed/cursed with the luck gene. Perhaps that means she doesn’t have as much control over her life as the average person. Now think about the title of the book. The Chaos of Luck. Felicia’s flakiness does make sense. Oh, it still bugs me, but it also give the story an edge.
The setting has moved from a post-flood-apocalyptic, thriving Earth in book 1 to a terraformed Mars in book 2. Well, more than terraformed – moons were added, the orbit was nudged closer to the sun and gravity made nearly earth-like. This Mars is both fantastic and fascinating and would be a great book tourist destination.
While the setting changes, several other aspects remained the same. One Gov is still the iron-fisted ruling party. One Gov may have saved Earth, but in doing so, it created a totalitarian system that monitors and controls everything from caloric intake to reproduction. There are many that think the system is stifling and believe change is needed.
Such as the Consortium. Basically a legitimate business empire fronting a lot of questionable activities, the Consortium is headed in title by Alexi. But it is ruled in the background by the five centuries old Belikov. Between Alexi and Belikov, the Consortium is on a path to make some huge changes. The internal politics of the Consortium add the perfect element of intrigue to the story. Having read book 1, I could see that something was going to happen, but I did not guess the direction Belikov would take.
In The Chaos of Luck, Felicia’s reading of her Tarot cards is less than successful. She is constantly interpreting, misinterpreting and reinterpreting what she sees. Which takes me back to the word ‘chaos’ in the title. While eventually, Felicia will work it out with the cards, the seeming unreliability of them keeps the reader from discovering the answers before Felicia does. As it should be.
There are several philosophical discussions about luck. What they come down to is the question of whether luck controls people or people make their own luck. But in The Chaos of Luck, because Felicia has the luck gene, the discussion becomes a bit more than philosophical and takes an implied morality turn. Should the luck gene be duplicated? If it is duplicated – or passed on – what will that mean for humanity?
Catherine Cerveny has imagined a fascinating future for mankind. Whether you think being hooked up to the CN-net 24/7 is the greatest thing since Irish Whiskey was invented, or you think the less everyone knows about you the better, you will be enthralled with the worlds in this series. On the character side, the tumultuous romance, the ever-changing plight of the heroine and intrigue around every corner make this book a 5-star read. One more thing that might interest you: in The Chaos of Luck, there are dogs getting their fortune read.
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