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Hugo award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a take on space opera for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop in this high-stakes adventure. Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wa Hugo award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a take on space opera for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop in this high-stakes adventure. Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit. Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them. Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.


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Hugo award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a take on space opera for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop in this high-stakes adventure. Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wa Hugo award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a take on space opera for fans of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop in this high-stakes adventure. Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit. Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them. Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.

30 review for Persephone Station

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.75 Stars. This was a pretty exciting space opera. When I heard about a sci-fi book that was filled with lesbian, bisexual, and non-binary characters, my interest was immediately piqued. And of course when I saw the cover I knew I had to read this. The cover art is just so good. I do want to apologize to Gallery/Saga for being a little late with this review. Between watching the Senate returns, then an actual insurrection, and dealing with a migraine on and off for 3 days, I could not get into 3.75 Stars. This was a pretty exciting space opera. When I heard about a sci-fi book that was filled with lesbian, bisexual, and non-binary characters, my interest was immediately piqued. And of course when I saw the cover I knew I had to read this. The cover art is just so good. I do want to apologize to Gallery/Saga for being a little late with this review. Between watching the Senate returns, then an actual insurrection, and dealing with a migraine on and off for 3 days, I could not get into the flow of the book. I’m so glad I finally got this read and while it wasn’t everything I was hoping for, I did enjoy it. While the book had a large cast of characters, there were three main characters that most of the POV times was spent in, Angel, Kennedy, and Rosie. Angle is ex-military and current mercenary, Rosie is a crime boss, and Kennedy who is hiding the biggest secret of all. This brings me to my main issue with this book in that I wanted more character development. There was some really good character potential here, between main and secondary characters, but I think some characters were harder to connect with then they should have been. Kennedy, was my favorite but I think it was because she had the biggest and most important backstory. The times that I liked all three main characters the best was when we were getting important details of their past and how it shaped who they were today. Rosie past, Angel’s family, and Kennedy’s sisters and her fight for humanity were all parts when I really cared about the mains. I wish there was more of those really affective and well written character parts throughout the book. I know a lot of people that read my reviewers always want to know if a book has a romance. This does not have any. There are some characters with girlfriends or boyfriends, but they are mainly secondary characters and the relationships are more just mentioned in passing. I had this weird hope that Angel and Kennedy might end up at least in the same place together. Trust me I get how weird that is, and you will too when you read this book, but I could not help thinking they might make an interesting pair. This book had a good mix of excitement. With everything going on this past week, I was struggling to get into the book. The beginning felt like a bit of a slog and I just could not get comfortable reading. Luckily, once the book found its groove, the story flow was so much better. Just about the last two thirds were exciting, action-packed, and more fun to read. So if you find the beginning a little bumpy, don’t worry because the action eventually heats up. This book is not supposed to be a series but I could see a spin-off as a possibility. There is an alien race that is really interesting and I think Leicht has only just scratched the surface on what this race could become. A race of people that can shapeshift and speak to animals, were just really well done and interesting and I would love to see them star in their own book. I would recommend this to space opera fans, especially if you are looking for book casts that are mostly women and non-binary characters. I was happy about the diversity and queerness of so many characters. Again, I did want more of a connection to many of the characters then I had. Lives were on the line in this book I wanted to feel that worry, but this didn’t quite grab me enough. The action and excitement where good and Kennedy is character that will stick with me. If Leicht ever writes a spin-off I would read it. A copy was given to me for a honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    afternoonsunjeans

    July 14, 2020: *gets down on one knee, wipes big-girl-tears away, holds up a ring* I am a lesbian

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    Women writing SPACE OPERA??!?!?!?!?!?!??!! is ALWAYS exciting /psa

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    This gay-friendly "gals with guns" space opera hangs on a fast-paced plot that is currently pretty popular in the SF field, the evil corporations masking their power grabs as AI entities explore various ways of being sentient. Add in mostly female characters, with non-binary ones present and up front, and jack up the pacing all the way to the poignant resolution. The narrative, with its fast pace, also brings home how much the English language is lagging behind social evolution: specifically the This gay-friendly "gals with guns" space opera hangs on a fast-paced plot that is currently pretty popular in the SF field, the evil corporations masking their power grabs as AI entities explore various ways of being sentient. Add in mostly female characters, with non-binary ones present and up front, and jack up the pacing all the way to the poignant resolution. The narrative, with its fast pace, also brings home how much the English language is lagging behind social evolution: specifically the use of "They" for non-binary characters. The problem isn't the pronoun so much as the verbs around it, specifically the plural. I found myself thrown out of the story frequently when I couldn't figure out who, or how many, given pronouns were modifying. It's still a fun read, and I really enjoyed most of the action parts handed to females. Woo! Copy provided by NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. For me, this science fiction book is a miss. I just couldn't get into it. It is well-written and packed with action, but it just didn't interest me. Persephone Station is backwater planet that the Serrao-Orlov Corporation has taken an intense interest in. The people that run the corporation know the planet's secrets, and want to exploit them. Rosie owns a bar that criminals, and those that want to hire them, come to do business. Rosie 3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. For me, this science fiction book is a miss. I just couldn't get into it. It is well-written and packed with action, but it just didn't interest me. Persephone Station is backwater planet that the Serrao-Orlov Corporation has taken an intense interest in. The people that run the corporation know the planet's secrets, and want to exploit them. Rosie owns a bar that criminals, and those that want to hire them, come to do business. Rosie hires a group of mercenaries led by Angel to do a job for her that pits them against Serrao-Orlov Corporation. The odds are not in Angel's favor, but she will do everything she can to win. There is very little world building or character development, which is a shame because most of the characters are female (Girl Power, yay!), and there is gay, lesbian, bisexual and non-binary characters in the book. It would have been nice to delve more into these characters before all of the fighting started. Most of the focus is on describing the surroundings and the enormous amount of fighting that goes on in the book. There is nothing wrong with a lot of action, and I like reading it. But, without fleshing out more about why the conflict is happening, and making the characters more accessible so that I want to invest in them, I had a hard time wanting to finish the book. I may be in the minority. There may be a lot of people that will like this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    I'm so, so glad to have been auto-approved for Gallery Books because this space opera is one of my most anticipated books and like, the cover is fucking badass ------------------------ 'On the backwater planet of Brynner, at Persephone Station, a community of android refugees, all female, are hiding since they were able to awaken their AI and escape servitude. But the Serrao-Orlov Corporation is nothing if not tenacious, especially about it's proprietary AI's, and it wants their property back. Ho I'm so, so glad to have been auto-approved for Gallery Books because this space opera is one of my most anticipated books and like, the cover is fucking badass ------------------------ 'On the backwater planet of Brynner, at Persephone Station, a community of android refugees, all female, are hiding since they were able to awaken their AI and escape servitude. But the Serrao-Orlov Corporation is nothing if not tenacious, especially about it's proprietary AI's, and it wants their property back. However, Persephone is run by Rosie, and they are in charge of an organized group of beneficent criminals and assassins, along with a bunch of worn mercenaries who have a thing for doing the honorable thing, despite the odds. And in a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation, the odds are not going to be good, but it would be a glorious fight. Award-nominated author Stina Leicht has created a viciously feminist take on The Magnificent Seven by the way of Blade Runner and Westworld' OMG, I WANT. Also, the author says, 'It's a Feminist SF and the working title is Persephone Station. The genre influences will be Space Opera, Westerns, Heist, and a touch of Northern Irish Crime. All the main characters will be women--mostly women of color.'

  7. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    so much pointless waffling and i am begging you to find a synonym for "said" Rep: Latina mc, sapphic & nonbinary mcs, Black Japanese character CWs: torture, violence so much pointless waffling and i am begging you to find a synonym for "said" Rep: Latina mc, sapphic & nonbinary mcs, Black Japanese character CWs: torture, violence

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    If you can get stick with it through the first third of the book – it’s a bit of a slog that manages to both info dump on characters and yet hold back on world-building – Persephone Station is a pretty kickass bit of dark-and-gritty space opera. Stina Leicht has crafted a fiercely feminist work of science fiction that is almost entirely populated by women, one of whom is casually introduced as transgender, another of whom is boldly non-binary, and all of whom are damaged in some way. The relation If you can get stick with it through the first third of the book – it’s a bit of a slog that manages to both info dump on characters and yet hold back on world-building – Persephone Station is a pretty kickass bit of dark-and-gritty space opera. Stina Leicht has crafted a fiercely feminist work of science fiction that is almost entirely populated by women, one of whom is casually introduced as transgender, another of whom is boldly non-binary, and all of whom are damaged in some way. The relationships between them vary from strained trust to unshakable friendship to anxious love, but they feel genuine and the way they come together in the second half of the book is where the story shines brightest. They’re all assassins and mercenaries and soldiers, on the wrong side of the law but, like the best anti-heroines, they only do bad things for good reasons. Like I said, the world-building is a bit lacking in the how/why department, but I love that we get cool aliens, an awesome exploration of artificial intelligence, and some fantastic details surrounding terminal illnesses in a world where resurrection is possible. The action scenes are visually explosive, with some very cool bits and pieces of technology, and even the dramatic bits tend to be explosive, with bombs and guns always at the ready. Once it gets going, once it gets beyond that initial slog, the pace is almost breakneck, careening along towards an ending that wasn’t what I expected, but certainly fitting. The writing here is strong, making for a very easy read, and the dialogue is not just quips and comments, but part of the overall spirit. I really liked the characters, especially Kennedy, who may be the best AI character I’ve encountered in years, and Sukyi, the terminally ill black woman with a passion for explosives, whose friendship with Angel shapes much of the novel. Even Enid, the coldly quiet assassin, is revealed to be a character whom you can’t help but love. I quickly found myself invested in their struggles, and I kept reading as much for them as for the story. https://femledfantasy.home.blog/2020/...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Frankie

    DNFing this very early, even before the halfway point. I don't know if it's because I listened to the audiobook but this is super hard to get into. So far it's nonstop action without emotional stakes, it's all cliches, and I don't care about any of the characters. It's cool to find a space opera with an all-women and queer cast, but you know, it's 2021, and I'd like more than the bare minimum. Maybe this book just wasn't for me. Heard it picks up in the second half though I don't really care to s DNFing this very early, even before the halfway point. I don't know if it's because I listened to the audiobook but this is super hard to get into. So far it's nonstop action without emotional stakes, it's all cliches, and I don't care about any of the characters. It's cool to find a space opera with an all-women and queer cast, but you know, it's 2021, and I'd like more than the bare minimum. Maybe this book just wasn't for me. Heard it picks up in the second half though I don't really care to see it. Also tangential, but given the sheer amount of SFF writers who so blatantly take inspiration from anime and Asian media... I wish the publishing industry would actually publish more... you know... Asian SF writers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A small group of mercenaries (with hearts of gold) end up defending a peaceful settlement of aliens against a madwoman and her own hired thugs, all while artificial intelligences meddle for their own ends. This reminded me very much of the Magnificent Seven, with the mercs all having their own back-stories and who almost certainly won't all make it through the final assault. Terrific setup with characters that look really interesting, in-depth world-building and a diverse culture ended up being v A small group of mercenaries (with hearts of gold) end up defending a peaceful settlement of aliens against a madwoman and her own hired thugs, all while artificial intelligences meddle for their own ends. This reminded me very much of the Magnificent Seven, with the mercs all having their own back-stories and who almost certainly won't all make it through the final assault. Terrific setup with characters that look really interesting, in-depth world-building and a diverse culture ended up being very not for me as I bounced strongly off the prose. I really wanted to like this too, as I've heard this author speak about her writing before and I like what she has to say. Unfortunately, in this one I found that there wasn't enough of a difference in voice between the characters and the plotting was overly convoluted for what was basically a space-western.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kahlia

    When I read the blurb for Persephone Station, I thought it sounded amazing. A genre-bending infusion of science-fiction and weird Westerns with a predominantly queer cast. And, from the outset, at least one of those things fulfilled my expectations in a good way: Persephone Station features a large cast of characters, many of whom are people of colour, nearly all of whom are women (in addition to one nonbinary protagonist, who uses they/them pronouns) and nearly all of whom are queer. This is a q When I read the blurb for Persephone Station, I thought it sounded amazing. A genre-bending infusion of science-fiction and weird Westerns with a predominantly queer cast. And, from the outset, at least one of those things fulfilled my expectations in a good way: Persephone Station features a large cast of characters, many of whom are people of colour, nearly all of whom are women (in addition to one nonbinary protagonist, who uses they/them pronouns) and nearly all of whom are queer. This is a queernorm world, and while science fiction is improving in this regard, I always do a little dance of joy when a book makes it clear that there’s no essentialist gender fuckery to be found within the first few pages. Unfortunately, the flipside of being a genre-bending story is that Persephone Station simply tried to do too much, and didn’t stick the landing(s). Again, there is a large cast of POV characters, but it was incredibly difficult to differentiate their POVs from narrative tone and voice alone, and I kept getting confused about who was who. Given that some of these characters were not human, I would have liked to have seen more distinctive POVs. Additionally, there’s a lot of info-dumping about characters’ backgrounds and motivations, particularly in the first half, rather than naturally revealing these elements as the plot progressed. There’s also two separate plot threads, and keeping track of them got confusing very quickly (especially since there are also lots of minor plot points that don’t clearly fit in). The more interesting of the two stories to me dealt with the colonisation of this backwater planet by the giant Serrao-Orlov Corporation, and the lengths the indigenous population of the planet went to protect their existence. While colonisation is not a unexplored topic in science fiction, I like that this book tackled some of its new and evolving faces: as an Australian, there were lots of parallels to the fraught relationship between indigenous Australians and mining companies. The other plot thread deals with the rights of AI, and I frankly wasn’t particularly interested in this issue at all, which wasn’t helped by all the jumping around. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if it picked a single issue and stuck to it. Overall, I really loved the ideas in this book, and will always champion diverse fiction, but I didn’t connect to any of the characters enough for a 500 page book. I hope this book finds a home with readers who will love it more than I did. Ths review is also available @firstbreathsreviews.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword

    excuse me! THIS COVER!!!! omfgggggg!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dom

    Persephone Station is a standalone sci-fi novel set on a planet of the same name, one by and large ignored on the galactic stage until a corporation takes a vested interest in exploiting the indigenous population for their knowledge. Pitched as The Mandalorian meets Cowboy Bebop, Persephone Station delivers the action packed romp the comparison promises but left me wanting so much more in other areas. The most prominent characters being women or nonbinary folks was a delight to read, especially b Persephone Station is a standalone sci-fi novel set on a planet of the same name, one by and large ignored on the galactic stage until a corporation takes a vested interest in exploiting the indigenous population for their knowledge. Pitched as The Mandalorian meets Cowboy Bebop, Persephone Station delivers the action packed romp the comparison promises but left me wanting so much more in other areas. The most prominent characters being women or nonbinary folks was a delight to read, especially because it was all people being badass. If you’re looking for a very low romance read—romantic relationships are only mentioned in passing and in regards to secondary characters—this will be right up your alley. The most significant relationships are friendship and familial in Persephone Station, and I’ll always be a sucker for a ragtag group of washed up soldiers, assassins, and criminals with hearts of gold. The Emissaries fascinated me but I wished we had seen more of them. By far their culture and society was more interesting to me than the dystopian city most of the cast lived in, and I feel like they were positioned more as an ideal the main characters were trying to save than a living, breathing society. I would read an entire novel about their history and what happened to them before or after the events of the novel. One element I need to mention was the way nonbinary representation was handled in this novel. While appreciate the attempts at diversity that were made in the text (some successfully) and thought the nonbinary character Rosie was handled well, there were several circumstances where the notion you can “clock” someone’s gender on sight was reinforced. Multiple characters automatically know if someone is a man, woman, or nonbinary, which 1) reinforces the idea that nonbinary is just a third gender instead of a vast umbrella of experiences and 2) that someone’s gender can always be determined on sight by their gender expression. As a trans nonbinary person, it rubbed me the wrong way, though again I greatly appreciate the effort of inclusion. There’s also SO much action in this novel to the detriment of character development and worldbuilding. It feels like easily half the novel is one prolonged action scene and little is done to maintain the tension. All the build up also leads to a climax that is abrupt, leaves several elements unexplored or unexplained, and provides an unsatisfactory resolution. In short, though I liked Persephone Station and thought it was a fun read full of fierce women and giant mechs, it left too much to be desired to be a new favourite. I’d still recommend it to anyone looking for an action heavy, romance light space opera in a queernorm universe with entertaining character dynamics—if ones sometimes not quite represented as well as they could be. Thank you to Gallery/Saga Press and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Tenfingers

    [email protected]% I loved that this story had only female main characters. Thank you! Is this what men feel like all the time when reading sci-fi and fantasy? I also appreciated the non-binary character. Unfortunately that was about it. The plot was slow to get moving and not interesting enough for me. And all the different PoVs sounded the same and weren't well developed enough for me to feel anything. The cover is pretty stellar though. [email protected]% I loved that this story had only female main characters. Thank you! Is this what men feel like all the time when reading sci-fi and fantasy? I also appreciated the non-binary character. Unfortunately that was about it. The plot was slow to get moving and not interesting enough for me. And all the different PoVs sounded the same and weren't well developed enough for me to feel anything. The cover is pretty stellar though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a well-written and action-packed LGBT+ sci-fi space opera that's worth sticking with. It took me about a quarter of the book to really get into it, but by the end I was firmly invested. There's not a whole lot of world-building which is the biggest detriment to the novel. I mean, there are quite a few great sci-fi details but I didn't have a sense of the wider world beyond what was directly in I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a well-written and action-packed LGBT+ sci-fi space opera that's worth sticking with. It took me about a quarter of the book to really get into it, but by the end I was firmly invested. There's not a whole lot of world-building which is the biggest detriment to the novel. I mean, there are quite a few great sci-fi details but I didn't have a sense of the wider world beyond what was directly in front of me. My favorite aspect though was the diverse cast, especially in the second half as it was all really beginning to really come together for me. I wouldn't exactly call them good people, but they were fascinating to read. Plus, they didn't mess around when it comes right down to it. Overall, I'm glad I gave this stand alone novel a try and I'm going to have to try more of Leicht's work in the future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I had kind of an uneven reading experience with this book (Which bummed me out, since I was so pumped to read it.) For me personally, the first quarter (third?) of the book was a bit of a slog. I felt like the characters weren't terribly well developed (someone in the story does some quick research on the main characters, which becomes the reader's de facto introduction to them too) and the book seemed to need much more world-building (People are sick, but I didn't entirely get why or how that fi I had kind of an uneven reading experience with this book (Which bummed me out, since I was so pumped to read it.) For me personally, the first quarter (third?) of the book was a bit of a slog. I felt like the characters weren't terribly well developed (someone in the story does some quick research on the main characters, which becomes the reader's de facto introduction to them too) and the book seemed to need much more world-building (People are sick, but I didn't entirely get why or how that fit into the political situation or why people were being assassinated.) As a consequence, I put this book down twice, intending never to finish it. However, some time opened up and I jumped back into the book, and am glad I did so. Because once of crew of bad ass ladies (and honestly when was the last time I read a book that had an all-female space crew on a mission? Half-past NEVER, that's when) went off to save some settlers the book got MUCH more interesting. The characters took on life and the story started to hum along. Frustratingly though, once I was finally getting into a groove with this book, I felt like it very quickly wrapped up (and in doing so, seemed to leave a lot of loose ends hanging.) I get that this is ideal for setting up a sequel. However, for me as a reader, it ended up being unsatisfying. So, on the plus side: cool characters, great representation and exploration of the notion of gender, PEOPLE WHO TALK TO GIANT BEARS, and fun action scenes. On the minus side: fuzzy details on international politics and illnesses, light world building, not enough time for the the cool characters to hang out together and develop relationships. (Seriously, I just wanted to say to the author, "Why don't you let these characters stand still for just a hot second so I can fall in love with them?") Thanks to the author and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    mary ❀

    2 stars. I was pretty disappointed in this one. It had all the necessary elements (diverse LGBTQ cast, planet with aliens, AI, badass group of women), but they didn't seem to add up to much. We had a few different storylines to follow, but I only got invested in the fate of the Emissaries. The only other character who sparked any emotion in me was Rosie. AI is one of my favorite scifi elements, but Kennedy had barely any interaction with the other characters, and I do think seeing the interaction 2 stars. I was pretty disappointed in this one. It had all the necessary elements (diverse LGBTQ cast, planet with aliens, AI, badass group of women), but they didn't seem to add up to much. We had a few different storylines to follow, but I only got invested in the fate of the Emissaries. The only other character who sparked any emotion in me was Rosie. AI is one of my favorite scifi elements, but Kennedy had barely any interaction with the other characters, and I do think seeing the interaction between human and AI is probably usually the most interesting element of it. Also, I didn't think we explored the situation with her 'sisters' enough? I would understand if this was a series, but from what I see, it's a standalone. Another element that was barely explored was this whole revivification thing? People are out here living after dying and all we seem to know about the process is that it is often used for combat. How does sickness play into this? Considering one of the characters we have, you would think this would be something explored. The book really takes a long time to get going, but there's some good action in the second half, if that's your thing. This is just one I found it hard to connect to or get invested in.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elena Linville

    Stars 4.5 out of 5. "Loved loved loved it!" were my thoughts when I finished this book as I ran around my living room excitedly, happy that I got the chance to read this excellent book before it was officially published (thanks for the ARC, Netgalley.) This is one of those rare books that managers to portray strong female characters without making them bitchy, slutty, or catty, and without having them hate on any other females around them and lust over anything with a dick that walks into their li Stars 4.5 out of 5. "Loved loved loved it!" were my thoughts when I finished this book as I ran around my living room excitedly, happy that I got the chance to read this excellent book before it was officially published (thanks for the ARC, Netgalley.) This is one of those rare books that managers to portray strong female characters without making them bitchy, slutty, or catty, and without having them hate on any other females around them and lust over anything with a dick that walks into their line of sight. Unfortunately, I have read a lot of authors who think that this is what a "strong female character" is supposed to be. I have also read, or tried to read and failed horribly, a lot of feminist and "break the patriarchy" novels that assume that to be a strong woman, you need to hate on anything that has a Y chromosome. I'm very glad that it is not the case with Persephone Station. Men are mentioned in this world, but their presence is not important to the story. And I am very glad that the main villain in this is also a woman. Too often we see this trope when a strong female protagonist has to go against a grotesque caricature of a male villain that is painted as such a horrible human being that you have to wonder how his mother didn't smother him in his crib. Here we have a smothering of female, male, non-binary, and genderfluid characters that all have flaws and motivations and are all portrayed as believable human (and alien) beings. And I love the fact that they fit perfectly in this world the author created. That human, alien, or artificial, they are all perfectly three-dimensional. I also loved the strong friendships portrayed in this book. The crew of Kurosawa is a group of broken misfits that love each other and support each other like family. I admit that I cried when Kurosawa crashed, because this ship had the Firefly vibes with the same warmth of a found home and family. So after all this gushing praise, why didn't I give it a full 5 stars? I have a couple minor gripes about the story. Firstly, I think the Emissaries could have been developed slightly better. I mean, at one point Vicinia says that their colony isn't sustainable without imports from the human settlement... And I wondered why? They are native to Persephone. They lived on that planet way before it was colonized... so this statement makes absolutely no sense. So yes, I would have loved to see a little more of the planet and native Emissary settlements other than the one we saw and that was specifically adapted for humans. My second gripe is with the ending. I don't want to put any spoilers, but the solution to all their problems seemed very deus ex machina to me, and it literally was. It felt a little bit too simple and anticlimactic to me after the very tense and nerve-wracking events that lead to it. These two points non-withstanding, I loved this book. I would definitely read the sequel if one is in the works, because I think this world has potential to become a series. There are still many stories to explore. Who is Zhang? What will Kennedy do now? What will happen with Persephone now that the existence of the Emissaries is known? How are Rosie doing?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tyra Leann

    3.5 ⭐️ There was a lot of really great representation in this book. And I loved the commentary the author made regarding some key topics in society today. However the plot wrapped up with a lot of conveniences for me to rate it any higher. I do hope the author considers writing more in this world, there’s definitely the space for it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Sledge

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Persephone Station is a space saga that follows many different points of view, all of them female/nonbinary. It's interesting to see a sci-fi story told from so many female perspectives, as well as from different species perspectives. It's the story of the big bad humans purchasing a planet that wasn't every really for sale and trying to cover up the indigenous life forms(who just so happen to be able to shape Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Persephone Station is a space saga that follows many different points of view, all of them female/nonbinary. It's interesting to see a sci-fi story told from so many female perspectives, as well as from different species perspectives. It's the story of the big bad humans purchasing a planet that wasn't every really for sale and trying to cover up the indigenous life forms(who just so happen to be able to shape shift, even into a human form). There is so much to unbox in this storyline and I don't want to spoil anything so this summary may feel a little.lacking, but it's on purpose. While the characters were interesting enough to keep me reading, the indigenous species that you begin the story with begins to feel like an incomplete thought by the end. There is so much more focus on the Mercenary, Angel, and her crew that even when they are with the Emissaries (pretty great name for what these aliens are) you don't really get to know them. I guess I wish it would have been more about who and what the Emissaries are then more focused on the human aspect. Humans are kinda boring, gimme aliens every time. As soon as we began learning more about the Emissaries, we completely switch gears off to another storyline and leave them completely behind. Overall, this one just wasn't great for me, but to be fair, I'm more of a fantasy reader. Space books have to have a pretty great hook on order to attract me and while this has a solid story, I just wish it had more aliens.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    3.5 stars Persephone Station is an often overlooked planet that has suddenly come to the attention of a large corporation. It turns out that there are natural resources that have only recently been discovered. Rosie owns Monk's Bar in the corporate town. This bar is frequented by criminals and their ilk. Rosie asks Angel, the head of a group of assorted outcasts, mercenaries etc. to do a job for them. This group uncovers secrets about Persephone Station and in turn decide to do what they can to p 3.5 stars Persephone Station is an often overlooked planet that has suddenly come to the attention of a large corporation. It turns out that there are natural resources that have only recently been discovered. Rosie owns Monk's Bar in the corporate town. This bar is frequented by criminals and their ilk. Rosie asks Angel, the head of a group of assorted outcasts, mercenaries etc. to do a job for them. This group uncovers secrets about Persephone Station and in turn decide to do what they can to protect the planet from the intentions of the big corporation. Like a lot of other sci-fi & space operas, there are AIs with attitudes and AIs longing to be human. So, this is a space opera with a large cast of mostly female or gender non-binary characters (yay!). There is also a lot of cultural representation here (yay!). There are themes about protecting indigenous residents. There is so much here that I should love. However, this book didn't quite click with me. There was almost a bit too much going on for me. There were a lot of characters to keep track of and despite the length of the book, I don't feel like I was given enough info to really get to know them. The writing was good, and there was lots of action, I just personally would've loved more character development. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    This was The Magnificent Seven, in space, but without the magnificent. There were so many wonderful elements: -crime bosses -former soldiers now working as mercenaries who fix problems and assassinate upon occasion -a plethora of fantastic women being fantastic -AI, both massive and masquerading -evil corporate CEOs committing atrocities for personal gain and kicks -references to Akira Kurosawa -a cat And all these elements were together in a story where the writing and characters got in the way of some This was The Magnificent Seven, in space, but without the magnificent. There were so many wonderful elements: -crime bosses -former soldiers now working as mercenaries who fix problems and assassinate upon occasion -a plethora of fantastic women being fantastic -AI, both massive and masquerading -evil corporate CEOs committing atrocities for personal gain and kicks -references to Akira Kurosawa -a cat And all these elements were together in a story where the writing and characters got in the way of something that could have been really fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Casey the Reader

    Thanks to Saga Press for the free advance copy of this book. 📚 Mix together a little bit space western, a little bit space opera, and a lotta badass queer women and nonbinary people, and you've got the start of PERSEPHONE STATION. 📚 The plot is vast and the characters are all easy to root for, even when you're not sure if they're the good guys. (Seriously, there's no way I could succinctly sum up the plot, but it's also not too hard to follow.) 📚 There are some truly excellent battle scenes. 📚 PERS Thanks to Saga Press for the free advance copy of this book. 📚 Mix together a little bit space western, a little bit space opera, and a lotta badass queer women and nonbinary people, and you've got the start of PERSEPHONE STATION. 📚 The plot is vast and the characters are all easy to root for, even when you're not sure if they're the good guys. (Seriously, there's no way I could succinctly sum up the plot, but it's also not too hard to follow.) 📚 There are some truly excellent battle scenes. 📚 PERSEPHONE STATION also poses some interesting questions about artificial intelligence and the Singularity without getting too 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY about it. • What I didn't like: 📚 The characters are pointedly racially diverse but that doesn’t really have any bearing on things - I'm not entirely sure if race doesn't mean anything in this universe (the same way it's a queernorm universe) or if the author just wasn't sure how those identities would play into the story. • Content warnings: animal death, death, gun violence, medical content, and suicide.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole)

    THIS SHIT SLAPS!!!! full review now up on http://colourmeread.com !!! THIS SHIT SLAPS!!!! full review now up on http://colourmeread.com !!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Tabler

    Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a dark space opera that will appeal to Firefly fans. The story has that same sort of found family/mercenaries type vibe. Stina Leicht, known for her short story work and The Fey and the Fallen and the series The Malrum Gates, brings us her first full science fiction novel in Persephone Station. "Why do you think, bitch?" His accent was pure West Brynner. A local. That could mean many things. "If you're here for a robbery, you picked the wrong damned apartmen Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a dark space opera that will appeal to Firefly fans. The story has that same sort of found family/mercenaries type vibe. Stina Leicht, known for her short story work and The Fey and the Fallen and the series The Malrum Gates, brings us her first full science fiction novel in Persephone Station. "Why do you think, bitch?" His accent was pure West Brynner. A local. That could mean many things. "If you're here for a robbery, you picked the wrong damned apartment, asshole. Drop the knife." The story stars Angel de la Reza, an ex-marine thrice revived head of a band of criminals for hire. Reza is a deep and sympathetic character. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are certain Firefly tones to this story. Angel reminds me a bit like Malcolm Reynolds. She is gruff, gritty, with a complicated backstory, who once adopts you into her motley crew, you become family. Angel and her team take a job and are framed for an assassination that they don't do. They may steal from you, kill you if you look at them wrong, but assassination something they won't do. Angel, as well as her crew, are forced to flee the station. Rosie, a sympathetic crime lord, has a different idea for them. Protect the planet from another from the Serrao-Orlov corporation that is a front for another crime lord. Things get complicated as they meet the indigenous people of the planet and find out that this isn't just a protection job, but they will have to fight an army of mechs, drones, and other ships. There are quite a few shooting, explosions, and battle scenes to balance the dialog and quieter moments. "The question was rhetorical. They knew why it had been done. Intimidation. But they had a powerful need to verbalize even a small piece of outrage. It was like puking up the tiniest bit of poison. The end was inevitable—the toxin had done its work, but the impulse was unstoppable nonetheless." This book is full of wonderful space opera moments. The plot is very character-driven. The cast of characters is almost entirely female, non-binary, or gender-neutral. As someone who reads a ton of space opera, I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to see BIPOC or non-binary individuals as strong characters. The world-building in Persephone Station is unique. It has the feel of an old west frontier but in space. There is an outlaw type feel over all of the descriptions. The planet that Angel's team works to protect seems very Earth-like; however, the indigenous people and creatures are very imaginative. Especially the aliens and how they communicate. It reminded me a bit like Adrian Tchaikovski's Children of Time series, where the spiders rely heavily on scent as a means of communication. "Rage, pride, and avarice, Rosie thought. Three of the seven deadly sins. A great fall after such an auspicious start." The pacing was uneven in the story, and that is my only complaint. The beginning of the story had some exciting fight scenes. They were exceptionally well done, with a little bit of gore. However, the pacing slowed down a bit. The middle portion of the story seemed to be holding its breath before the big finale. I would have liked a bit more transition between the beginning and the end. But, once you got to the last part of the book, everything came together beautifully. The different characters' perspectives made sense, and the ending had an unexpected twist, which was fun. Persephone Station was a great read. From beginning to end, even with the plot slowing down a bit, I still couldn't put the book down. The characters are dynamic, and the found family trope is always excellent, and that cover was gorgeous. If that cover doesn't make you want to read this book, the opening two chapters will. If you are looking for a space opera with BIPOC and queer representation, this is your book. Check it out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Persephone Station is an action/adventure sci-fi tale, with enough political intrigue thrown in to lead the story down multiple paths and keep the plot interesting. Angel leads her crew of mercenaries from job to job, and everything is okay until they are accused of a murder they did not commit. While I found the story enjoyable, I kept looking for the small bits of information that contributed scifi elements, which author Stina Leicht obligingly inserted throughout. When it came to the characte Persephone Station is an action/adventure sci-fi tale, with enough political intrigue thrown in to lead the story down multiple paths and keep the plot interesting. Angel leads her crew of mercenaries from job to job, and everything is okay until they are accused of a murder they did not commit. While I found the story enjoyable, I kept looking for the small bits of information that contributed scifi elements, which author Stina Leicht obligingly inserted throughout. When it came to the characters, Kennedy Liu was my favorite. Kennedy is leading a secret life as an artificial intelligence trying to pass as human. She has other secrets, ones that I found unique to the genre. Angel’s crew all have their own specialties and their personalities are distinct. There was only one aspect that became an issue, and that was having a non-binary person (Rosie) as a supporting character who preferred the pronouns they/them. Unfortunately, jumping from a group of characters to Rosie and using the pronouns for both in the same scene (sometimes one sentence after another) without some sort of notice interrupted the story, requiring the reader to stop and determine who is being referenced. This character’s gender was not crucial to the story and if the author felt the need for this character to be non-binary, I have read other authors who have handled this same challenge without disrupting the reader. Overall, this is a well-written story contains many inventive sci-fi elements. Readers will find the characters interesting and their interactions keep the book progressing at a good pace. Four stars. My thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    El Hyrst

    3.5 stars!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5 stars Fast paced action fun that enjoyed reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Neema

    This was a refreshing read coming from other books that are much, much slower in pace. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't come with problems. I could never get in to the story and for a while I was not sure what was holding me back but I realized about halfway through the book that it was the dialogue. Very little of it feels organic and most of the conversations between characters are completely vapid and lack any real substance. The last long fight of the book was the most interesting part, This was a refreshing read coming from other books that are much, much slower in pace. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't come with problems. I could never get in to the story and for a while I was not sure what was holding me back but I realized about halfway through the book that it was the dialogue. Very little of it feels organic and most of the conversations between characters are completely vapid and lack any real substance. The last long fight of the book was the most interesting part, but I still wish I had gotten more exposition and complication that really connected with the characters and the world before accelerating through the plot like a movie script.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I'm 1/3 of the way through the book and NOTHING IS HAPPENING. DNF @ 31%. I'm 1/3 of the way through the book and NOTHING IS HAPPENING. DNF @ 31%.

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