June 04, 2024


By Constance Fay
Review by
A perfect mix of kinetic action, romance and mystery, Constance Fay’s sci-fi romance Fiasco is endlessly entertaining.
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Bounty hunter Cynbelline “Cyn” Khaw is best known for ruthlessly killing a ship full of slavers. But before that, she was Bella, a disgraced constable on a backwater planet whose cousin was kidnapped by the infamous Abyssal Abductor and dropped into an oceanic trench when their family couldn’t pay the ransom. So when a scion of one of the galaxy’s most powerful families recruits Cyn to rescue her daughter from the same kidnapper, there’s no way Cyn can refuse. Even if the job means going home to a family that’s clueless about her career. Or if it means joining up with the crew of the Calamity, whose hospitality she infringed upon during a previous mission and whose well-muscled and entirely too perceptive medic she can’t get out of her head. As she chases down the shadows of her own past, Cyn must learn how—and whom—to trust if she is to capture the Abyssal Abductor and gain justice for her family.

Fiasco is a delightful mix of space noir and romance, combining an adrenaline-fueled tale of justice and the search for closure with a compelling love story. Some of the tropes within Constance Fay’s second novel may feel familiar to those who love the genre (a ragtag crew, a well-worn spaceship, a ruthless bounty hunter), but Fay refuses to color inside the lines. While the novel’s action and high-impact chase scenes are brilliantly wrought, so too is Cyn’s inner life. Far from being a stock character, she springs from the page with her struggle to trust others and Fay’s visceral depictions of her traumatic past. Cyn is a woman obsessed with doing the right thing who will go above and beyond for those she loves. But Fay doesn’t make her heroine a superhero: Rather, Cyn’s shortcomings (and there are many, from her squeamishness around combat to her flighty nature) make her all the more compelling. A perfect mix of kinetic action, romance and mystery, Fiasco is heady, anxiety-inducing and—above all else—endlessly entertaining.

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By Constance Fay
ISBN 9781250330451

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