Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.
And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.
Big thank you to Tor Teen for gifting me a review copy of this book. I can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
First off, how beautiful is this cover! I wont lie when I say that’s what first drew me towards the book, but once I read the synopsis I was sold.
Tina has been waiting her whole life for this moment. She has always known she was ‘alien’ a copy of an important Captain who was hidden on Earth until she was able to fulfil her prophecy. Still when her interplanetary beacon lights up she doesn’t expect the bad guys to get there quite that fast. Tina is quickly thrown into a life and situation she knows nothing about, but with a quirky crew surrounding her and her best friend by her side, there is nothing Tina can’t do, which is good because the galaxy will depend on it.
Told in First Person perspective this is definitely Tina’s book but what I love was that almost every character we meet makes an impression whether they pop up for a sentence or more. Tina has had the rare ability of knowing her destiny her whole life, she has prayed for the day her beacon would light up and she would be whisked away to a far more exciting life than the one she leads on Earth. But as with most things the dream is far better than the reality. When the time comes for Tina to leave all her earthly ties behind she hesitates, knowing the chances of her returning are slim, but in the end her destiny wins out and Tina swiftly becomes drawn into an interplanetary war. She is incredibly strong an resilient and has the astounding ability to pull crazy and usually life threatening plans out of her arse, but she’s also a girl who has been thrust into something far more dangerous than she could imagine, and she wouldn’t have survived without her ragtag human crew who come along for the ride & the new friends she meets along the way.
As I said this book has a strong ass cast of characters all of whom make some sort of impact onto the story. But as well as all that the characters are diverse af. When we jump aboard the Royal Fleet ship we learn that the aliens introduce themselves via names and then their preferred pronouns, pronouns that change dependant on the species and certain species have third genders. And on the human side Tina’s love interest is a Trans girl and another character is queer. I loved how the author wrote this into the book, getting introduced to the different characters and learning their pronouns just became a natural part of the story and didn’t feel forced. I also love that the characters from Earth all came from different countries/parts of the planet, bringing parts of their culture with them, and everyone was able to understand each other by the use of a universal translator.
Victories Greater than Death is a book about the difficulties of living up to your destiny and how being the ‘chosen one’ might not be as easy as it seems. It’s also highlights how our differences are our strengths, and that a group of diverse people working together can make the biggest difference. Once Tina is rescued by The Royal Fleet and told all about Captain Thaoh Argentian, the brilliant and kick ass Captain who she’s a clone of she is a little wary, a feeling which is made worse when their attempt to remove the ‘mind block’ fails and Tina recovers none of her previous hosts memories. She feels like a failure and starts to wonder what exactly she has to give to the Royal Fleet without the Captain’s memories, something she thinks the rest of the crew must be thinking too, but in truth, it is Tina the crew will rely on most, with or without her past hosts memories.
The universe building was done incredibly well. We get a history of the Royal Fleet and of the Compassion, the ‘bad guys’ whose leader was once Thaoh Argentian’s best friend until he turned against the Royal Fleet and decided instead to turn to a life of mass murder and destruction. We learn the reason why the majority of species in the universe are bipedal, as well as learning all about the differences between species, their strengths, weaknesses and beliefs. At only 288 pages this is definitely a story you can fly through ( I read it in one sitting) and yet we get all the character and world development you would expect from a much longer book.
This book is definitely on the quirky side, but that just made me love it and the characters even more. The Royal Order had very specific greetings and replies for certain situations. For example: ‘Thrilling stunts and minor injuries,’ replied with ‘Delicious meals and harmless poisons…’ and they weren’t even the weirdest ones. I actually didn’t realise this was a series until I started it and after the shocking ending, and amount of fun I had reading I’m incredibly excited that I get to return to this world. An easy 4 out of 5 stars and one of the most exciting and humorous books I’ve read this year.