Set in the wake of a galaxy-wide war and the destruction of a human empire, The Dangerous Type follows the awakening of one of the galaxy’s most dangerous assassins and her quest for vengeance. Entombed for twenty years, Raena has been found and released.
Thallian has been on the lam for the last fifteen years; a wanted war criminal whose entire family has been hunted down and murdered for their role in the galaxy-wide genocide of the Templars. His name is the first on Raena’s list, as he’s the one that enslaved her, made her his assassin, and ultimate put her in a tomb. But Thallian is willing to risk everything—including his army of cloned sons—to capture her. Now it’s a race to see who kills whom first.
Alternatively, Gaven has spent the last twenty years trying to forget about Raena, whom he once saved and then lost to the clutches of Thallian. Raena’s adopted sister, Ariel, has been running from the truth: the one about Raena, about her and Gaven, and doesn’t know if she’ll be able to face either of them.
The Dangerous Type is a mix of military science fiction and an adventurous space opera that grabs you from the first pages and doesn’t let go. Along with a supporting cast of smugglers, black market doctors, and other ne’er-do-wells sprawled across a galaxy brimming with alien life, The Dangerous Type is a fantastic beginning to Loren Rhoads’s epic trilogy.
Everyone’s getting played, and not in a good way.
So this is an odd genre amalgamation that reads more like a video game than a book. A galactic Lara Croft assassin. The scene progression and MC challenges have that format. Additionally, the hyper-sexualized presentation of Raena and her sexual exploits are detached and unerotic. Too much to be science fiction and too unengaged to be erotica.
Science fiction has ways of either breaking down contemporary social constructs or reinforcing them. The elements here definitely conform to a paternalistic and inequitable world based on gender with a very deliberate use of the Gaze and displaying the female form. And while that feels off, the world building is under developed. Intergalactic travel and refrigerators, burners and bath tubs? Cargo pants and sweater?
Structurally, there are too many points of view: Kavanaugh, Sloane, Ariel, Thallian, Jimi, Revan, Jain, Eilif, at this point I stopped keeping track. Just too many. Unless one is questioning credibility doing a Rashomon multi-perspective, which is not the case here, this comes across as messy and unexamined.
I like sociopaths and a female one doubly so. The thing is… I like my sociopaths to not be completely divorced from being able to relate, to possess a poisoned rationality. I prefer something’s that bent and twisted, not completely broken. And unfortunately, that’s what Raena is–broken. Fierce, capable, but so disturbed by past circumstances that she’s incapable of meaningful interaction.
Raena’s character is not one to relate to, which as the protagonist is problematic, and as the story progresses and the reader finally gets her POV it is even less flattering. There is some backpedalling near the end, but to me it was unsuccessful. Thallian and Raena are two sociopaths in a co-dependent relationship. Neither is healthy and they’re both drawn to each other. This story is when she finally realizes what she’s tied to and attempts to severe it.
The ending was going so well when there was a drastic, uncharacteristic change in behavior–and the entirety of a character’s actions countered at a pivotal moment. Fail. Originally, I was floundering between 2.5-3 stars for the book, but that was the death knell.
Overall, hell bent on revenge, but lacking emotion.
Favorite quote: “The question is not why Thallian was in my life. It’s why was I in his?”