Synopis: Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It’s not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying.
The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn’t been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won’t rest until she’s settled her debts.
Corey: Fucking hell, Holly…this book…wait…I feel like I need to listen to something heavy to work on this review *switches on “Wages of Sin” by Arch Enemy* Ahh…better.
The Voidwitch Saga continues with Void Black Shadow! I know we both loved the intensity & frenzied pacing of Killing Gravity, and Corey J. White keeps shit moving right along in book two! This book is dark, intensely violent & sweary, occasionally disturbing, and pretty badass overall!! Mars is really such an interesting protagonist…gah!! Fucking love her!!
Holly: Most excellent choice, my friend! ::aggressively headbangs to get in the zone for this review:: Something tells me Mars would be a fan of Angela’s growling!
I really could not love Mariam Xi more! She is such an intelligently written character. Just so fucking badass in all the ways! Independent, brave, emotional, strong, broken, smart, feisty.. her bond with Ocho will melt even the coldest of hearts ::eye twitches:: She’s this tough space witch who has this soft side & it’s just everything. Mars is everything! She could hold this series all on her own, she is that fucking good. But she doesn’t need to, because there is also a fantastic ragtag group of characters that round out the story as well. We catch back up with some familiar faces & are introduced to a few new ones, as well.
Corey: All the characters are great! Squid & Mookie & Trix & Pale & Ocho and and and…no shortage of interesting & diverse characters, each with their own story to tell & motivations!! Feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface on some of them, and I really hope this series continues to spread outward & further develop the supporting characters.
And it’s ultimately Mars’s growing attachment to all these great characters that becomes, really, her only vulnerability. I mean…she can rip people apart with her mind, and crush massive ships like you & I might crush a beer can…her powers are fucking terrifying & seemingly limitless. Having these connections, when she’s someone who tends to prefer to be alone, really raises the stakes for Mariam.
Holly: It’s such a clever take on the space opera/loner on the run/misfit crew trope. The Voidwitch Saga avoids falling into a cliché, even though it could easily feel like a River Tam series. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Because. Damn. Now I want a River Tam series! Just that.. this is yet another space opera.. but it’s still bringing something unique to the genre. In such a radical way! KILLER SPACE WITCHES, PEOPLE!!
This is chilling, brutal, fast-paced, intriguing, the dialogue is sharp.. we’ve gone on & on about the characters because they are done so fucking well. I continue to be pleasantly surprised by these books & cannot wait to see how the third volume wraps this all up!
Corey: Chilling is a good word for this book!! There’s definitely a handful of moments of completely shocking violence & horror.
And I’m glad you mentioned River Tam, because the Voidwitch books have certainly seemed influenced by Whedon so far. This one in particular…with Mars becoming more vulnerable as a result of her deepening connections to those around her…it reminds me more than a little bit of a certain vampire slayer!
These books are super badass, really well written, and quite emotionally charged as well. Can’t wait for the third volume in the Voidwitch Saga, and for more from Corey J. White in general!
The Grimdragons Rating: 5 disemboweled cyborgs out of 5!!
(Thank you to TOR.COM PUBLISHING for providing us with copies in exchange for an honest review!)