Androma Racella is an infamous space mercenary known as the Bloody Baroness. She is a wanted criminal for Kalee Cortas’ death, the girl she was sworn to protect. After being chased by her ex-boyfriend Dextro Arez, she is captured and forced to make a deal with General Cortas, Kalee’s father. As part of the deal, Dextro and Andi rescues Cortas’ son, Valen, from a prison. Once they bring Valen home, Cortas blackmails them into guarding Valen during an inter-galactical peace meeting. There is an ambush during the meeting, and General Cortas gets badly injured. Andi and Dex save him, and escape on a ship. Right before he dies, Cortas hands over his position as general to Andi because she’s the only available Arcadian on their ship. The book ends on a plot twist and continues in the next book in the series.
Androma is a confident, persistent, and determined person who cares about her crew. She would do anything to keep them safe. For example, when she’s captured she says, “If you wish to kill me, go ahead. But let my crew go free. I’ll take the blame for our crimes in Mirabel.” (61) Andi is internally conflicted and feels guilty for Kalee’s death. She wants to go to her home planet but because of the accident, she’s forbidden. In this scene, General Cortas offers her a job and in return he will clean her slate and let her go back home. Andi knows that if she returns to her planet, even with a clean slate, she will still be viewed negatively because of Kalee’s death. I’m impressed because in a fight, her crew is outnumbered and outmatched, but she still tries her hardest to protect them. I’m not impressed when she kills a defenseless solider after Dextro says, “Is that mercy I hear? Surely not from the Bloody Baroness.” (51) Everyone had high expectations of Andi to keep Kalee safe, but she fails them even when she’s trying her hardest. I can relate, because sometimes I set my expectations too high and I’m unable to reach them. Andi and I handle our conflicts in a similar way, because we both use failure as an opportunity to learn for the future.
I’m impressed by Androma’s compassion. In this scene, she ‘dances with the dead’ in her mind, until “[she remembers] them all. Every last person [she’s] killed, every beating heart [she’s] stopped too soon” (232). She values every single life, even if they are her enemies. Andi is still internally conflicted with Kalee’s death because, after she dances with everyone, the only remaining person in the audience is Kalee. “Every time, no matter the dance, no matter how many deaths Andi had to remember, this girl appeared” (233). Andi fears Kalee will never leave because Kalee never dances with her. I’m unimpressed how Andi is inconsiderate, because when Dextro tries to talk to her about their past, instead of letting him speak, Andi becomes irate and doesn’t allow him to share his side of the story. When Dex gets the chance to voice his thoughts, Andi realizes she is wrong about their past. I can relate to this, because sometimes when I’m angry, or I disagree with someone, I only look at my side of the story. When this happens, and someone shares their side of the story, I usually apologize and get the situation resolved. For Andi, she still hasn’t decided to forgive or stay angry at Dex, so I’m not sure if we handle the situation in the same way.
Androma Racella returns to her planet with Valen and learns that her father is General Corta’s personal guard. I’m impressed by her will power and self restraint, because she holds back even though she’s irate at her father for not supporting her at her trial. Andi is externally and internally
conflicted when she sees her father, because she wants him to be a supporting father, who “[holds] her when [she cries]” and forgives her after making mistakes, but she fears he doesn’t love her anymore because of her failure in protecting Kalee (426). Upon meeting, “he wouldn’t look at [Andi], no matter how much she willed him to” (427). I can relate to Andi’s conflict because we both have family members we haven’t seen in a long time. Andi hasn’t seen her father because he lives on her home planet which she is forbidden from going to, while my reason for not seeing family members is because my parents either have sibling issues or we are too busy.
Androma Racella is static through-out the novel. At the start, she’s a caring person who only kills when necessary, and through the novel she stays the same way. I think the author didn’t make her dynamic because this is book one of a three book series, which means Andi’s growth should occur over the three books rather than just the first.
My book’s theme is Individual vs Society. A weakness us humans have are our inability to forgive and view situations through another person’s perspective. When Andi is declared guilty for Kalee’s death, most people see her as the person who killed Kalee, rather than a teenager girl who made a mistake. What I take away is that people make mistakes, and unless they make them again, everyone deserves a second chance.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this novel, because some parts didn’t make sense. Even at the end, I was bemused. I only recommend this novel to people who have patience and perseverance, so if they don’t understand parts of the story, they are patient enough to wait for the explanation.
I’d rate my novel a 3/5, because I like how they wrote in the perspective of multiple characters rather than just Andi’s, and I like how it gave me an insight to her crew’s thoughts and feelings. I also like the plot twist and cliff hanger at the end, because now I want to read the second book.