I am back with another hidden gem brought to me by TikTok. I’m surprised a book recommendation was able to sneak through my algorithm dominated by anime and the latest BTS updates, but I digress. The cover for Persephone Station is enough to capture anyone’s attention, but Stina Leicht’s badass heroines will make you stay along for this wild ride.
After several violent tours as a marine, Angel de la Reza finds herself as a hired mercenary on a dangerous planet named Persephone Station. She leads a small crew consisting of pilot LoopdiLou (a.k.a. Lou) and a sharpshooter named Enid. The crew exclusively serves Rosie, the owner of a bar in the city of West Brynner, which caters to the planet’s unsavory sorts. After Angel and her crew are framed for the assassination of an executive from Serrao-Orlov Corporation, they are forced to go underground. Rosie decides to capitalize on the opportunity and sends them on a top-secret mission, one that will reveal to Angel and her crew Persephone’s secrets hiding outside the walls of West Brynner.
This book is a great time. The story is action-packed, and Leicht throws you in fast. It was a hard book for me to put down because the story evolved at a rapid pace, urging me to read faster, in order to grasp what was next for Angel and her crew. Even when POVs shifted to the secondary characters outside the crew like Rosie or Kennedy, Leicht didn’t let me put my guard down. She kept me engaged by dropping information about the mystery surrounding Rosie, or she would ensnare me by introducing me to a quirky AI with human consciousness. There are moments in the book that do not get fleshed out as much, and the ending unravels at lightning speed so I have lingering questions and a desire to know more. The goal of this story is not to tell you why these particular events are happening but what happened. Leicht set up an interesting world, and I would have loved to stay on Persephone for about 300 pages more to get into its core.
The crew. Oh, the crew. I have so much love for these ladies. Persephone Station is a proud as hell feminist space anthem, and the representation is fabulous across the board. While I would not describe this story as possessing incredible character depth, the cast of characters still rock and are developed exactly at the level required for the rocket-fueled fun. The depth and drastic character development would have slowed this story down a lot. I appreciate how Leicht made me fall for these characters without weighing them or the plot down. Angel our fearless leader is not perfect, but she knows how to get shit done and she truly cares for the people around her. Lou is an adrenaline junkie (as any space pilot should be) and pesters the crew with her chaotic energy. Enid is grumpy but loveable, and her stoicism plays off Lou so well. Sukyi, much like her unexpected appearance on Persephone, is a total wild card and certainly keeps things interesting.
I realized while writing this review that the entire story was fueled by the power of women and nonbinary individuals. There was not one man that held a leading role. Any men that were noted in the story were side characters that appeared for one specific action and then they went on their merry way. It was honestly amazing to have the script flipped and have women dominate the story.
Closing this book was like the aftermath of a roller coaster, your hair is a little windblown and you had a great time, but you wanted the experience to last a little bit longer. I would be thrilled if Stina Leicht found a way to continue Angel’s story. I had a ton of fun reading Persephone Station, and I think you will, too.
Rating: Persephone Station – 8.0/10