Ann Aguirre is a science fiction writer whose characters tend to be strong women in dangerous situations. This novel isn’t an exception, Havoc is about a prison ship called Perdition, drifting in space. It’s where dangerous criminals are sent for life. The prisoners have the run of the prison, where the strongest have carved out territory and strictly enforce their rule.
Desdemona Devos or “Dred” is the leader of Queensland. She is a strong woman who has a secret, she has psi abilities. She used it to kill which is why she is an inmate on Perdition. Her second is Jael, a enhanced humanoid, grown in a laboratory which makes him hard to kill. Along with an inner circle, they try keep Queensland from falling under another gang’s attack. They are always in survival mode.
In this second book, the Conglomerate have sent mercenaries to Perdition to wipe out the inmates with a sucker’s guarantee of freedom to the last man standing. Dred and her followers know in their hearts that it’s a trap so they are on the offensive to stay alive against all odds.
The mercenaries soon realize that this isn’t as easy as they were told, the ragtag prisoners are fighting back.
It's a fast paced book with multiple character insight. It's a strange twist that you get engaged in their desperate situation that you will be routing for the Queensland convicts. Her characters have a likeable human quality which isn't far removed from the readers view point. If you take away why they were put in prison, they are just people fighting trying to survive. The author gets into the psyche of her characters, we understand their reluctance for intimacy and friendship but they will surprise each other with their loyalty of the Dread Queen. I haven't read the first novel, Perdition but Ann Aguirre fills in the gaps so the reader is able to follow the story. I recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed reading Ann Aguirre’s other novels.