Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Seven Devils #1

Seven Devils

Rate this book
When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy's most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire's voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire's inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can't, millions may die.

464 pages, Hardcover

First published August 4, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

L.R. Lam

23 books1,180 followers
Originally from sunny California, L.R. Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. Lam is a Sunday Times Bestselling author whose work includes epic fantasy romance Dragonfall (The Dragon Scales Trilogy), the near-future space thriller, Goldilocks, feminist space opera Seven Devils and Seven Mercies (co-written with Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, and the award-winning Micah Grey series: Pantomime, Shadowplay, and Masquerade.

Their short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more. Their romance alter ego is Laura Ambrose. Lam lectures part-time at Edinburgh Napier University and is Programme Leader of the Creative Writing MA.

*Please note I don't read my GR mail*

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
570 (30%)
4 stars
769 (41%)
3 stars
350 (19%)
2 stars
116 (6%)
1 star
35 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 486 reviews
Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.7k followers
September 19, 2020
TW: abusive parent; death of a parent; amputation; authoritarian government; plague

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, but sadly didn’t live up to my expectations. This is a female led space opera featuring a motley crew trying to take down an empire. With that description, I thought that I’d be way more attached to this crew than I was. I found myself not caring much. The amount of POVs was probably necessary but made the story feel more broad and I didn’t start to attach to the characters until almost the end.

I also would have liked more from the world. This empire has a pantheon of gods, which had a lot of potential, but was barely utilized. I also could not get a feel for this world.

Overall, I MAY continue with this duology since there is only one book left. I loved that it is a group of highly skilled women, features a w/w relationship, and also a trans woman in a place of power. I just hope the next book will pull me in more.
Profile Image for Elizabeth May.
Author 11 books2,254 followers
Want to read
October 22, 2020


🚀adult scifi
💪feminist as fuck
🌈queer as a rainbow
💩fuck imperialism
👩‍❤️‍👩ladies being soft
🤬ladies kicking ass
👨one good dude
👨👨👨some shitbags
🌌a whole lotta stars



Profile Image for L.R. Lam.
Author 23 books1,180 followers
July 28, 2020

Pick up this book I wrote with one of my best friends if you like the idea of a group of rebels smashing the patriarchy in space.

Comp titles/media:

Rouge One
A Science Fiction Six of Crows
Mad Max: Fury Road
Guardians of the Galaxy
The meme of 'be gay, do crime.' But in space.

A few people have added it as young adult, and we often describe it as crossover and think that teens will definitely jive with it. But just a wee note that most of the protagonists are in their 20s and 30s and tonally it's probably a little more on the adult side (there are sex scenes, a fair amount of dismemberment and violence, and a LOT of swearing, hah), which why it's being released by adult publishers.

Full content notes on my website: http://www.lauralam.co.uk/book/seven-...

Hope you enjoy! x
Profile Image for Ellie.
578 reviews2,200 followers
Want to read
March 13, 2020
this shares the title with one of my fave dark gothic Florence & the Machine songs so I’m up 👀
Profile Image for theresa.
302 reviews4,373 followers
May 17, 2022
second read, may 2022:
I reread Seven Devils before picking up the sequel, Seven Mercies, as, honestly, I didn't remember anything that had happened or who the characters were. I really enjoyed my reread and stand by my original review and rating. This is a fun, feminist scifi novel with a great cast of characters. In fact, I can understand now why there are several chapters in the past and appreciate what they add to the story, though it definitely did slow the pace down a bit.

The only thing that bugged me was the way Clo talks. She is from the slums, where they speak a dialect called Snarl. Snarl is very similar to Scots, which doesn't seem coincidental considering the authors both live in Scotland. However, it's written in a way that seems more like poorly written Scots rather than a made up language. For example, some verbs aren't conjugated correctly or the dialogue is awkwardly written with some bizarre spelling choices. I know that Snarl is meant to be made up and I can appreciate that, however it is very strange to read this kind of mash up of Scots as a Scots speaker.

first read, july 2020:
Seven resistance fighters come together from across the galaxy to help defeat the ruthless Tholossian Empire. When the resistance gets word of a heavily guarded Tholossian ship carrying deadly cargo, they send out Eris and Clo to gather intelligence. Unfortunately, the two women have been at each other’s throats ever since Clo found out that before she joined the resistance, Eris was the heir to the corrupt Empire. The mission goes from bad to worse when they discover three fugitives on the ship and just how dangerous its cargo is.

My thoughts:
I really loved this incredibly queer and feminist book and can’t wait to see how it concludes in the sequel! I’m not a huge sci fi fan and often find it very confusing but this book was just so easy to sink into and I really enjoyed reading it.

This novel’s strong point for me was its characters, they were all incredibly diverse (sapphics, a trans woman, an asexual character and many were people of colour) and unique and I really loved their relationships and team dynamics. It was so easy to sympathise with each of them and their cause and root for them all to succeed. They felt very real and all had their own issues and motivations that were explored in their point of views which I found impressive for such a large cast (5 POV characters, 7 main characters total). I loved the way they bonded and their jokes and the found family vibes (which is one of my favourite things ever). I also really loved the romantic relationship that developed between two of the girls, it was so natural and soft and sweet.

I also really enjoyed the worldbuilding in this book (or should I say galaxy building?). This is where I would normally get confused and lose interest in sci fi but everything was explained so well and gradually that it was very easy to follow. The actual structure of the world (or galaxy) was really interesting and I’m excited to hopefully see even more of it in the next book! This book had a good amount of action scenes and I found them very well written, the authors were great at building tension and raising the stakes and it felt like I couldn’t look away. There were also several plot twists that I just didn’t see coming which really impressed me.

My only complaint about this book was that it felt a bit slow at times. I think this is mostly down to the amount of chapters set in the past. Although I understood the necessity of them and enjoyed them, I wondered how necessary it was to have all of them? It sometimes felt like they were slowing down the pace of the book and acting as a filler. I’d say the Princess Discordia ones were necessary but the others I’m not as sure about.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! If you’re looking for a fun queer sci fi with found family vibes and a semi-functual team of misfits battling a corrupt empire then this is the perfect book for you!

I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

*eARC received in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley*
Profile Image for NAT.orious reads ☾.
871 reviews361 followers
April 8, 2022
This book is for you if… you like space opera but a) critisise the lack of badass and b) miss the diversity of your average whie male dominated spaceship. Well, I have good news, these seven devils got it all.

If people can enjoy books even though their authors have questionable morals and political views, I sure as heck can love a book simply for the fact alone that it breaks free from the male-dominated space opera genre.

Seven Devils features six incredible and strong women and one equally skilled man who are each badass in their own way. Some have sick fighting skills, others display brain power most people couldn't even dream of. The seven devils sure as heck did not ask to be united by (un?)lucky coincidence but their combined strength is the vibe I wished for to leave this shit year 2020 behind. (Not that I have any illusions what so ever 2021 is going to be much better, pandemic wise)

The writing is engaging, the dialogues are witty and perfectly balanced with the rest of the narration - a mixture I'm very sensitive to. Nothing pains me more than endless narration a la ... and then they went there, and then this happened and that's how they felt about it. Although Laura and Elizabeth decided to jump between the present and different times in the past, they did so very smoothly: I felt like I had a very clear picture of the individual characters' pasts, their present situation and overall motivations.

Since there must have been something wrong with the book considering I chucked one star: The world-building had weak points, something that can be fatal if the narrative is not set in this dimension's present. Additionally, the trajectory wasn't always clear to me.

P.S.:Before you start this book, I urge you to check out this Seven Devils Playlist. Elizabeth put it together on Spotify and it's so friggin on point. So many badass songs on there, still listen to it even though I've finished the book a week ago.

What’s happening.
‘She learned that Damocles didn't like losing. She learned that he considered it a weakness. She learned that he grew impatient easily and that when he sensed he wouldn't win, he made stupid mistakes.
And she learned that he hated hearing her say the same words when she won every game.
Regina regem necat. Queen kills King.’

spoiler alert : In this book, QueenS are hunting down a self-proclaimed king.
4 STARS. Would stay up beyond my typical hours to finish it. I found some minor details I didn't like, agree with or lacked in some kind but overall, this was enjoyable and extraordinary.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,449 reviews1,091 followers
September 29, 2020
DNF @ 25%

Beautiful cover, boring book. I keep getting sci-fi/fantasy books that are listed as adult but are clearly YA, it’s annoying. I don’t mind some YA if they are really well written with fully developed characters and plots, but this ain’t that.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,157 reviews311 followers
August 30, 2020
Have you ever picked up a Star Wars universe book and thought it sounded so great, but after reading it you felt like it just wasn't at all what you were hoping for? I definitely understand that feeling. I approached Seven Devils with mildly low expectations because it seemed exactly like those Star Wars books.

As it turned out, Seven Devils delivered in all the ways I always wish those others would. The story is fast-moving and progresses smoothly from scene to scene. The four POV characters - that many often tends to be a dice throw for me - were not only all interesting to follow, but were distinct enough that I never lost track of whose chapter I was reading. The story is not incredibly original, but it is told in such an engaging manner that it never felt like things were dragging.

A few reviewers have mentioned the queer representation, but for me what made it so good was that it did not feel like rep for representation's sake. Everything felt organic and very much part of the world Lam and May created.

The bottom line is that Seven Devils was so much better than I expected it to be in almost every respect. It is definitely recommended for all of you who love stories about seemingly outmatched rebels and crews that are randomly thrown together but somehow just make everything golden.
Profile Image for Ashley.
828 reviews483 followers
December 24, 2020
Star Rating: —> 4 Stars

WOWW... What. Did i even just READ??!

Bc whew I totally need a breather & THEN lets unpack this feminist space opera !
Profile Image for Ocean.
123 reviews
July 26, 2020
Excuse me while I SCREAM. This book is SO DAMN GOOD. The ending has got me feeling so many things. I need the sequel immediately. Listen, for a long time I didn't think I liked sci fi, but when it's done right, sci fi is incredible. Seven Devils is one of those books that came to me at the right time and I'm so glad it exists.

Some things I love about Seven Devils:
Friends to enemies to friends again
Autistic rep
Bi rep
Trans rep
Ace rep
Rag tag team coming together to fight
Several POVs
Learning about each character's past
Shocking turn of events
So much hope
F/f relationship
Communicating through thoughts

The ending of this book messed me up. Several parts of this book messed me up, actually. In a good way, I think. All of the main characters are likeable and that's impressive. Every POV was good to read, there weren't any that I disliked or wanted to skip. I think Rhea and Ariadne are my favourite characters, but I found Princess Discordia's POV the most interesting and I really love Xander. I'd love to see a spin off about Xander, even just a short story would do. I'm feeling so many things. Please read this book, you won't regret it.
Profile Image for Bella.
561 reviews15.1k followers
September 29, 2020
don't get me wrong!! it's a very entertaining read, reminiscent of The 100, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and basically queers in space fighting against the patriarchy; also the found family is strong in this one~

But if there's one thing I learned from reading this book is that science fiction is definitely not my cup of tea *hides in shame* There's this disconnect between myself and the story that I can't seem to breach; I struggle to connect to the characters and their intergalactic struggles, which is no fault of the authors! They've crafted a wonderful, diverse story about a group of girls (and one not so terribly boy) trying to topple an incredibly violent & corrupt empire with their wits and not so carefully laid out plans.

If you enjoy movies like Star Wars, Mad Max, Interstellar, etc. with a feminist touch & great action scenes, then this is the book for you :)
Profile Image for Mads.
179 reviews293 followers
April 17, 2021
3.5 stars but i’m rounding up for ariadne and rhea

i felt like a lot of this book could’ve been made better if the exposition was clearer, like, so many of these chapters were riddled with worldbuilding but not in a way that was beneficial ???? it would be really dense with words, but not really make any sense because it took ages to actually get to the point and by the time it did, i had already forgotten where the start had been.

the characters were very well developed though, i felt like they each had very distinct voices and i appreciated that because it meant the chapter POVs were easier to distinguish.
Profile Image for Peppermint.
136 reviews168 followers
Want to read
March 1, 2018
"Eris – or, Princess Discordia as she was once known, heir to the Empire, until she faked her own death and decided to dedicate her life to destroying her family."

This is the aesthetic I never knew I needed.
Profile Image for imyril.
436 reviews62 followers
June 19, 2021
I enjoyed this so much less than I expected. It’s not a bad read, it just never grabbed me. I should’ve been all over a female-led rebel crew bonding to bring down an evil empire, but in the end, there wasn’t enough complexity here to satisfy. It read like a glossy Hollywood blockbuster, all action thrills and little substance, but heavy on flashbacks that do little to serve character (by the time they reach The Important Character Building Moment it’s long been clear what happened, making it a bit unnecessary) so just feel like padding.

Best devoured with popcorn when you’re looking for an undemanding diversion.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,328 reviews276 followers
January 10, 2022
Seven Devils was a fantastic read following a group of characters who work together to bring down a corrupt regime.

After faking her death to escape life as heir to the galaxy's most brutal empire, Eris thought she was finally free. But it doesn't take long for her to become involved in the Novantaen Resistance, a group determined to stop the empire no matter what. Her newest mission is simple, gather intelligence about the cargo being carried on one of the empire's spaceships and return to the resistance with the information. But Eris and Cloelia, her partner on the mission, are in for a surprise when they board the ship and find three fugitives with the knowledge to take down the empire. Together the group has the ability to stop the empire in it's tracks but if they can't pull it off, millions may die.

The main group in this book consists of seven characters and we follow four POVs throughout the book. I liked that each character was unique and that the characters didn't all blend together as can sometimes happen with a large cast. Our group includes royalty, a mechanic, a courtesan, a soldier, a hacker, a rebellion leader, and a pilot for the empire. I liked the friendships that developed within the group and how ready they were to lay everything on the line to help each other, even when they didn't like each other. Everyone has their role within the group and I liked how well they worked together, trusting each other to do their part.

The world the authors created was incredibly interesting and I found myself wanting to learn more about the history of the empire. We get some flashbacks to Eris's past showing some of the innerworkings of the empire and I particularly enjoyed these chapters. Throughout the book, the characters travel to a number of locations within the galaxy and I thought the decision to keep the group moving around was a great choice as it helped the pacing of the story. The tension in the book increases drastically as we get closer to the end and the group puts their plan into motion. The ending surprised me as there were several things I didn't see coming. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where things pick up in Seven Mercies and how the events at the end of the book affect the group.

Overall Seven Devils was a fast-paced read that had me pulled in from start to finish. I highly recommend the book if you're looking for a great sci-fi and I can't wait to read the sequel when it releases next year.

**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Amy Plum.
Author 30 books4,856 followers
August 11, 2020
What Star Wars should be...in a perfect and very gay universe. LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!
Profile Image for Izy.
838 reviews77 followers
August 6, 2020
Rating~4.5 stars
What a thrilling ride Seven devils is!

TW: Violence, death, torture, xenophobia, all sorts of abuse (for the full list please visit here).

I started this going just a few chapters before I go to sleep and before I knew I’d finished it and it was morning. Thank god it was the weekend. 

Seven Devils introduces us to the Tholosians empire; with their genocidal tendencies, conquering planet after planet, a caste system which treats everyone not the ruling class like dirt (or I should say the ruler). Everything is under the control of one emperor. While they have several gods they worship, their patron god seems to be death.

The empire is vast, and spread over a planets, empires control the population through the oracle system. Which is basically brainwashing them, controlling their thoughts and emotions and above all loyalty to the empire and its emperor through chips. The only ones not controlled are the royalty, the novataen resistance members and those born naturally in the slums that are instead controlled by drugs.  

Eris, one of our protagonist left her old life behind by faking her death, I mean its not a secret of who she is. She used to the heir to the empire, the only female in the empires history to reach that point. Her existence had been that of a solider, brutally trained and she has so much blood on her hands. She had to kill her brothers, because that’s how it is in her world and to survive. All but two of her brothers were the same. Xander, who wanted no part of the empires way of life, who taught her value of life/death and emotions. Damocles was the opposite side, cruel, violent and a psychopath. Eris is now part of the resistance and a rebel against the empire.

Cloelia, is one of the humans born naturally, grew up in the slums with her mother and later joined the resistance. She considers the two leaders of the resistance, her family. Her life before resistance was affected like other living in the slums, poverty. She also hates the royalty, especially Damocles.

Eris and Clo are paired together for a mission to do some recon on an empire ship only to have ship commandeered by 3 escapees from the empire. From there we meet, an empire solider (Nyx), a courteasan (Rhea) and a genius child/young girl (Adrianne). Who band together and go on a mission for freedom from the empire and the oracle. Told in present and flashbacks we learn more about our protagonists. With action, adventure, battles, a budding romance & a threat of total destruction and loss that is looming overhead.

I loved Eris, her character is pretty complex. From her royal birth to her training and to joining her resistance. Her life has never been easy or simple. When its kill or be killed, Eris learned to be a pretty great at it. She has killed before and continues to do so no matter how guilty she may feel. I also loved Nyx, Adrianne and Rhea. They are very different people, with different backgrounds and struggles but with a common hatred and fear of the oracle.

Narrative wise you know as soon as you get Eris flashback POV that what’s gonna happen but its a journey I enjoyed and obviously because this the first in a duology you know its not gonna end in a HEA in this one. 

I wonder whatever happened to master Heraia ? 

I NEED the next book!!! And I want Eris to kill her crazy ass brother and for the seven devils team to save everyone from the empire and their psychopath of a king. 

Quibbles: Clo is a bit of a hothead. I felt the animosity from Cloelia to Eris went on for too long. By the time it gets better, I had spent the book not really liking that part of her character. A small thing in the grand scheme of the book. The other thing I can’t mention because it would be a spoiler but I just felt this would be something that they would/might have trained Eris against. 

I really enjoyed this one. It has really strong characters, not just because two of them are soldiers and they are rebels but because they are all trying to do more, be better than what they were brought in or what they were programmed to do. And part of that being strong is having emotional response to things that are bad, some like Eris and Nyx might have to suppress that to achieve their goal but the core of is emotions driving them. The plot is very engrossing, the world building is great too as we follow them trying to do their best in saving humanity. The way its written is quite vivid and I can really see Seven Devils being adapted to movies/tv shows. This is my first read by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam but I will definitely be checking out their other books.

Overall, loved it and can't wait for more! 

Review on Blog
ARC was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Amy Marsden.
Author 3 books49 followers
February 12, 2021
I really enjoyed this book!

Princess Discordia/Eris has become one of my favourite fictional characters. I love it when characters go undercover, and I especially love it when said characters are royalty! I can't wait to read more of her in the next book!

This is about a rag tag group of rebels fighting against a seemingly all powerful Empire. Eris was the heir but left to join the resistance. Clo is a mechanic who used to be friends with Eris until she realised she was the princess. The others are Nyx, a former programmed solider (the Empire has an AI that programs everyone for certain jobs) Rhea, a former courtesan, and Ariadne, an engineer who helped fine tune the AI.

Eris was by far the best character IMO, followed by Nyx. There was the beginnings of a found family between everyone, but I think the book should have shown them bonding more to cement this.

I enjoyed the setting. The Empire and AI were insidious, and I think the world building was good.

There are only two things really that bothered me, and both are personal preference. The first is the romance between Clo and Rhea. There was no chemistry between them and it seemed to come out of nowhere. If anything, the romance should have been between Clo and Eris as a friends to enemies to lovers sort of thing. They had way better chemistry.

The other was Ariadne's age. She's 16, yet throughout the book its mentioned over and over that she's the voice of the AI, she codes for it, she made it what it is etc. Yet the AI is far older than her, and has been in people's heads for longer than 16 years. So I didn't really understand what was happening there.

Other than that though, 5 stars! I can't wait for the next book!

Rep: POC, trans, lesbian, bi, disabled
Profile Image for Emma.
2,510 reviews855 followers
December 2, 2021
An exciting story with lots of adventure. Kind of 1984 in space! A story of misfits and found family where they really only gel right at the end. The individual characters were portrayed in depth and I loved the world building and the concept of the Oracle and One. Looking forward to the sequel!
Profile Image for Sana.
1,098 reviews962 followers
Shelved as 'to-read-so-bad-it-hurts'
November 12, 2019


August 6, 2020
4,5 stars

TW/CW: Mentioned Torture | Loss of Limb | Indoctrination  

Seven Devils is that one Sci-Fi book that I really looked forward to this year yet when I got an e-arc it took me forever to pick this up. I was so scared I wasn't going to love this. And I wanted too so much. I hadn't read anything by either author before and I have such high hopes for them as far as authors I'm going to like. So those are high expectations to fill already. But I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed this book. 

Seven Devils starts us off with the focus on two characters, Eris and Clo. Both are a part of the resistance and there is some animosity between the two of them. Yet they are forced to go on a mission together. And from there it just goes from bad to worse. 

The whole casts is five but it isn't until Eri and Clo meet them do we get their point of view. That worked incredibly well because it allowed us time to get into the world and two other characters first before we had to get to know three others. Too many point of views from the start can unnecessarily slow down the progress of a plot because so many things have to get told first. 

There are some flashback throughout the book and a first that didn't work for me but as we got deeper into the plot and we got to know the characters, the more invested I became in their history. In understanding where they came from. And quite frankly they call kicked ass. I think though that Ari grabbed me the most. I think that is just my feeling as a mom. 

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this series and more by these authors. 
Profile Image for ⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess) .
449 reviews264 followers
February 11, 2021
4.5 stars
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and it didn't disappoint! Totally recommended for fans of sci-fi/space opera and strong female characters!

(Find this and more reviews on my blog: Anni the Bookprincess!)

Seven Devils is about a group of women thrown together by...let's call it fate. They embark on a mission on a stolen spaceship carrying mysterious cargo and get caught up in a dangerous powerplay that may lead to their deaths... So the story isn't something completely new or mind-blowing, but it's still exciting, fun, action packed and I loved reading it.

Most of all I loved the characters. They each have their own point of view and their own voice, I thought they were really well fleshed out. As the story progresses we learn more about their backgrounds and how they got to the point where they are now. The story uses flashback chapters to tell the reader about important events in the characters' past. And they're all so badass! This book screams girl power!
Even though I liked them all, my favorite was Clo. Female mechanics/pilots, sighhhh.

The story focuses mostly on the plot and how the characters are dealing with everything the universe throws at them, but there's a little f/f romance too. It was very slow burn and didn't make up a huge part of the story, yet it was important for one specific character's development. It was very well done!

The book is fast paced and doesn't get boring. The ending really leaves you worrying about your favorites and comes with one unexpected twist. Everything else wasn't exactly universe-shakingly new, but still fun. In the end, Seven Devils was a highly enjoyable read with memorable characters that could stand on its own but leaves you longing for the sequel at the same time.

Recommended for ages 16 and up. Trigger warnings: torture, death, slavery
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,477 reviews1,895 followers
November 11, 2022
I've had this fairly high on my TBR for ages now and boy was this a disappointment. All this wait for.. that?

First off, this was so boring for like.. most of the beginning; I'd say right up until the 45% mark, if not more. Things got interesting and action packed in the middle ish and I found I blew through a solid portion pretty quickly because I was very engaged. And then as we neared the end I wasn't all that tuned in anymore. A few surprise reveals were kind of predictable, I wasn't into the romance (mostly because one half of the couple is a character I've never liked), and just overall I feel like this just missed the mark.

I hope my hold of book two pops up sooner rather than later so I can blitz through the end (might even be joined by my buddy, hi Micky!, in her attempt to close this one out, too) and move on. But if the finale can surprise me with some wows and thrills and excitement, I'll take it. The bar is just very low right now. I am sad.

And what a waste of a good reference to a Florence + The Machine song.
Profile Image for Becca (Horners_book_corner).
181 reviews32 followers
July 19, 2020
I adore Laura Lam's writing style anyway, but when paired with Elizabeth May it just gets even better. Who even imagines up a YA/adult cross-over feminist 'Guardians of the Galaxy' style romp in space with queer characters, a heist and incredible technological voodoo?! This is a truly brilliant read with relatable characters and plot and is one of those books where I wish I had waited to read it as I need the next one immediately!

Check out my full review on Twwbookclub.co.uk
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,634 followers
September 8, 2020
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/09/03/...

Seven Devils is the first book of a planned space opera duology by authors Laura Lam and Elizabeth May in their first collaboration. Set in a galaxy controlled by the oppressive Tholosian Empire, the book follows a group of seven plucky Novantaen Resistance members who will never stop fighting to free the billions of people living under the Empire’s iron rule.

First, we have Eris. Former heir to the Tholosian throne, she knows better than anyone why the resistance is so important. It took a lot to break free of her old life, which included having to fake her own death, but it took even more for those in her new life to finally trust her. Next up is Clo, a mechanic who had also defected from the Empire, whose sometimes-friend, sometimes-rival relationship with Eris often causes friction whenever they go on missions together. Then there’s Nyx, a career soldier and former royal guard who has lost count of how many people she’s killed. Tired of being used as a weapon, Nyx now dedicates her efforts to stopping the Oracle, the artificial mind behind the Empire. She also looks out for Ariadne, the youngest member of the group. A gifted engineer, Ariadne was originally created by the enemy, but has secretly been helping the resistance for years. Also, we have Rhea, a courtesan with a heart of gold. She is extremely sensitive to the emotions of others, making her a great confidante but also quick to adapt to changing situations. And finally, we have Kyla, the resistant commander calling the shots, as well as Cato, hotshot pilot, rounding out the team.

On their latest mission, the team is called upon to intercept a Tholosian ship carrying mysterious cargo, and to gather any intelligence to return to the Resistance. But once they infiltrate the ship, they find more than they bargained for.

Seven Devils was so much fun! But it is also a very difficult novel to review. First off, I think this is a fantastic sci-fi adventure tale about a strong group of women who come together and support each other to fight for a common cause. Their backgrounds are interesting and diverse, their relationships meaningful and complex. The story is highly energetic, with barely any lulls at all. I was also impressed with the writing, and to Lam and May’s credit, their styles meshed incredibly well and I could hardly tell where one author’s voice ends and the other’s begins. That’s seriously impressive, considering it’s their first team-up.

However, dig a little deeper below the surface, and you might find some things that are less harmonious. The biggest challenge for me personally was the structure of the novel, which has a present timeline that is frequently interrupted by flashbacks to the individual characters’ lives as the cast list gradually expands. In the end, what we get are five main perspectives, and interspersed among them are these mostly brief time jumps to the past, focusing on important moments in the characters’ lives, many of which have direct relevance as to what is occurring in the present. I often see this format utilized for TV shows as a way for writers to develop individual characters, especially when dealing with a large ensemble cast. But while this may work well for the screen, it comes across as less coherent on the page, and in the case of Seven Devils, it caused some POV and timeline confusion.

It also might have been a tad too long. Granted, each time we got a flashback, it was a way to flesh out that particular character, which also helped explain her motivations and decision-making. Still, while the narrative was doing this for half a dozen characters or more, the present timeline was going nowhere fast. As much as I hate to admit it, with a first half that was mostly bogged down with backstory-telling, the book took a long time to build, and the take-off was rough and uneven. The world-building was also detailed to the point of too much bloat. Considering what we have here is essentially your classic Empire vs. Resistance narrative (not exactly original), the length probably could have been pared down by a lot and the novel would have been better for it.

And yet, despite the turbulent pacing and its technical flaws, Seven Devils featured a thoroughly engaging and entertaining storyline, and I believe that, in the end, is what will determine the book’s success with readers. I love adventurous space operas, found family plotlines, stories about people working together, helping each other, saving each other, and loving each other. Laura Lam and Elizabeth May have delivered the first half of a promising duology that encompasses all this and so much more, and ultimately, a few hiccups here and there are a small price to pay for so much fun.

Audiobook Comments: This was definitely a missed opportunity for multiple narrators, which would have created a more immersive audio experience. That being said, Christina Traister did a great job with the many voices, capturing each character perfectly, from hotheaded Clo to kind and gentle Rhea.
Profile Image for Lucie.
835 reviews88 followers
August 1, 2020
"None of us can change what's happened to us, but we can work on making things better."

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I've been trying to get more into sci-fi lately, and I'm happy to say that Seven Devils was everything I could have wanted from a sci-fi novel! Seven Devils is a space opera following a group of women who are part of the resistance against a galactic empire, I mean, what more could you want?

It has a compelling and diverse cast of characters (Ariadne and Rhea are my absolute favourites), an interesting galaxy I'm super excited to see more of in the sequel, and a gripping plot. While it took me a little while to get through the first 100 pages, as I didn't have much time to dedicate to this book, and I'm still new to sci-fi, I read the last 300 pages in three days, as I couldn't stop thinking about this story and the characters.

I loved this book so much, and I totally recommend it, whether you love sci-fi or would like to get more into that genre. 🚀

Full review to come!
Profile Image for Geonn Cannon.
Author 106 books163 followers
August 10, 2020
Right after I say "Maybe I just don't like space opera books," I find this one. Take the women from The Expanse, mix them with the women from Firefly, and sit back to see what happens. Really fantastic, really queer (trans, bi, and lesbian representation all over the place on the crew), and a really good story tying them together. I feel like Harrow the Ninth will take a lot of the attention this book deserves, and that's a shame. Hopefully everyone who likes space adventures with a variety of likeable female leads will pick it up asap.

This is the second Laura Lam book I've read this year. Both feature a majority female cast, both were set in space, and both were great. I'm definitely checking out whatever she comes up with next.
Profile Image for Ergative Absolutive.
362 reviews11 followers
June 28, 2022
1. You are at war with an empire in another galaxy. Your opponents (in--recall--a whole-ass other galaxy) have a planet with really great freshwater resources. Your empire also needs water. Do you:
(a) Find freshwater resources literally anywhere in your own damn galaxy?
(b) Use your technology, which is capable of building galaxy-hopping spaceships, to desalinate or purify water literally anywhere in your own damn galaxy?
(c) Use your technology, which--remember--is capable of building GALAXY-HOPPING SPACESHIPS, to generate water out of oxygen and hydrogen, the way I once did in high school chemistry class by running an electrical current through a test tube of hydrogen gas?
(d) Continue to fight the people in A WHOLE-ASS OTHER GALAXY because you want access to their single planet with great freshwater resources that, somehow, will make a difference to the water needs of a GALACTIC-SPANNING civilization?

2. You are an authoritarian empire who constantly surveils the population because you have a massive surveillance-state architecture built to suppress any hint of disloyalty. Two people appear on a very hot planet wearing massive cloaks that are too heavy for the weather. They are sweating and fidgety and clearly uncomfortable. One of them is perpetually putting her hand to the small of her back, as if she has something hidden there under the cloak. Do you, the surveillance monitoring AI programmed to recognize weapons, think:
(a) Gosh, why would people be dressed so oddly? Could there be weapons hidden under the cloaks? I'd better flag that up as suspicious.
(b) Gosh, why would people be putting their hands to their waistebands underneath their clothes Could there be weapons hidden there? I'd better flag that up as suspicious.
(c) Gosh, who are these strangers that I've never seen before while monitoring this planet? Could they be up to no good? I'd better flag them up as suspicious.
(b) Welp, if there's anything hidden under that oddly-behaving stranger's cloak (like a weapon) I can't see it, and I'm not programmed to notice things like odd behavior or inappropriate clothing or strangers, so I'll just ignore them entirely.

3. You are an authoritarian empire who constantly surveils the population because you have a massive surveillance-state architecture built to suppress any hint of disloyalty. There is a technology called 'shifters' which allows people to alter their appearance to anything they like--faces, clothes, even making themselves look like guards. Do you:
(a) Take enormous pains to make sure that you can see through shifter cloaks?
(b) Heavily regulate shifters so that every shifter is tracked and all possible settings must be pre-approved and registered with the surveillance architecture?
(b) Ban shifter technology outright and take enormous pains to prevent people from accessing it?
(c) Not do anything, and allow your surveillance to be easily fooled by anyone with a shifter--which is everyone, because people like to make themselves look fancy for parties?

4. You are an authoritarian empire who constantly surveils the population because you have a massive surveillance-state architecture built to suppress any hint of disloyalty, in part with the help of guards who are programmed to be very good at guarding. Do you program the guards so that
(a) They are constantly suspicious bastards who suspect everything and everyone at all times?
(b) They are intensely observant and constantly on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary?
(c) They are thoroughly well-trained in protocols and procedures and have a hair-trigger flowchart for flagging up anything suspicious?
(d) 'If someone walk[s] confidently, look[s] the part, make[s] eye contact, [gives] a little nod, then carrie[s] on with their business, few tend[] to question that assurance[...]' because '...[it's] easier for the guards to fall back into the routine programmed into their minds.'--a routine which, evidently, heavily favours believing attitude and demeanour over actual observation?

5. You are a scrappy band of rebels who plan to infiltrate a government ball in order to get information for your rebellion. You are preparing the costumes for your infiltrators. Three of your infiltrators are only intended to be background stage-dressing for a brief period at the ball, after which they'll split off and change their costume to pretend to be guards. One of your infiltrators will spend all her time talking to extremely important people at the ball, and must be perfectly convincing in every respect. You have a limited rebellion budget to buy clothes and gear in preparation for the heist. Do you...
(a) Buy gowns for everyone from the palace dressmakers to make sure they're properly outfitted fo the ball?
(b) Use shifter technology to make it look like everyone's got a nice gown, since lots of people do that at balls anyway, and spend the budget on something more pressing for the rebellion?
(c) Buy a single gown from the palace dressmakers with your entire budget and dedicate it to your main infiltrator, while improvising something else for the background infiltrators (possibly with the help of shifters), with particular attention to things like properly fitting, grippy shoes because they'll be climbing in elevator shafts once they split off from the ball?
(d) Buy gowns from the palace dressmakers for the background infiltrators, outfit them in slippery, ill-fitting shoes, and IMPROVISE A GOWN OUT OF PARACHUTES for the main infiltrator who is going to be the center of attention for the entire operation?

6. You are an authoritarian empire whose realm of influence spans an entire-ass galaxy. You genetically engineer everyone--including heirs to the ruling throne--in bulk, and take great pains to get it right. It takes four batches of heir-spawn before you find someone you think will be a good heir to the throne. It takes decades. That's fine. You've got time. However, you also need a human (for some reason) to run your Oracle technology. You breed children for this purpose. Do you...
(a) Produce lots of children at a time, the way you do for heirs, and only assign the very best to that purpose?
(b) Give your chosen child rigorous testing and carefully selected tasks, under strict observation and surveillance with tons of redundancy in case she does something wrong, to make absolutely certain that she won't cause trouble if you start giving her more responsibilities once you're sure she's got fully programmed loyalty in place?
(c) Give her a ton of responsibilities from the start, but make sure she's super, super, super-well programmed with her Oracle chip so that she never thinks of setting foot out of bounds?
(d) Make sure there are lots of redundant children able to take over as your Oracle engineer in case any of them turn out to be problematic in one way or another?
(d) Give a single child the authority to reprogramme the AI that is in charge of surveilling her, from a very young age, well before her brain is fully developed, and also let her design and build all sorts of technology and algorithms that run the empire, and basically do whatever the hell she wants with no back-up plan or redundancy?

7. You are an empire-controlling AI of vast computational potential, spanning a galactic empire and surveilling all the people within it. You need to produce a spoken voice that will produce controlling mantras in people's heads. Do you...
(a) Use your enormous computational potential to generate the voice using whatever futuristic vocal deep-fake technology you doubtless control, drawing on any or all of the billions or trillions of voices you've observed through your surveillance as a model?
(b) Find a propagandist well-trained in vocal control and give them a list of sentences to record?
(c) Find an adult with nothing better to do and train them with your enormous resources to produces the list of sentences the way you want?
(c) Take a CHILD who is actually an ENGINEER rather than a vocal artist and has lots of other tasks already on her plate, and train that child to produce an unnaturally computer-like flat intonation in an anatomically and acoustically impossible attempt to hide her childlike resonances so that she can produce the recordings for you?

8. You are a ragtag team of rebels planning to interfere with an evil government plot that will kill an entire planet. Your tech genius has learned about this plot by accessing some top-secret files that are usually monitored by very through AI surveillance programming. Your organisation has been compromised and your operatives are getting caught right and left, so you're extremely concerned about security. However, your tech person says she avoided getting flagged when she accessed the files, and gets very annoyed at the implication that she messed up. Your resident empath reassures you, 'I sensed Ariadne's emotions.. She was confident and I trust her.' Do you...
(a) Explain that being confident you avoided detection is not actually the same as avoiding detection?
(b) Explain that the stakes are really high, and it's more important to be sure you've maintained secrecy than avoid offending your tech genius by implying she made an error?
(c) Explain that your tech genius has been missing for several weeks now, the massive galactic-spanning AI knows she's missing, and probably has made some adjustments to its programming that renders her previous access less reliably safe?
(d) Say, 'Ok. I'm sure you're right.'

9. You are a ragtag team of rebels who have acquired an Evil Empire pilot as a prisoner on your stolen spaceship. He has been brainwashed and programmed into unthinking loyalty to the Evil Empire, and even when he's tied up and seemingly subdued he manages to get free and cause trouble when the person watching him takes her eye off him for a moment. You think you can deprogramme him, but it's a long, arduous task that is not always successful. At one point, you hear him mumbling medical jargon while he sleeps. This is strange, since he's a pilot, not a medical person, and says he doesn't know where his medical knowledge came from. Maybe it's a glitch in the programming, or maybe there's more to his background than he's letting on or even knows about himself. Do you ...
(a) Keep him thoroughly locked up and secured and under constant guard until you're absolutely positive he's deprogrammed. Don't believe anything he says about anything, since it's clear there's more to his background than is obvious, and you don't know what it is or what he's capable of or programmed to do.
(b) Trust in your deprogramming skills (with reasonable precautions), but be very careful about believing what he says--especially regarding medical knowledge--since he doesn't know where it came from (and so could be the result of some deeper sleeper programming) and may actually be the result of a programming glitch (and so is unreliable and faulty).
(c) Adjust your deprogramming protocols to really dig into where this strange medical knowledge came from, because it's clear there's something else going on that's not the standard pilot-loyalty programming that you're used to removing when you liberate evil empire flunkies.
(d) Use your bog-standard deprogramming methods, and even before it's complete turn him into your medical dude. 'He mumbled medical terms while he was unconscious!' you reason. 'Therefore, he must be an expert, and thoroughly reliable! We'll accept everything he says as true and accurate.'
Displaying 1 - 30 of 486 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.