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Larissa
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Larissa

a novel by Emily Devenport.

Larissa is a scrapper and a killer, and that is just high school and the result of her childhood (on alien occupied backwater mining colony Hook) and her mother's murder. She's also a tall shapely black woman with a gladiator's crew cut (rather than the slight brunette with a french braid on the cover of the novel), a lousy professional body guard, and pretty good at getting herself into trouble.

She's a bully, which makes for an different perspective than many a female protagonist in fiction. It puts an interesting spin on the gender-bias issues and racism she encounters in the streets and arenas ... and after she leaves home.
She's able to intimidate her way into a flat and some respect from the street gangers but doesn't know how to relate to them as individuals. This is undoubtedly going to cause more problems.

The universe of the Sector and its worlds is pretty interesting. Humans are humans and the aliens are mostly human too, even the ones with animal heads. Humanity coexists with a few other humanoid species even after losing an intergalactic war to one of them, a Spartan-esque warrior culture the Qr'in.

halfway through

She finds knife fighting a much better option than stripping, and not just because of the knives.

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There's not much plot payoff, after so much time spent on world building and character development. The author has created a universe almost as complex and dangerous as that of the Uplift saga, but nothing actually happens at the end of the book, other than L hitching a ride on another ship to another world and getting herself into so much trouble her knives won't help.

wrapup

A really interesting character (and universe) in a novel that seems to be steadily building her up to some role of cosmic importance ... that we will have to wait for another book to find out about.