Book Review: Merchanter's Luck (The Company Wars #2) by C.J. Cherryh

Merchanter's Luck
Merchanter's Luck by C.J. Cherryh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:   The fateful meeting between the owner of a tramp star-freighter that flies the Union planets under false papers and fake names and a proud but junior member of a powerful starship-owning family leads to a record-breaking race to Downbelow Station--and a terrifying showdown at a deadly destination off the cosmic charts.

Man meets woman. Woman is way above man's station. Man falls head over heels & risks the only thing he actually has to see woman again. Trouble for man ensues. Timeless kind of story & made even more fun that this takes us back to Pell. This is a terrifically short book but a very good installment in the Alliance Space series. I loved the first Downbelow Station & have some sort of obsession with life aboard a spacestation apparently. Sandor & Allison were well done characters but that's not surprising to me given that it's Cherryh. I really felt for Sandor being all alone with only his ship & trying to make his way along. I understood why he was tired of it all at the age of twenty-seven. He really was put through the ringer on station & that made me sad for him all the more. Tally & Mallory are enough to undo the most relaxed sorts, so Sandor didn't stand a chance. Allison, took a little longer to grow on me but I understood that her hyper-vigilance was not just necessary given the situation but also, sound. Space is a dangerous place & people on both sides of the line can be prickly. I was most excited to read what was going on on Pell & the peek in at the Konstantins.

The action was well paced & of course, everything came together in quite a nice end. The thread of having no family & having one that played out between Sandor & Allison (& the other Reillys) was excellent. Sandor's yearning for that sense of community balanced so well with Allison's yearning to break free of hers in order for a true chance to let her ambition soar. While I didn't love this as much as Downbelow Station, it's a very solid installment & I liked all the characters. As this was one of the only installments in the series that I lacked, I can now get on to the rest of the series in earnest.

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