Luck has always been generous to me, but luck has no memory, no narrative, no order. Even at its best, most generous, that’s just not what it is.
My first Marvel novel, and now I’m hooked. Aconyte Books is bringing out several new series focusing on different Marvel characters, and Domino: Strays was appealing to me after seeing Domino in Deadpool 2 and wanting more of a mercenary with a lucky touch.
Rating: 3.5 stars!
Thanks to Aconyte and Marvel Entertainment for the eARC of this book, it has not affected my honest review.
Trigger Warnings: human experimentation, othering (mutants seen as lesser), psychological and emotional abuse/torture, death, gore, mentions of mass suicide, religious cult control.
About the book:
The job: infiltrate a Chicago conman’s cult to liberate some brainwashed twins. For former X-Force operative Domino, that’s a “hell no”. Fanatics are bad news. She still has nightmares about Project Armageddon, the super-soldier program that wrecked her life and destroyed her family. If only she’d had someone to help her back then, someone… like her. It’s a total pain in the ass, but maybe it is time to finally face those demons. With her probability manipulating superpowers she can turn even the worst of situations to her advantage.
What did I think?
I loved this book and its entangled plots. There were three separate timelines running concurrently and while I absolutely adored the parallels between the timelines, and the way they interconnected, I would have liked to see them as two separate books. One with Domino’s childhood and the Everglades storylines and one with the cult storyline. That’s not even slightly a criticism of Domino: Strays, I just loved what Tristan Palmgren was doing so much that I wanted to read more of all of it instead of it being constrained to a third of the book. If Palmgren writes more Domino, I’m going to be on it in a heartbeat. Especially if it’s in this timeline, where Domino raids the compound of a twisted cult with Black Widow and a squad of powerful superhero mercenaries. I liked Domino’s character a lot, particularly the way that she was torn between mercenary and hero, ‘good’ and neutral and all the spaces in between. I’ve got a huge soft spot for morally grey characters and the way that they struggle with people’s moral expectations on them. Getting a whole superhero team of characters on a scale from ‘hero’ to ‘merc’ is a lot of fun and made for interesting interactions.
I also loved the way Domino’s luck was used in the narrative. It made sense, was surprisingly balanced and it never felt like a cheap deus ex machina to miraculously save the day. It had rules and constraints and meant that Domino was still the clever, creative mercenary survivor type – just with a little lucky advantage. It was well balanced, with the negative side of Domino’s powers shown too. Not that those would stop me from taking her powers in a heart beat.
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Release date: 12th November 2020
About Marvel Entertainment
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