Bluebird by Ciel PierlotBluebird by Ciel Pierlot is a rollicking yet poignant space opera that is as entertaining as it is provocative.

Ten thousand years ago, a star fell into the galaxy carrying three old beings and humanity. They were engaged in a never-ending war that ultimately destroyed their star. Upon its destruction they scattered out from world to world, spreading their war across the galaxy and sweeping the rest of its denizens into the struggle. The three factions will only stop fighting once a true god is declared and so the battles rage on. The only hope for those swept up into the nightmare are the rebels known as Nightbirds.

Rig is a Nightbird and getting refugees of this endless war to safety is what she does. And she does it with pink sparkle shoes, Panache and Pizzazz. Not to mention copious amounts sass and some not-so-great pickup lines that somehow haven’t driven her librarian girlfriend to flee to another galaxy.

However, as big as the galaxy is, Rig can’t escape her past forever. When she abandoned her faction years ago, she took her greatest, and most frightening invention with her. And now they want it back. If she doesn’t comply, they will kill her twin sister. There is no way she can let them have it but she isn’t about to just let them kill her sister either.

Rig sets out to free her twin from the clutches of her old faction, or die trying. When she crosses paths with a lethal, if somewhat sleepy, bounty hunter on a perilous quest of her own, she finally has hope that she just might end up pulling off the rescue. There may not be a sass fest that Rig can’t win, but when trillions of lives are on the line, she will need more than her wit to survive, and Ginka could be just the game changer to help her succeed.


If you’re a fan of space opera, strap yourself in and prepare to be launched into a creatively constructed, vividly depicted universe brimming with snarky rebels, intergalactic politics and war, explosions, super cool tech, high stakes risk, and of course a bit of heartwarming romance to make the chaos worthwhile.

Pierlot creates a nice balance between action, humour and some very serious and heavy topics in this fast paced, epic tale of redemption. The banter between Rig and Ginka (and, well… everyone actually) combined with their high flying, straight shooting, bounty hunting antics will keep you entertained enabling the author to explore the horrors and repercussions of systemic oppression (via different iterations) without it becoming too heavy of a read.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

The world building is *chef’s kiss* with an original mythology behind the political division of the universe, and an imaginative and elaborate collection of alien species. I love the variety and creativity of it all and could spend countless hours immersed in Pierlot’s universe.

The story is also full of complex characters you can’t help but cheer for despite their flaws and sordid pasts. We are talking about the inventor of a genocidal weapon and a lethal bounty hunter who is very, very good at her job here. They are the poster children of moral ambiguity as circumstances now see them both embarking on journeys of growth and atonement. Their pasts may be terrible and immutable, even if not entirely of their own choosing, but it is who they are now that is the focus and Pierlot somehow manages to make them relatable and magnetic, imperfections and all.

And that brings me to the cool tech… Along with all the other futuristic gear, I love the idea of the helltech weapons Ossuary have developed. Oh, the vibrant visuals bouncing through my mind while reading about the electric blades! They practically ignite off the page in sizzling ferocity while their user implications will make your blood boil.

Heads Up

There are some minor technical issues and the plot may be somewhat predictable, but neither of these things diminished my enjoyment of the book in the slightest.

Content warnings for violence, mutilation, kidnapping, substance abuse, forced body modification, indentured servitude, and potential genocide.

The Conclusion

Michelle's Favourite BooksWith cool starships and lethal tech, roguish gunslingers, augmented bounty hunters, and hot librarians navigate their roles in the political machinations of nefarious interstellar adversaries. If exploring the human spirit alongside exploring the galaxy is the kind of adventure you seek, then hop aboard the Bluebird, because this book is for you. It’s a classic tale of good vs evil where the good are not infallible, and we can relate to them so much more because of it.

Excerpt from Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot

She stands on a landing pad at the edge of the city, rain soaking into her clothes as she stares up at the frigate moored in front of her. The hard drive hidden in her jacket burns a hole in her pocket. Adrenaline is still coursing through her veins, hotter than the fire behind her. Her shoulders tremble from the cold and the wet and the thrill.

“If you don’t have money,” the man standing on the gangplank tells her, “then beat it.” A tentative step puts her under the protection of the frigate’s looming stern, keeping fresh torrents of rain off her. “Please. I don’t take up much space, I promise. I can work on the journey to pay my passage off world.” He picks up a supply crate and dumps it inside the ship’s hold. Is it her imagination or are the sirens getting closer? There’s no time for negotiation, no time to dig up money from some cache she doesn’t have. One errant minute will result in her head adorning the planet’s newest spire.

She has nothing to give hime. Her job just went up in flames, her home isn’t safe, her family – she glances over her shoulder for a moment, hoping, pointlessly, that she won’t be alone. But of course there’s no one behind her. All she does have is one hard drive that will kill trillions of people if it’s ever cracked open. She promised herself, when she lit that first brick of fire starter in her now burning office, that she wasn’t going to be that person anymore. Their blind, obedient little killer.

“Please,“ she says again, grinding her teeth. “Sir, just to the nearest port. I want to – “

“I don’t have time for vagrants.”

The rain roars louder than ever. “Sir…” Is he what she thinks he is? One of the people she’s looking for? It’s a gamble but what else could she call the past twenty-four hours of her life if not a gamble? She sticks her left arm out. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

He turns around and gives her a second look. Grunts. Puts down the crate he was about to carry in. he rolls his left sleeve to reveal pale blue skin and a small tattoo adorning his wrist. A little bird drawn in white ink, frozen mid-flight, hovering just over his pulse point. He grabs her offered hand and yanks her sleeve back.

Cold rain drips onto her exposed wrist, her skin as blue as his but entirely blank.

He draws in a sharp breath. “You’re a filthy liar.”

“I’m a filthy recruit. I want to help – I want to stop them. I’ve seen what they can do, I know how they work. That makes me valuable doesn’t it?” She yanks her hand back. “And I’m now also someone who could blow your cover from here to atmo if you don’t me on your ship.”

To her surprise, he laughs. It’s a grunt of a chuckle, but a laugh all the same. “Consorting with one of my sort’s just as likely to get you tossed in lock up with me. You’ve got guts, kid, I’ll give you that. Welcome aboard then. And I don’t hold with that ‘sir’ nonsense. My name’s Mohsin.” She shakes his hand, once, twice. “Thank you.”

Her first steps aboard the frigate feel more solid than any ground she’s stood upon before. The ship’s engines are making the floors thrum with power, ready to leap into the skies in a moment’s notice, ready to skate through the stars like she never has before. To leave everything behind. The good and the bad. Her sister and her job. All turning to a trail of stardust behind her.

What would it be like to be as free as this frigate ship? “What’s your name, then?” Mohsin asks once he’s closed up the main hatch behind her. She smiles for the first time in days. “I don’t know yet.”

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Bits and Bobs

ASIN number: B097GF6F76

Publisher: Angry Robot

Ciel Pierlot Online

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