Executive- A Guide to Becoming a Pirate Queen by Jayde RussellExecutive: A Guide to Becoming a Pirate Queen by Jayde Russell is a super long title for a super amazing book that combines two of my favourite genres: fantasy and space opera!

Everyone is running from something. Bryce Virra was running from something pretty big and pretty bad, but unfortunately, it appears to have just caught up with her. And running is no longer an option when her captors have her tied up and are preparing to sacrifice her to a devil. Fortunately, her captors aren’t as adept at magic as she is and the summoning goes very wrong. For them. For Bryce, things seem to be looking up.

Thea is about to walk away from a poker table, having just won an enormous showdown against the powerful demon Malvoch, when management has the audacity to accuse her of cheating. In the middle of pleading her case, she is rudely transported to another plane where a careless mage-in-training tries to bind her with a sacrifice. Not one for being forced into anything she quickly eliminates the presumptuous and ill-mannered mage. The sacrifice however, now she could be useful. And well, she is kind of hot.

Bryce and Thea create a mutually beneficial pact that gets them out of immediate danger only to keep thrusting them into more danger as they try to distance themselves from their pasts and survive in the present. Their only hope to get off the planet is a dragon crime lord, his luxury yacht and two kitsune (a navigator and a tech). Together, they must navigate a galactic underworld of Lycan gangsters and a powerful Syndicate in order to survive. And if they happen to fall for one another in the process, well that will just be the icing on the mana.


The world building and detail are astounding and the action is non-stop. All the fantasy and space opera tropes I love and cherish are included most notably found family. This book makes me so happy and I would watch the hell out of a screen adaptation should one ever come to pass. Please let this come to pass!

The narrative bounces between several points of view; I believe six in total. But fear not friends, for while this sounds like it could be quite confusing, it is in actuality a riotous romp of hilarity as you play POV hopscotch with some adventurous, unique, and downright hilarious characters. The fact that each chapter is labelled with the character’s POV we are witnessing, is a big help in keeping the confusion at bay and the end result is greater insight and a more powerful draw to the whole cast rather than only one or two characters.

Speaking of the cast, there is quite the smorgasbord of characters here. Let’s see, we have an extremely powerful elven mage and the strong, sassy demon summoned to kill her, two kitsune ‘siblings’ on the run from the intergalactic mafia, a dragon crime lord with a fancy ship, a pack of Lycan gangsters with a vampire bookkeeper, Evil faceless corporations, and a crime syndicate of Djinn that span the known universe. Phew! I’m pretty sure there was even an orc bartender at one point. I’m not sure if Russell rolled a D20, threw darts while blindfolded, or meticulously planned the characters’ different races, but whatever the strategy, the outcome is pure magic. Not only do their quirks play off one another perfectly, but Russell also does a heck of a job providing immense depth to all the characters.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Genres collide in this science fantasy exploding like a supernova of high-octane awesomeness before blanketing the reader with a magical dusting of Faery mana. The fantasy aspects are perfectly blended with the science fiction components in a recipe for true nerdy delight that I will forever be here to devour.

The chapter titles and little geeky easter eggs hidden throughout the story are an absolute joy. The characters are just sublime, with the perfect mix of heroic, tragic and taint that make them irresistibly compelling. Everyone is running from something but are open and honest with each other about what they are running from. Oh, and the banter and sexual innuendo between Thea and Bryce are fabulous. I laughed ‘til I cried, then I laughed some more.

Heads Up

There is nothing I don’t absolutely love about this book. I will however provide the author’s content warnings as they are perfectly summarized as: “strong profanity, violence, dark themes, kidnapping, torture, alcohol and drug use, implied sexual situations, heavy-handed trauma, mild piracy, poorly executed demon summoning, a rushed sapphic relationship, bad puns, really bad sex puns, dragon crime lords, werewolf gangsters, blatant spoiling of a fictional romance novel, and over representation/normalization of gay and/or queer characters.”

The Conclusion

Michelle's Favourite BooksHave you ever been plagued with indecision over whether you need to read a space opera or a fantasy? Do you find drabness and mundanity insufferable and feel the need to keel arse over noggin in rib-cracking laughter? Well friends, this book offers up the cure for what ails you. I had the best time reading it and no binding circle will be able to keep me from getting my hands on the next book in the series.

Excerpt from Executive: A Guide to Becoming a Pirate Queen by Jayde Russell

“Now what?”

“That’s really up to you.” I gave her a half-hearted grin. “I’m in no condition to fight back if you wanted to kill me and there’s nothing stopping you from just heading back to wherever it is you came from.”

“You say that, but I could think of a few things. Oh, I won’t kill you, so you can relax about that nonsense. I killed your friend here because she forced a summon and tried to keep me against my will. I have a general rule of killing people who do that. Besides, you did technically save me from those ‘dolls’ with the soul-blades.”

I laughed at that as I felt tension leave my body. But that only served to remind me of the sorry state that I was in, as my laughter quickly turned into a coughing fit.

My hand came away from my mouth bloody and I couldn’t help but grimace.

“You probably could have dealt with the dolls yourself given enough time. Blades or not, you’re damn fast.”

“Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the assist.” Thea paused long enough to give me a full toothed grin and a cheesy thumbs up. “That brings me back to my previous point though. I don’t know enough magic to get back to Hades on my own and I’m not sure I would want to go back, even if I could.”

I furrowed my brow at that. Why wouldn’t she want to get home? She just killed a woman in cold blood for bringing her here. People rarely do that and then want to stick around.

“Why don’t you want to back?” I figured I may as well just ask her directly.

“Oh, this and that really,” she helpfully replied. She couldn’t have been more obviously hiding something, but I had to look past that, at least for the moment.

I would usually never consider a pact with a demon, even if I hadn’t just watched this one kill Ava in cold blood after a casual conversation. You can’t trust demons; that was rule number one when dealing with them. But if I didn’t do something then I was definitely going to die and I could only think of one way out of this.

“There’s significantly less ambient mana on the mortal plane, and from what I’ve read, mana decay is an extremely painful way to die,” I said. “If you’re wanting to stick around, you’re going to need a pact and I’m your best bet.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.”

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Series: A Guide to Becoming a Pirate Queen


Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 979-8986763927

Publisher: Indie Author

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