I have been trying to stay away from my favorite genre with books written by white dudes, but I found Empress of Forever on a list of books with a badass heroine, and how could I pass that up? Vivian Liao is a rich and powerful business woman used to getting her own way, until she draws too much attention to herself from the Government and needs to disappear. Instead, she sets off a chain of events where she is sent through time and space to a galaxy ruled by a ruthless Emperor, who can blow planets up with her mind.
I really loved that she’s faced with terrible and dangerous situations right off the bat. She’s new, she doesn’t know where she is, and the creatures coming after her are super scary. And, she’s human. A badass businesswoman, but still human. The ragtag crew of misfits she joins forces with are mostly out for themselves (I find this much more realistic than the crew that suddenly all loves each other), and Viv is making it up as she goes along.
There is one part of the book that abruptly slows down, but I appreciated the chance for a little character development and a little soul searching from Viv. She does have a love interest, a woman who is the daughter of a chief of a tribe her crew comes across, and they do have sexy fun times. Viv makes no apologies for her sexuality, and the sex scenes are not gratuitous.
There is some techno babble, but it feels much more plausible than a lot of scifi I’ve read. I really liked this, and if you are looking for something sprawling and vast, but also cozy and humane, with a badass Asian lesbian, definitely check this out.